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