I've thought about making a stuffing-flavored bread for years, but it wasn't until recently that I actually got around to doing it. My goal for this bread was for it to have three different uses. First, it could be the base for a stuffing. Second, because it tastes like Thanksgiving, it would make a great sandwich bread for the day-after turkey sandwiches. And last, the bread would make great croutons for salads.
Of course, if you like to make your stuffing from croutons (I usually start with bread that's a day or two old), you can make this bread well in advance and make croutons right away. If they're completely dry, they'll last for a long time.
When I make stuffing, I tend to go a little overboard with sage, but I took a lighter hand with this bread, and used poultry seasoning, which added flavor without being overwhelming. If you like a more herby stuffing than this bread provides, you can add additional seasonings to taste when you're making the stuffing.
I also used a chive-infused olive oil which added a little boost of flavor. Plain olive oil would be fine.
Although I just said I like my stuffing with tons of herbs, I made a test batch of very basic stuffing using this bread and it came out quite flavorful. Taste it and see what you think. When I use this for Thanksgiving, I'll have celery and maybe some giblets, and I'll be moistening it with flavorful stock, so it probably won't require any additional herbs.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 3 cups bread flour
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning, such as Penzey's
- 1 tablespoon chive-infused olive oil (optional) or olive oil
Mix water, yeast and honey in bowl of food processor and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add bread flour and egg. Process until dough is smooth and elastic, about 30 seconds. Add salt, poultry seasoning and olive oil, and continue kneading until dough is smooth, silky, and elastic, about 45 seconds longer. Form dough into ball, drizzle with olive oil, and place in clean bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about an hour.
Sprinkle some cornmeal in bottom of 9x5 loaf pan and preheat the oven to 350°F. Flour work surface lightly and turn dough out. Form into log about 8 inches long and place it into prepared pan, seam-side down. Cover pan with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Slash loaf as desired and bake until browned, about 40 minutes. Let loaf cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove it from pan and transfer to cooling rack. Allow to cool at least 2 hours before slicing.