Well, we plowed through that Cranberry Sandwich Bread I made recently, so I thought I’d try a variation on a theme. I thought that it would probably be even better if the bread itself tasted like stuffing.
And guess what. I’m right.
I didn’t take any process pictures – you can refer back to that Cranberry Bread post if you’d like a visual on adding the cranberries – but I did take pictures of the sandwiches I made with this new bread and some of the Thanksgiving leftovers we still had. And I’ll give you the recipe I came up with as well.
This one doesn’t look a whole lot different from the previous batch, though if you look really, really closely, you might notice teeny tiny flecks of green throughout the bread.
It’s Bell’s Poultry Seasoning, my friends.
Yes, I have plenty of fresh herbs, plenty of dried, but the aroma of anything seasoned with Bell’s says “Thanksgiving Stuffing” to me. And makes me happy. So happy, in fact, that when I made turkey tetrazzini with the last of our stash of turkey, I seasoned it heavily (probably a bit too heavily, but no one complained) with Bell’s Poultry Seasoning.
And no, I’m not being compensated for my brand-specific babbling.
Anyway, I’ll give you the recipe now. It’s very simple.
Stuffing Flavored Cranberry Sandwich Bread
2 cups water
2 scant tablespoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg (you could use 2)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 scant tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Bell’s Poultry Seasoning
5-5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2-2 cups frozen cranberries, roughly chopped
1. Pour water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle yeast and sugar into water and whisk to combine. Allow this to proof while you assemble the other ingredients. When the yeast looks bubbly on top of the water, it has proofed, or demonstrated (proved) that it is alive and kicking. Or alive and hungry.
2. Add the egg(s) and butter to the yeast mixture.
3. Whisk the salt and poultry seasoning into 4 cups of flour and add this to your liquids. Using the paddle for now, beat everything together on low for about 10 minutes. (I know, I know, why am I using the paddle? Because while the dough is still relatively wet, I think the paddle does a better job of grabbing all the ingredients and really blending them well. That’s just me. Of course, it backfires, too, because then I go ahead and add the rest of the flour and wonder why it’s not forming a ball. Yeah, clearly that fall down the basement stairs as a toddler did permanent damage.)
4. Now, switch to the dough hook (if you used the paddle. You didn’t have to – that’s just what I do.) and add another cup of flour. Once that’s been worked in, keep adding more flour, a quarter cup or so at a time, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and forms a ball as best it can while climbing up the dough hook.
5. Turn the dough out into a large, greased bowl, cover with plastic, and set in a warmish place to rise until doubled.
6. Grease 2 loaf pans and set aside.
7. Once the dough has risen, scrape it out onto a lightly floured countertop or board, pat the dough down (yes, you work in an airport now) divide the dough into two pieces, and shape them into balls, cover them with a dish towel and let them rest about ten minutes. It’s hard work being dough.
8. Now take a ball of dough and pat it out into a rough rectangle around 1/4-1/2” thick. Sprinkle half your cranberries over the surface of the dough, roll up, jelly-roll fashion, pinch the edges to close, and place, seam-side-down, in one of the loaf pans. Repeat with the other ball of dough. Cover the pans with plastic or a slightly damp dish towel and let them rise until they are the same height as the edges of the pans.
9. Preheat your oven to 350F, and place a rack in the center of the oven.
10. Once the oven has come to temperature, place the pans in and set your timer for 30 minutes. They won’t be ready yet – just switch them around so they bake and brown evenly. Depending on your oven temperature, your dough temperature, and the phase of the moon (maybe), your bread will need another 10-20 minutes before it’s done. You want a nice golden brown crust, and the bread should sound hollow when you tap the bottom of it.
11. When the bread is done, allow the loaves to cool in their pans on a rack for about fifteen minutes, then remove from the pans and allow to cool completely (hard as that is) before you slice. When the bread it still hot, it’s also still moist inside and when you slice, the knife drags the innards of the loaf along with it, which, trust me, is not a pretty sight.
And that’s the recipe.
I will warn you that while the loaves are baking your stomach will growl and you may think you’ve gone right back in time to Thanksgiving day, it smells THAT much like stuffing. (Well, the kind of stuffing WE make, anyway.) The only smell missing is the turkey.
Now, speaking of turkey. Here’s what we did for lunch with this bread. We still had some leftovers, so, naturally, we made a couple of sandwiches.
We’ve got some of the stuffing bread, a very light amount of mayonnaise, some of the sautéed kale dish I brought as a side dish, then some sliced camembert which, while not part of our traditional Thanksgiving Feast, was in the fridge and seemed like a sensible addition…what else…oh yes, turkey and – because there is NEVER enough stuffing in the world – a nice soft blob of stuffing on top. Then this part of the sandwich(es) went into the microwave for about 15 seconds or so, just to warm and soften the cheese, and then the top layer of bread went on and we had lunch.
I’m thinking of roasting another turkey, just so I can make this sandwich a few more times.