Here Are the Best Breads to Use for Stuffing
Which is the best bread for stuffing? Read on for the top recommendations as well as know the mistakes to avoid when stuffing.
Naturally, traditions cannot be changed easily whereby each family has its own set of traditions which are mostly practised during the holidays. During these special occasions, food holds the centre stage as everyone tries to tweak and improve their old recipes to be able to impress everybody sitting at the dinner table.
No holiday menu is complete without thanksgiving stuffing. As you know, the right kind of bread (as well as other ingredients) is very vital ingredient that can either break or make your experience with holiday stuffing.
The best kind of bread to put in stuffing is one that contains tight crumb, neutral crumb and a bit of tendency so that it can become sweet. The ideal choice of bread is white bread, brioche or challah amongst others. If you’re wondering why these types of bread are used and not others, the following information will answer this question in detail.
What is the Best Bread for Stuffing?
Normally, the bottom part of stuffing is made with bread. A variety of flavors whether celery, butter, onion and broth (often used to make a classic stuffing) or much dominant and elaborate flavors like spices and sausage are used. Initially, all the flavors that are used will be absorbed in the crumb or texture of the bread.
This means that the bread’s final result will comprise of smooth, neutral-flavored canvas which won’t clash with some of the strong flavors that are going to be used in the stuffing. If you follow this rule, you have to avoid using German rye, sourdough bread and open crumb breads (the ones that have large holes) such as French bread or ciabatta bread.
Small Holes/Tight Crumb Are Best for Stuffing
The bread is what soaks up all the flavors and juices that are added in stuffing. Therefore, large open holes aren’t well suited for holding liquids (or at least won’t be able to hold too much liquid) that are put in most stuffing, the main reason why tight crumb bread is used.
Highly Hydrated Bread Isn’t Suited for Stuffing
Avoid using bread with high hydration levels because they don’t good for stuffing. Since they already contain a high amount of water (from 55% and above), they won’t be able to soak up fluids properly because they are already completely hydrated.
Also, bread is usually dried out before it can be used for stuffing. Drying out bread that already highly hydrated will just make it to crumble easily and this is not a good thing when dealing with stuffing. Dense bread has high hydration levels and shouldn’t be used for stuffing, for instance, German Rye, Pumpernickel or 100% wheat bread/whole grain bread. These breads aren’t good sponges when it comes to sucking in spices and flavors found in stuffing.
Best Bread for Stuffing
#1. White Bread
White bread is the ideal choice for stuffing by far. It is naturally fluffy, has tight crumb and slightly sweet which is the perfect combination for stuffing because it will be able to absorb every flavor included in stuffing. It will be able to absorb the broth as well as butter.
White bread will help whatever ingredient you use in your stuffing “come out” because it’ll absorb them and make the flavors pop out. This is simply the best sponge you can use in your stiffing, period.
Challah isn’t any different to white bread which makes it the perfect candidate to use in you stuffing. The eggs that are included in the dough provide a built-in airiness and stringy crumb, plus the eggs adds more towards the final texture which in turn offers a much pudding-like texture.
The bread can absorb liquids and flavors from ingredients making your stuffing taste richer which makes it a great choice to be included in stuffing because it will give more space for the other ingredient to be discovered.
Just like Challah, Brioche also benefits from the eggs that are included in the dough. They are basically the same type of bread although Brioche is made with butter (unlike Challah which has oil) meaning it’s more capable of absorbing flavors and liquids than Challah.
All in all, both types pf breads are good at absorbing liquid and flavor.
How To Dry Bread For Stuffing?
Since you can now pick the best type of bread for stuffing, it’s now time to know how it is prepared. The main factor to consider is that the bread should be dry completely dry so that it can absorb all the flavors and liquid properly. As mentioned earlier, bread is placed at the bottom part of the stuffing and the other ingredients move accordingly so it has to be handled with care.
Beginner Mistakes to Avoid
Don’t Dry The Bread Completely
This a shameful thing that occurs more often than you’d think and can result to a little frustration and disappointment. Unfortunately, a lot of people either skip this step or don’t it properly without realizing the importance of drying the bread before using it.
They forget to allow the bread to dry out fully forgetting that it has to be completely dehydrated. Using bread that wasn’t completely dehydrated just results to soggy soaked bread that resembles some sort of bread soup. Nobody wants to end up eating this especially during thanksgiving dinner as well as other holiday dinners.
Don’t forget to dry out the bread fully. There are two different options that you can use to perform this.
Don’t Use Stale Bread
So, it’s your turn to make the holiday stuffing and you’d like to make without rushing, you can opt to use the kind of bread you prefer, cut it into small pieces and let it sit on the counter for a couple of days so that you can have the desired outcome which is full dried out stale bread.
Dry the Bread in The Oven
Another method you can use it to cut your bread into small pieces and put it in the to dry. It normally takes 60 to 90 minutes when you’re using 195 degrees F/ 90 degrees C to get the job done.
[/su_note] Tip: Don’t toast your bread, simply let it dry. If you decide to dry your bread in the oven and you notice it has started getting color, remove it, reduce the temperature level and keep mixing the cut bread every 15 minutes. [/su_note]
Don’t use the dehydrated bread while it’s still hot, let it cool down for a while first. The ideal way of doing this is at room temperature so that all the moisture can come out completely.
How To Cut Bread For Stuffing
This usually depends on how one wants their stuffing to be.
Taring by Hand
Tare the bread into small cubes using the hand will give it some realistic feel. Remember to leave the crust intact. This technique makes the texture of the stuffing a bit different, quite rustic and interesting when put in the mouth.
The best way of conducting this method is by using unsliced bread. You can speed up the process by using a long knife to divide the bread into slices first. You’ll then proceed to stack the cut the slices on each other before you can begin cutting them into small cubes.
This technique is faster and you’ll save some time compared to if you’re slicing individual slices into cubes which can take a very long time.
By now you should be able to make the perfect stuffing for thanksgiving dinner. If you’d like some amazing holiday gift ideas which every home baker would die for, check out this article. Depending on your budget, you’re going to find at least one gift for your loved ones.