Black Friday Bread: all the right stuff.

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This bread uses Thanksgiving leftovers.

And THIS bread uses Thanksgiving leftovers.

What “secret” ingredient do they have in common?

Matt, the fellow who heads up our King Arthur customer service team, sidled up to me a few weeks ago and asked, “Hey, how about a recipe for stuffing bread?”

Frankly, I was puzzled. Hadn’t Matt checked online? As I explained to him, our recipe site has several stuffing bread recipes – yeast breads scented with Thanksgiving’s signature herbs and flavors, perfect for cutting into cubes and using for stuffing.

“No, not bread FOR stuffing. Bread made FROM stuffing. You know, a way to use up your leftover stuffing from Thanksgiving.”

Ah. Definitely a different take. Still, it shouldn’t be too hard to mix leftover stuffing with flour, liquid, and yeast to make a loaf of bread, right?

Right.

(HA – you thought I was going to say WRONG, didn’t you?)

This recipe was actually surprisingly easy to perfect. I made it twice: once with stuffing and dried cranberries; once with stuffing and mashed potatoes. Both loaves behaved beautifully, rising right on cue and baking up golden and agreeably moist.

And it got me thinking – wouldn’t sweet potatoes or carrots be good in this bread? Or mashed parsnips? What about rutabaga? (Well, maybe not rutabaga… unless you’re one of those traditionalists who actually enjoys this rather humble vegetable.)

Peas, or green beans, or… broccoli with cheese sauce?

It’s up to you, and your willingness to experiment; myself, I think mashed green stuff might make a bread whose color is a bit off-putting.

Still, if you believe beauty is only crust deep, go ahead and use that broccoli/cheese casserole… like Sam-I-Am with his green eggs and ham, you may surprise yourself!

Click anywhere on this picture to enlarge it to full size – this will work for any of the photos you see in this blog post.

Let’s start with the basic ingredient in all good bread: King Arthur Flour. I’ve chosen a combination of our white whole wheat flour (for added fiber), and bread flour (for a good, strong rise – helpful when you’re adding a lot of non-flour ingredients, as we’ll be doing here).

Place the following in a mixing bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer:

1 cup (4 ounces) King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
2 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 to 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
2/3 cup lukewarm milk
1 cup prepared stuffing*
1 cup mashed potatoes, white or sweet

*For safety’s sake, use stuffing that neither baked in the turkey, nor used meat broth as its moistener.

Can you substitute unbleached all-purpose flour for the bread flour, and/or the whole wheat flour? Sure; reduce the amount of milk to 1/2 cup, adding additional milk or water if the dough seems dry and stiff. Your loaf may not rise as high.

As mentioned above, feel free to substitute the mashed ingredients of your choice for the stuffing and potatoes. Mashed root vegetables (turnip, sweet potatoes, squash, parsnips) are good; as is applesauce.

Oh, and one more thing: taste the bread dough once it’s mixed, but before kneading; you may need to adjust the salt, depending on whether or not the add-ins you chose were salty.

Mix and knead everything together to make a smooth, elastic, and somewhat sticky dough. The dough will feel tacky, but should hold its shape nicely; you should be able to handle it easily with greased hands.

You’ll have to play the amount of flour/liquid somewhat by ear (or eye); depending on how moist your add-ins, you may need to add either additional bread flour, or additional milk or water. Your goal is a soft (but not challengingly sticky) dough.

Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl or 8-cup measure (for easiest tracking of the dough as it rises). Allow it to rise until it’s quite puffy, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Note: If you have a bread machine, use it: put all the ingredients in the machine’s bucket, choose the dough setting, and when the dough is risen, take it out and go from there.

Gently deflate the dough. Shape it into an 11″ to 12″ log, and place it on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet.

Cover the loaf with lightly greased plastic wrap or a dough cover (the plastic cover of a disposable supermarket deli tray or cake platter may work well for you here), and let the loaf rise until it’s noticeably puffy, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Bake the bread for 35 to 45 minutes, until it’s golden brown on top, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F.

Remove the bread from the oven; when it’s cool enough to handle, place it on a rack to cool completely.

I know it’s tempting – but no sampling until the bread is completely cool! Cutting into a loaf of bread that’s this moist will leave gummy edges.

Now, how about that cranberry-stuffing loaf?

Substitute 3/4 cup dried cranberries for the mashed potatoes. Reduce the total amount of flour to 3 cups, cutting back on either the bread flour, or the white wheat flour (or both). For instance, you might want to use 2 1/2 cups of bread flour, and 1/2 cup of white wheat.

Knead and let rise as directed above.

Place the loaf in a 9″ x 5″ bread pan, let it rise, and bake in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers at least 190°F.

When the bread is done, take it out of the oven, wait a minute or two, then turn it out onto a rack. Brush with melted butter, if desired, for a satiny, buttery crust.

And again – no slicing until it’s completely cool!

Read, bake, and review (please) our recipe for Black Friday Bread.

Print just the recipe.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Shawna

    This looks great, and I really want to try it. What a nice way to use up some leftovers! I’m confused by the note not to use stuffing that used meat broth as its moistener. Don’t most stuffings/dressings use meat broth as a moistener? (Mine uses chicken broth.) If this means I cannot use my leftover stuffing, is there a way to adapt this recipe to use only leftover mashed veggies (e.g., 2 c. of potatoes)?

    Shawna, in order to please the vegetarians at my table, I make my stuffing using vegetable broth, and bake it in a dish by itself – not in the turkey; lots of folks actually do it that way these days, as government advisories about stuffing baked inside the turkey have become rather onerous to follow. If you need to make your stuffing with meat products, I just don’t feel comfortable advising you to use it in bread – unless you then keep the bread refrigerated, which is certainly an option. Alternatively, how about trying 1 cup of potatoes, and 1 cup creamed onions? Or the aforementioned broccoli casserole? Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  2. mnolet

    When you have a cameo in a blog post, I think it’s a rule that you get to test the final result…

    Well, baking fans, I can report that the stuffing bread is DELICIOUS! Thanks, PJ, for taking my idea and running with it. Stuffing-heads, unite!

    -Matt@KAF

    Reply
  3. mari10

    When I was reading the post and you said stuffing without meat broth…and then read your response, I said to myself, geez there’s vegetable broth! I got scared for a minute there that I couldn’t experiment with the leftovers! This will definitely be in line of my tests! I am curious with the outcome… I know I did leftover mashed potatoes when I had leftovers last Christmas and made it to bread. hmmmm, thanks PJH…you got me into this baking mode again!
    Glad to hear PJ was able to lure you in to baking again! Elisabeth

    Reply
  4. MemphM

    I make my dressing with milk but does have bacon in it…guess that wouldn’t work either…sounds good but…
    Guess I could try the cranberry..so many other things to try though.
    I think your dressing with the bacon would be amazing! Bacon is the rage now. It is in everything including cookies! Have fun with this. Elisabeth

    Reply
  5. Jo

    I just had to chime in and echo Marion’s sentiment — I can’t IMAGINE people needing to use up stuffing! I guard leftover stuffing with my life and limb, and ain’t NO ONE gonna take a spoonful to use for anything other than scooping into my mouth :)

    Jo – it’s REALLY EASY to double a stuffing recipe. Just sayin’. :) PJH

    Reply
  6. rnjcole

    Ok – this has generated a lot of thought on my part. We (read “my husband”) make a cornbread, rice, pork sausage dressing to accompany our turkey. Family members fight over it and its hard to imagine leftovers for experimental loaves of bread. But… we LOVE the recipe for Struan bread (which contains flour, cornmeal, oatmeal, rice, etc) published years ago in the Baking Sheet. A toasted slice with a scrambled egg on top is a favorite breakfast. So now – why not alter the flavoring of our struan loaf to taste like our beloved Thanksgiving dressing – breakfast now has a sausage patty on top. I’ll be experimenting with that…

    Sounds delicious to me! Please let us know how your recipe turns out!-Jon

    Just be sure not to let the dressing sit too long at room temperature as you make the bread; and keep baked bread refrigerated, OK? Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
    1. Ann Key

      Would love to have the recipe for the Straun bread as it sounds very much like the stuffing we make for the holidays. I searched the King Arthur Flour site and there were no results found here although there are several others on the internet. This site is my go to for recipes and we are always pleased with the results.

    2. The Baker's Hotline

      I am sorry we do not have that recipe, Ann. I know that Peter Rinehart has a wonderful version of Straun bread. Thank you for coming to our site and trying our recipes! Elisabeth@KAF

  7. Minabee

    AHHHH!!!!! So exciting!!
    I tweeted about having mistaken the recipe for bread that goes in stuffing for a recipe for bread made out of stuffing, and Matt replied that he would take it to the test kitchen. I am not exaggerating to say that if I in some way contributed to the creation of a King Arthur Flour recipe, I feel like I’ve done my part to make the world a better place! And a more delicious one, because this recipe looks as ridiculously good as I would have hoped.
    -@AnikaChapin

    Reply
  8. Mary

    Oh these breads remind me of my childhood. My grandmother, when my family visited for Thanksgiving, made such wonderful tasting sandwiches for the lengthy ride home. As I grew older she would not telll me how her breads were made. I was 25 years old when she finally admitted her “secrets.” Long after my grandpa died, gram came to CA for a visit. She showed me so many things, and your two after-thankgiving-breads sound very close to hers. Gram was an apricot lover. She added these along with the cranberries. I’m so happy to have written recipies now. Gram taught me to cook by sight, smell, texture, taste; and, everything had a secret ingredient. I look forward to making the breads, from your recipies, and sharing them with my (13) siblings. I wonder how many of them will be reminded of grandma’s bread. Thank you for sharing these recipies! You’ve proved to me that I must set aside time to search through your recipies!!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins

      Thank you so much for sharing your memories, it really made my day to hear about your family. ~ MJ

  9. Cathi M

    I have been reading the comments on this recipe and I am confused as to why stuffing with meat products used for this bread is an issue and needs to be refrigerated.

    Doesn’t the temperature that the bread reaches in baking overcome any concerns about the meat products?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Any cooked meat shouldn’t be left at room temperature for a long period of time. I would say after several hours, the bread should be stored in the freezer. Although, this type of bread is so moist, perhaps refrigeration will not be an issue as typically, refrigeration dries out bread. The tradition in my husband’s family is to make oyster stuffing. I do not think this stuffing would go well in these recipes. Do you? Elisabeth@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Have you found it? It is located right above where the directions begin and alongside the icon for printing. Give us a call if you need more assistance. We are here until 9pm every evening during our busy season and our number is 1-800-827-6836. Elisabeth@KAF

  10. Anne

    My dressing usually has chopped celery and onion in it. Should I chop these extra fine if I plan to use leftover dressing in this bread? (The only reason we have leftovers is that there’s the two of us!) Thanks!

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      I would not worry about that too much. Make your dressing the way you always do! The vegetables are so soft that size is not an issue. Have fun! Elisabeth@KAF

    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Yes, in fact, the recipe instructions say you may knead by hand, stand mixer or place in the bread machine. Go to the actual recipe on our recipe page. You will see there! Enjoy! Elisabeth@KAF

  11. Smaakmakerij

    This sounds interesting, but I make chestnut dressing (2/3 ground chestnuts and 1/3 bread crumbs, various seasonings, with cream added to hold it together). I know chestnuts can be used in savory or sweet dishes so I think the flavor would be okay. Any ideas as to moisture content or how they would bake in a recipe like this?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      Chestnuts shouldn’t make a huge difference beyond the flavor and texture. However, I wouldn’t add more than 1 cup of them. Jon@KAF

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