Do you love homemade, old-fashioned bread stuffing? I sure do. For me, it’s just not Thanksgiving if the stuffing isn’t homemade. I know it sounds so picky, but it was my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving dinners growing up. I remember many a Thanksgiving holiday when I had the job of scooping the stuffing out of the bird (back when it was common culinary practice to bake the stuffing in the bird), and into one of mom’s favorite antique glass bowls. Every now and then, a scoop went into my mouth instead of into the bowl. I loved my mom’s stuffing.
For me, there’s no comparison between homemade stuffing and the processed stuff in a box. It’s not even close. So if there’s one thing I won’t compromise on at Thanksgiving, it’s the stuffing. You’ll need to get your hands on a loaf of good quality, whole-grain bread for this recipe. I’ve included a link to our recipe for 100% Whole Wheat Bread if you want to make your own, which is what I do. This stuffing tastes like my mom’s which is what I was shooting for. With this basic recipe, you’ve got a foundation for creating your own delicious family tradition. Add fruits and nuts or whatever else you want. Me? I love it just the way it is.
Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing
- 100% Whole Wheat Bread - 1 recipe
- finely chopped onion - 1 1/3 cup
- finely chopped celery - 1 1/3 cup
- dried thyme - 1 Tbs
- ground sage - 4 tsp
- water (depending on the dryness of your bread) - 2-3 cups
- The day before, make the 100% Whole Wheat Bread according to the recipe instructions. Allow to cool for 2-3 hours before slicing. Slice into bite-size cubes. Spread out on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Set aside to dry overnight.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 400 °F. Bake the bread cubes for 15 minutes. Lift them off the baking sheets using the parchment paper and pour them into a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, dry sauté the onion and celery until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add a little water - a couple of tablespoons if needed - to prevent sticking. Stir into the bread cubes in the mixing bowl. Add the thyme and sage and stir well. Add the water in 1-cup batches until the mixture is moist but not soggy. Depending on your bread, you may need more or less water. Salt to taste.
- Spread the stuffing mixture into a baking dish lined with parchment paper on the bottom. Cover with parchment paper then aluminum foil. Refrigerate until ready to bake.
- When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 °F. Bake for 35-40 minutes with the foil and parchment paper on, until hot.
I usually make the 100% Whole Wheat Bread the day before, cool it, cut it into cubes, and let it sit on the kitchen counter, unwrapped, overnight. But you can also do steps 1-2 in the morning and let the bread sit in a bowl on the counter until ready to finish the dish. The bread will continue to dry as it sits. Then you can finish the dish in the afternoon, in time for dinner.
Nutrition (per serving): 252 calories, 83% calories from carbohydrates, 13% calories from protein, 4% calories from fat, 8.9g fiber.