Friday, November 20, 2009

Bread Stuffing with MHJ Artisan Bread

Homemade Bread Stuffing

For many years I purchased the box of dried up bread pieces marketed as "seasoned bread stuffing mix" and added my own fresh ingredients to make a bread stuffing casserole to serve at Thanksgiving dinner. It was tasty enough to please my guests who liked bread stuffing. Me, I never much liked bread stuffing. It didn't have the fresh homemade flavor that I thought it should have. It was either too dry or too mushy for my taste.

Well, this year I decided I could do better than the boxed stuffing mix. So I created a recipe using my own MotherHen Jen artisan breads as the base and then added my other fresh ingredients to make a wonderful and tasty bread stuffing casserole. You can also stuff the turkey with it, but I prefer it as a casserole side dish as I usually stuff my turkeys with a rice & meat based stuffing recipe that was handed down to me from my Mom.

This recipe is flexible on the amounts of fruits, nuts and vegetables that you add in. Add more of what you like best. The broth and juice can be adjusted to your liking as well, depending on whether you like a more moist or a drier stuffing.

It tastes great straight from the oven, warm & moist with a crisp top, but I think it tastes best when served with some nice turkey meat and good homemade turkey gravy ladled over the top.

Stuffing with Roast Turkey & Gravy~ Yum!

Here's the recipe:

Bread Stuffing Casserole ~ by MotherHen Jen
for Thanksgiving or Anytime

12-14 oz MHJ Rustic Wheat Bread, (1 small loaf) day old, cut/crumbled into ½ inch cubes

1 C (2 ribs) Celery, chopped

1 C Apple, unpeeled & chopped

½ C Walnuts, chopped

3 Tbs Butter, melted

2 Tbs Olive Oil

1 Egg

½ C Chicken or Turkey Broth

¼-½ C Apple Juice, Apple Cider, Orange Juice or Water

Black Pepper, Cinnamon, Oregano, Basil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, Butter or Oil a 2 Quart Casserole Dish

1. In a large bowl, gently toss together bread cubes, celery, apple & walnuts.

2. Stir together melted butter and olive oil. Pour over bread mixture and toss gently to coat.

3. Season to taste with black pepper, cinnamon, herbs (fresh or dried)

4. Add egg to cool chicken broth and stir to mix. Add juice and stir again.

5. Drizzle broth mixture over bread mixture and toss lightly to coat.

6. Spoon (use hands) stuffing into the prepared 2 qt casserole dish and bake covered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes for a crisp top. Serve with turkey or chicken and gravy.


Substitute other nuts for walnuts or omit nuts
Add raisins, dried cranberries or other chopped dried fruit
Use MHJ Artisan White Bread or Egg Bread instead of Rustic Wheat Bread

To make the savory version, substitute chopped onion for the apples, substitute water or broth for the juice, season with garlic powder instead of cinnamon.

Please tell me about any other delicious variations you create for this stuffing recipe or any recipes using MotherHen Jen artisan bread.


© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spinach Feta Bread

Spinach Feta Bread

Yesterday I finally had a little time to myself to try out one of my new bread recipe ideas. I had some fresh organic spinach from our local organic farm store that I thought would go great with some feta cheese and mixed into one of my artisan bread loaves. So I finely chopped a small handful of fresh spinach leaves. Removed the stems first. Then chopped up a couple of green onion tops from my front porch garden pot. To those I added a small handful of crumbled feta cheese and mixed all of that together with a dash of extra virgin olive oil.

I had some nice artisan white bread dough waiting for me in the fridge. So I patted and rolled the dough out on my bread board into an approximation of a rectangle. I spread the spinach-cheese mixture over the flattened dough and pressed it into the dough a bit to make sure it got in there well. I rolled it up tightly into a baguette shape and then realized it was too long for both my pizza peel and my baking stone, so I curved the loaf into a nice arched half moon shape. A sort of spinach feta rainbow.

After proofing for about 45 minutes, it baked up beautifully with spinach and cheese showing through the crust slits. I ate about 1/3 of the loaf while it was still warm with my comfort food dinner. A great treat for my Halloween night. Crunchy crust outside, moist and savory inside. The tastes of Greek Spanakopita, only in a nice crusty warm bread.

Spinach Feta Bread Slices

I will definitely make this recipe again. Great with my dinner and probably will be a good savory breakfast bread to eat with your eggs in the morning. I'll try it if there is any left after my dinner tonight!

© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen

Friday, October 23, 2009

Deli Rye Bread

Deli Rye Bread

Today I made Deli Rye Bread for the first time.

It's a light rye with caraway seeds infusing the interior crumb with a wonderful fragrance and taste.

Deli Rye first slice

This bread is moist with a chewy golden brown crust decorated with more tasty caraway seeds. I am pleased with the shape and texture of this loaf, as well as with the subtle rye taste. It has a nice cross-section slice shape:

Oval Rye Cross-section

Moist, chewy and elastic enough to make a very nice sandwich.

BLT on freshly baked and toasted Rye bread

This made a lovely dinner sandwich tonight.

I'll be baking more of this recipe.

© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Egg Bread & Buns

Country Egg Bread & Buns ~ topped with Sesame Seeds

A few weeks ago I experimented with making a wonderful bread that is enriched with egg and lightly sweetened with local honey. It is similar to a "challah" bread.

I made a few small rectangular sandwich loaves topped with a shiny egg wash and decorated with sesame seeds:

Country Egg Bread Sandwich Loaves

This bread made great sandwiches and even better tasting toast.

And as you can see in the first photo above and in the one below, I also fashioned a few Country Egg Buns that made delightful buns for my hot dog (organic meat & relish) lunch:

Country Egg Buns & Hot Dog Lunch

Lunch Close-Up ~ Yum!

The cute little buns were delicious eaten plain as well. No butter needed, as this bread dough already had light olive oil in it to keep it nice and moist.

I packaged and sold the loaves and some of the buns at our local farm store the day that I made them. I will definitely make these again.

© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Delicate White Dinner Rolls

Round White Artisan Loaves (background) & Delicate White Dinner Rolls

One of my recent weekly deliveries to our local organic farm store included my usual round white artisan loaves of bread which have a chewy crust and a moist interior crumb. Along with those round loaves, I delivered their smaller spinoff cousins, the white dinner rolls with which I had been experimenting. I say "experimenting" because I created the dinner rolls, packaged them up into bags of 6 rolls each and sold them all, without even getting to taste one of my own creations! I now need to make more so that I can taste them myself. They must have been good, because they sold out right away.

I can tell you that these little rolls which averaged about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, had a nice delicately chewy crust covering a soft interior. When I gently squeezed a roll between my thumb and forefinger, it gave a springy resistance back to me that told me it was moist and soft inside. Just right to bite into plain or adorned with soft butter. They would make wonderful small sandwiches for a buffet table or as a snack any time of day. Perhaps with afternoon tea.

Here's what the white rolls and loaves looked like during their "proofing" phase:

White Bread on the Rise!

Guess I had better get busy baking some more so that I can try them out myself, huh?

© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I've Decided!

Crusty Artisan Bread ~ Wheat & Rye Combination

I have decided that this blog will be my space to write about my new love, my new hobby and my new business: yeast bread baking!

A few months ago after reading about baking bread in a few good books and a few more good blogs, I decided to try my hand at it. Well, both of my hands actually. On my main blog, Mountain Harvest Basket, I even wrote about some of my first bread baking experiences.

My blog readers cheered me on, so I kept at it. I baked for myself and my family and gave some to my friends. Everyone seemed to like it. So I got brave enough to take Hardware Bob's suggestion that I should sell my homemade bread in our local organic Farm Store.

So this past May, at the Farm Store Spring party (at the organic farm), I brought two big loaves of crusty, chewy, moist artisan bread as my potluck contribution, but also as my bread audition for the farmer.

To my great pleasure, all of my bread was eaten and gone in about 15 minutes! We saved a slice with some fresh farm goat cheese (from the farm goats) for the farmer to sample. She loved it, and hired me to deliver my freshly baked bread to their Farm Store every week.

Since then I have been trying to adjust to baking 8 loaves at a time instead of just 1 or 2 for my own consumption. Adjusting to baking that many every week, wrapping, labeling, and delivering them on time as promised. I also have been experimenting with different brands and types of flours, different recipes and different methods of preparation. It's been fun so far, and I plan to keep doing it as long it remains fun for me.

Please follow my adventures as I write about them in this new MotherHen Jen blog. (MotherHen Jen is my baking business name, and also my nickname with my close family.) I will probably also duplicate some of my bread posts on my Mountain Harvest Basket blog. Please come and visit me there too.

© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Guess I Should Write Something

I suppose I should post something here since I already have one faithful follower. Ha!

I haven't fully decided what all I will write about in this blog, but I will finish filling out the blog design and make my first "real" post soon.

Thank you, Zitrone, for checking out my other blogs. I appreciate you.

© Copyright 2009 MotherHen Jen