If you work full-time (inside or outside the home), you know that all of the food prep for Thanksgiving can’t wait until Wednesday night or Thursday morning. Except for the year that it snowed and I didn’t have to work at all Thanksgiving week, I have a Thanksgiving Countdown plan that is saved and revised each year. My plan includes the menu, the recipes, the grocery shopping list, and the daily tasks.
My Grandma’s Helper and I make bread
Today’s task is to make the loaf of Stuffing Bread. I started making my own seasoned bread a few years ago and it quickly became a family “required” ingredient. This year, I had a cute little helper that poured water, unwrapped the butter, and chopped the fresh sage with the herb mincer (that keeps little fingers away from the blades).
The recipe makes a big loaf and provides plenty of bread cubes for stuffing a 12- to 15-pound turkey and an extra baking dish of stuffing. I make it using the “dough” setting of my bread machine. I dump the bread out onto a board so that I can knead in additional flour as needed to make a loaf smooth and elastic. Then, I place it in a buttered, bread pan to rise again and then bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
On Tuesday (better known as Thanksgiving Countdown Day 2), the bread will get sliced and cubed. We’ll spread it onto large cookie sheets and bake it in a 250-degree oven until the cubes are dry and crispy. After they cool, the cubes will be stored in large zip lock bags until time to make stuffing on Thursday morning.
Thanksgiving Countdown Recipe
The recipe is easy and tastes so much better than packaged stuffing mix.
- 1⅓ cups water
- 2 eggs
- 4 tablespoons butter, cut in pieces
- 2 tablespoons dried onions
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped sage
- 1½ teaspoons celery seeds
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 cup cornmeal (my only concession to "Cornbread stuffing")
- 3½ cups unbleached flour
- 2 teaspoons yeast
- Put in bread machine in the order prescribed in your bread machine manual. Set for "dough". When done, remove from the bread machine. If dough is sticky, knead in a small amount of additional flour until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a buttered bread pan. Allow to rise until double in size.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes.
- When the bread has completely cooled, slice and cube loaf. Place on large cookie sheets and toast in a 250-degree oven until dry and crunchy. Allow to cool again, then store in sealed bags until ready to make stuffing.
Well, today’s task list was light because we did the grocery shopping yesterday. What’s next? Thanksgiving Countdown – Day 3: Turkey Brining and Refrigerator Rolls.
Looking forward to sharing our holiday preparation and my heart for home with you!