For the Best Toppings, Dry Your Bread Instead of Baking It
Whether you call it stuffing or dressing , a broth-soaked bread dish is a Thanksgiving must-have. Although it is not recommended to stuff a turkey with anything, it is generally accepted that the “filling” is always made from cornbread, and the “stuffing” is usually made from some kind of white bread – usually sandwich bread. But no matter what kind of bread you start with, it must be ready to receive liquid, and this is achieved either by drying or staling. Many recipes call for stale bread rather than drying it out, but I think fully dried bread gives the filling a better texture (and takes less time).
What is the difference between drying and staling?
Drying is the simple process of removing as much moisture from bread as possible, usually in a low-temperature oven, resulting in crispy cracker-like cubes. Staling is a little different: moisture evaporates, but it also migrates from swollen starch grains to air spaces in the crumb and bread crust. These starches are then rearranged and recrystallized without moisture, resulting in dry but not crispy bread. Instead of crunchy little cubes, you get leathery, chewy bits that don’t soak up broth, which is not what I personally want in my favorite bread-based side dish.
How to dry bread for stuffing
Luckily, bread dries out much faster than stale bread (which takes days), so you don’t have to worry about “forgetting to stale bread” and can focus on ” forgetting to take the turkey out of the freezer “. ”
Start by cutting the bread into bite-sized pieces, then dry in the oven at 275℉ for 45 minutes, stirring with a spatula every 10-15 minutes to ensure even drying. According to Serious Eats , this technique gives “about two and a half pounds of bread” the ability to “gulp down a whopping four cups of rich and savory chicken or turkey broth”. Making a bread cube that can soak up a bunch of broth is the point, so I would call it a “good method” and “what I’ll be doing from now on.”