Bread Stuffing for the Holidays

bread stuffing
Do you call it stuffing or dressing?

Whether you call it dressing or stuffing, this is the basic recipe you can start with.

9 cups bread cubes (use a combination of white and wheat)
1½ cups chopped celery
¾ cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
¾ cup butter
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground sage
½ teaspoon ground thyme
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 egg, beaten

In a medium skillet, sauté celery, onion and mushrooms in butter. Add salt, sage, thyme, poultry seasoning and pepper.

In a large bowl Toss bread cubes with sautéed vegetables/seasonings until bread is well coated. Mix the egg with the chicken broth to moisten and stir into bread cube mixture. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

What I like about this recipe, is the bread cubes stay light and fluffy. This recipe works well baked on the side and also made ahead and microwave-warmed when you get to grandma’s house. Oh wait, I AM Grandma 😀

VEGETARIAN Version: substitute about 2/3 cup olive oil for the butter and vegetable broth for chicken broth. When I do this I usually use rosemary as the herb, but sage is okay too.

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English Muffin Toasting Bread

loaf of white bread
Quick and easy, no kneading.

5 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 T. dry yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 1/4 cups warm milk
Cornmeal for dusting

Grease two glass loaf pans and line bottoms with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Mix together the yeast, sugar and warm water in a large mixing bowl

In another bowl, sift together 5 cups of the flour with the salt and baking powder, reserving ½ cup flour (you may or may not need it later).

Mix 1 cup of the flour mixture into the yeast mixture in the large bowl and stir. Finish by adding the rest of the flour mixture and stir well with large spoon. This should be a wet, sticky dough. If it is too wet, add the reserved flour. Your dough will be thick, wet, and too soft to knead. It’s nothing like regular bread dough.

Spoon dough mixture into the prepared loaf pans and sprinkle the tops with cornmeal. Let rise in a warm place until double, or at or a little above the loaf pan top (30-40 minutes).

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when thumped.

When done, remove from oven and cool in the pans on racks before removing. Slice and toast to serve.

Amish Cinnamon Bread

Four slices of cinnamon bread on a white plate
Amish Cinnamon Bread

A quick version of Amish Friendship Bread
without the traditional sourdough-style starter

1/2 c. butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk (or ¼ c. buttermilk powder and 1 c. water)
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon

Cinnamon/Sugar Topping:
1/3 c. sugar mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees conventional (Use convection setting if you have it.)

Cream butter and sugar, then add the egg and vanilla, mix well. Add buttermilk, flour, baking soda, salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon and mix until just combined. Spread half of the batter into a greased loaf pan.

Sprinkle about 1/3 of the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top and swirl with tip of knife or finger. Gently spread remaining batter over the 1st layer and swirl with another 1/3 if the cinnamon mixture again. Sprinkle top with remaining cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for 50-60 minutes or longer until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert to a rack and cool. Makes 1 loaf.

Click here for a little history on this long-loved recipe tradition.

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

Cranberry Orange Quick Bread
Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

Healthier and low fat but you will never notice it because this is so good!
CRANBERRY ORANGE QUICK BREAD

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Finely grated zest of 1 medium orange
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon fine salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (from about 2 medium oranges)
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick), melted and cooled slightly, plus more for coating the pan
• 1 large egg, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups cranberries, thawed if frozen and sliced in half
• 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional

Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter; set aside.

Place the flour, sugar, orange zest, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Add the orange juice, melted butter, egg, and vanilla and stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until just combined. Stir in the cranberries and nuts, if using, until evenly distributed.

Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, pushing it into the corners and smoothing the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 50-60 minutes. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then turn the bread out onto the rack and cool completely before cutting. Be patient.

Makes: 1 (9-inch) loaf

Fast and easy Focaccia Bread

a flat bread loaf with black olives on top
Fast and Easy Focaccia Bread

FAST AND EASY FOCACCIA
1 frozen loaf of bread, thawed
1 t. olive oil,
½ tsp garlic salt
¼ cup Greek olives, sliced
¼ cup roasted sweet red peppers (from a jar), julienned
2 T parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp rubbed sage

Thaw 1 frozen loaf of bread dough in the refrigerator (wrapped) overnight. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a greased baking sheet, place dough and begin spreading, poking and patting until it is about 6 inches by 10 inches. Really though, you can make it as thick or as thin as you prefer. Leave it natural and lumpy-looking, drizzle with olive oil and add herbs and your toppings. Bake for about 40 minutes.

Other topping options: sun dried tomatoes, green peppers, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, the possibilities and combinations are endless. Ingredients used here are my preferences.

 

Pumpkin Roll Perfection

a sponge cake with white filling rolled on a plate
Pumpkin Roll Perfection

PUMPKIN ROLL PERFECTION

3 eggs, separate egg yolks and egg whites
1 cup sugar, divided in half
⅔ cup pumpkin
¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt

Filling
12 oz. softened cream cheese, (Neuchatel is a good choice, and lower in fat and calories)
1 -1/2 Tablespoon butter, softened
2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Line a 15×10 inch baking pan with waxed paper. Grease and flour the pan and the top of the paper.

3. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until think. Gradually add ½ cup sugar and the pumpkin. Beat mixture until the sugar is almost dissolved.

4. In a smaller bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the pumpkin mixture.

5. In a smaller bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into pan.

6. Bake at 375 degrees F for 13 to 15 minutes, or until cake springs back when touched. Cool 5 minutes and turn cake onto a kitchen towel sprinkled with powder sugar. Gently peel off waxed paper. Roll up cake in in the towel starting with the shorter side. Cool completely before adding the filling.

Filling Directions
1. In a small bowl beat cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Unroll cake and spread filling.

2. Roll up again and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

3. Can be made ahead, frozen and kept until ready to use: Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving.

Mincemeat Fruitcake

a fruitcake made in an aglefood pan. Round with hole in middle, one piece cut out to show texture and filling
Mincemeat Fruitcake

MINCEMEAT FRUITCAKE

2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (14 oz.) Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 jar (28 oz.) prepared mincemeat
2 cups mixed dried fruits (apricots, pineapple, prunes, cherries, golden raisins)
1 cup walnuts coarsely chopped
Honey for glaze

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch tube pan and line with waxed paper; butter again. You can also use 2 loaf pans. Use some candied or dried fruit pieces and place them in the bottom to make a decoration on top when the cake is turned out later (optional).

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda and set aside. In a large bowl, mix all the other ingredients until well combined. Stir in the flour mixture until you no longer see dry flour. Bake for 2 hours, until center springs back to the touch and the top is golden. Cool 5 minutes; turn out onto a rack and remove paper. Allow to cool completely before cutting. Brush lightly with honey while still warm. Keeps well, gets better with age.

I happen to like regular fruitcake, but not everyone does. This recipe appeals to a broader audience. Even fruitcake haters have nice things to say about this one. I find that natural, dried fruits produce a better flavor that appeals to almost everyone.