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Your Thanksgiving Stuffing--What type of bread do you use?

Just wondering what type of bread everyone uses.

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  1. White bread. I make the same stuffing my mother learned to make and it involves loaves of fresh, not stale, white wonder bread hand torn.

    1. I make a loaf of white bread about 2 days ahead of time so it can stale a bit before I use it in the stuffing.

        1. re: dave_c

          Corn Bread here too...and two or three biscuits.

          1. re: Uncle Bob

            Homemade stale corn bread, here, too--and a handful or 2 of Fritos. Don't laugh, it's good.

        2. Mostly cornbread, a few biscuits or other to go with. My mom would use leftover heels of store bought white bread or a hamburger/hotdog bun or two.

          I do not care for dressing with much light bread.

          1. French country loaf. I like a nice chew and big holes to soak up stock.

              1. re: juliejulez

                Me, too. Some nice crusty French bread or a baguette. I found out the hard way to cut it into cubes +before+ you set it out to get stale. ;-)

              2. I make a sage pullman-style loaf. I then cube it so that the bread can dry out for a few days. Cubed bread takes up a lot of room though, so it always feels that I am moving it around for those days.

                1. A mixture of cornbread and french bread, which I cube & toast in the oven first. I've also used bits and pieces of other bread with my cornbread such as Italian, white bread or other white based bread I have stored in the freezer

                  1. I make both a loaf of regular white bread and a loaf on no knead bread (artisan bread in 5 minutes).

                    1. I make baguettes the weekend before, tear them up and let the pieces dry for 3-4 days so they get good and stale. Nothing beats homemade bread for stuffing.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: biondanonima

                        I feel like such a loser when I read about people making their own bread to make their stuffing!

                        1. re: DaisyM

                          I also use baguettes but find that the bakery at my grocery store does a fine job so I don't make them myself. The baguettes really give just the right mix of soft bites and chewy bites from the crusty pieces. Been making this recipe for years and it's my favorite part of the meal: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                          1. re: bdegregory

                            You're lucky to have good bread available at your grocery. I would use grocery store bread if I could find any that I liked, but I've never found a loaf that works as well as what I make myself. Baguettes from the grocery store here are more like Italian bread in baguette form, whereas my own are closer to no-knead bread in consistency and flavor (just not quite so crusty).

                          2. re: DaisyM

                            I know a lady who grinds her own wheat for the bread she makes. And she makes bread several times a week. I'm impressed!

                        2. Challah. I buy how many loafs I need the Friday before Thanksgiving and then use the rest of the time to dry it out.

                          1. We grew up on Pepperidge Farm so it will always be white bread for us.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: JungMann

                              I use the similar Arnold family loaf for ours - it comes in big loaves and like Pepperidge Farm is much firmer than wonderbread. I cut it up and dry it out to the extent possible before dressing it. I used cornbread for a number of years but felt it was both sandieer and mushier in texture than the yeast bread so we dropped.

                              1. re: jen kalb

                                to get it bone-dry --

                                If you have radiators in your house, just lay the bread out on a cookie sheet and let it sit on the radiator overnight -- if the cookie sheet is too full, you might have to flip it once, but it'll be bone-dry fast.

                                Otherwise, turn your oven on its lowest setting and put the bread in there. It will take a little more attention and turning to keep it from toasting and to rotate all the moisture out, but also bone-dry in a couple of hours.

                                I find it easier to dry slices and then break the dried bread into chunks rather than the other way round, but YMMV

                              1. re: tcamp

                                Me, too.

                                Baguettes are easier to find for me, but the ones near me are way too namby-pamby for my dressing. There needs to be some texture and a little bit of flavor to work with the aromatics and the oysters.

                              2. If there's a Great Harvest Bread Company near you, try their stuffing bread. It is made only the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it is wise to call ahead to reserve a loaf. It has bits of celery and onion, and is herbed with sage. Great as stuffing and maybe even better for those post-bird sandwiches.

                                Otherwise, I use oatmeal bread or multigrain bread - Arnold or Pepperidge Farm - for stuffing.
                                We all know that white bread is the least healthy choice, and I think there's more and better flavor using non-white loaves.

                                1. I am so embarrassed but we have always used the Pepperridge Farm stuffing. The blue bag of seasoned for our regular mushroom stuffing and the yellowish bag of cornbread for our cornbread apple stuffing that we usually eat with pork crown roast. Very much considering using real bread this year.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: melpy

                                    There is no reason to feel embarrassed.....

                                    1. re: melpy

                                      Don't feel bad, I grew up on this and it's not bad! You can doctor it up too and make it your own.

                                      1. re: prunefeet

                                        Oh we do! Never knew you could eat it without other stuff in it. Thought it was just an ingredient as a kid. Nor did I know you could use real bread.

                                        Think mom might have bought stove top once? Not sure if I have ever had it though.

                                      2. re: melpy

                                        My best friend brings Stovetop -- to her, it's Thanksgiving....so it's welcome at our table.

                                        (Stovetop is lovingly carried back in luggage for folks here in the Old World. Funny what stuff you bring back when you've been gone for a few years)

                                      3. I start saving bread ends and partial loaves a month before Thanksgiving. So it's a mix of whole grain store bread and artisan loaves from the farmers market. I pull it all out and evaluate it, then if I have to add to it, I'll throw in a load of day old italian bread. Not fancy, but everyone who eats it, like it...

                                        1. The supermarkets in NY pretty much all carry packaged stuffing bread at Thanksgiving. It is a white bread but a bit denser. It makes wonderful stuffing.

                                            1. re: dcrf

                                              +1 for corn bread. Last year I made stuffing with homemade corn bread, sausage, pecans, and a few other things I can't remember -- sorta made it up as I went along. Turned out yummy, can't wait to do it again!

                                            2. I've been using the La Brea rosemary-olive oil bread as the backbone, saving and cutting up chunks of it as it gets stale and freezing them in airtight bags. Sometimes I'll bake a pan of cornbread, too, and throw in about half of that. If I have parts of sourdough sandwich loaves go stale they get in there as well. Our stuffing growing up was chopped and dried balloon bread, delicious but pretty much an undifferentiated substance unless there were oysters in it. I like mine to have texture, not too moist and not gooey.

                                              1. This last week, I've made Onion Rolls, Japanese Milk Bread, Onion Soup Mix Bread, Classic Dinner Rolls, Hawaiian Bread, and a yeast based Banana Bread. I'm going to use about half of each (except the Banana Bread, I'll just use a slice or two of that) to make my dressing with.

                                                I hope that I'm pleasantly surprised; I've always used either PF Bread or store bought sandwich bread....whatever was on sale.

                                                1. The recipe I use calls for ciabatta and I used to buy that, but there's a bakery near me that makes a peasant loaf which also works well, so I have been using that lately.

                                                  1. I use 1/2 homemade cornbread (no sugar) and 1/2 homemade biscuits. Crumbled and let get stale for a day. Then I add onion, celery that is cooked in broth along with the sage and poultry seasoning and a stick of melted butter and 1 egg.

                                                    We all seem to make dressing the way our mothers did or grandmothers. I do something in between. My grandmother always made hers really loose and mashed before baking and my mothers was chunkier. I do something in between.

                                                    1. I either buy or make a lean (no fat) country bread, far enough ahead to let it stale.

                                                      For cutting, I have often followed a technique I read first in Cooks Illustrated. Lay the bread out in slices one night, then once it's half stale, cut it into strips. Then you might do crosscuts or let it stale a bit longer before doing the final cubing. Takes a bit of counter-space at the first stage, though.

                                                      1. I make a wet freeform loaf with half white whole wheat flour and I add the herbs (sage, rosemary and thyme) directly to my bread. I do it weeks ahead and slice it into cubes that I let stale.

                                                        I add sautéed aromatics, walnuts, chopped giblets, fresh parsley and salt & pepper before surfing the bird.

                                                        1. old crusty baguette. soaks up all the goodness really well.
                                                          I've never made it with cornbread. wouldn't it make the stuffing too heavy?

                                                          1. If you have a Jimmy John's nearby, they sell their day old loaves of bread for like .49 and they make superb stuffing/french toast/bread pudding. No, really :)

                                                            1. Pepperidge Farms thin slice - white. That's what my grandmother and mother used and therefore that is what I use... only for stuffing though. It's semi-firm like stale bread and therefore perfect for stuffing, IMHO. ;)

                                                              1. Corn bread. I make it two days ahead and stale it.