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Stuffing Bread

I make my own bread for stuffing. I just find it makes for a much tastier stuffing than using the dried bread at the store or Stove Top. It’s not that hard to make and it’s also good for making turkey sandwiches. I make my loaves and slice them. After letting them dry for about 4 hours I package them and freeze until I’m ready to make stuffing. You can use this bread just as you would the dry bread cubes at the store only you may want to leave out some of the liquid. I add liquid slowly to the stuffing since the amount needed varies each time when using this bread.

Stuffing Bread
King Arthur’s Baking Companion Magazine Winter 2006

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup onions, cut in a small dice
1/4 cup celery, cut in a small dice
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 large egg
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dry thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground sage
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat; add the onions and celery and cook slowly until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and cool the vegetables.

Place the remaining ingredients (not the cooked vegetables) in the order listed into your mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Once the dough begins to form, add the cooked vegetables and butter to the dough.

Knead for 6 to 8 minutes; the dough will seem dry at first, but will soften as the vegetables give up their liquid, and create a smooth, supple dough. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turn over to coat, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled (about one hour).

After the first rise, deflat the dough, form it into a loaf, and place in a greased 8 1/2 x 4 inch loaf pan. Cover the dough with lightly greased plastic wrap, and let rise again until the dough domes an inch above the edge of the pan.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slash the top of the dough down the center, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until golden brown and the internal temperature of the bread when measured in the center reads 190 degrees.

Remove the bread from the oven, turn it out of the pan, and cool completely on a rack before serving.

If you are using the bread for stuffing make sure its completely cool, then slice the entire loaf. Place the slices in a zip top plastic bag, and freeze until you are ready to make the stuffing.

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