Good dried bread cubes?
I have always made my stuffing with fresh bread cubes. I wouldn't even call them cubes, more like little torn up pieces of bread. This year I am thinking of trying out dried bread cubes. I don't like those herb ones that taste stale. Is there a brand out there that is better than the rest or should I make my own?
I say make your own. I use a combination of day old Italian or French style bread and whole grain. If the bread is fresh, cut/tear it and let it sit out on a cookie sheet until it dries out a bit (even overnight).
I also have a recipe in a cookbook for Turkey Stuffing Bread for the bread machine, that has both flour and cornmeal and some of the flavorings already in it such as onion, celery seed and poultry seasonings. This makes terrific stuffing.
I agree with oyster, tigersmom...wish it were easier to find something unseasoned. I find the Arnold/PF/etc. are just too salty (and I like salt), sometimes stale, etc.
I don't make stuffing that often, but now for all my croutons or bread cubes (to top a gratin or something like that), I make 'em myself. Sometimes I just use regular sliced bread or maybe something more interesting like a ciabatta or even a rustic wheat bread that has walnuts or cranberries or olives in it (depending on the night's menu). I slice the bread, brush some oil on it, cube them to the desired size, add herbs or spices if desired, stick them under the broiler for a few minutes while I do my other prep. Much yummier than anything that comes out of box. Probably healthier, too.
My mother used to tear her bread into little pieces for stuffing, as you do. I really do like that the best. I *think* she said she did that because the irregular shape helped the bread "stale up" properly and absorb the liquid ingredients and seasonings more effectively--more nooks and crannies and more surface area exposed. Someone correct me if I have that science wrong. It is more work, but on the bright side, that's definitely something you'd do ahead.
I have often made stuffing with the pepperidge farm and they always taste stale and herby to me. I won't be doing it anymore. This year I'm baking cornbread and using fresh bread, cutting into cubes and toasting until dried out. It's so much better.
I've never seen anyone offer anything other than pepperidge farm or arnold. I'd love to see something organic and unseasoned offered in stores.