Choosing the best bread for stuffing may be a contentious topic in some households. Many families have long-held traditions and beliefs around cooking their Thanksgiving stuffing. There are several different options for types of bread to use, but some are better than others.
One of the best parts about stuffing is the ease with which you can customize it. If you like tart cranberries and nuts, add them in. If you want a heartier stuffing, add some Italian sausage. The main component to focus on for good stuffing is the bread. One thing we can all agree on is that using stale bread makes the best stuffing.
For the rest, we'll guide you through what to choose to ensure you're using the best bread for stuffing.
This is the Best Bread For Stuffing
The best bread for stuffing is one with a neutral flavor and fluffy texture. The loaves of bread that fit those requirements the most are white sandwich bread and challah. Both challah and white bread allow for the other flavors to really shine. You'll need to take the bread out of the bag a few hours before to stale them.
While french bread is delicious for toast, it may not be the best for stuffing. The loaves of bread are great for robust sandwiches, but their large holes don't mix well with broth. The bread doesn't absorb the liquid, instead, creating mini buttery croutons. Use these as a salad topper, but not for stuffing.
Sourdough bread yielded almost the same result as french bread. Its crispy outer crust creates a cardboard-like texture.
Cornbread is the staple bread used to make Southern-style dressing, a riff of the classic stuffing. Cornbread enhances the stuffing with a buttery corn flavor. It plays well with other add-ins like meat and vegetables.
How to Make Bread Stuffing
Now that we know the best bread for stuffing, it's time to tackle making this classic Thanksgiving side dish. It is Thanksgiving, after all, so try not to worry about the high amount of carbohydrates and cholesterol you'll be consuming.
We suggest heading to the grocery store a few days ahead, so you have time to dry out bread for the stuffing. When you're ready to cook, cut the bread into bread cubes.
The total time to cook stuffing is about an hour. You can make this the day ahead if you need more time or oven space on Thanksgiving. This recipe makes 12 servings, but can easily be doubled if you have a large crowd.
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, add the butter to a large skillet. Melt butter and add onions, celery, and fresh herbs. We suggest fresh sage and fresh thyme but feel free to use your favorite herbs. If you can't find fresh, dry herbs work well too. Sprinkle on some poultry seasoning and saute everything on medium heat.
In a large bowl, combine your dried bread cubes, veggies, and fresh herbs. Add fresh parsley to the mixture and combine. Next, pour over chicken broth until the bread is coated, but not soggy. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Add your stuffing mix to a baking dish or casserole dish and dot the top with more unsalted butter. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10.
If you'd like to stuff this into the bird, make sure it cools completely. When you have the turkey on the baking sheet ready for the oven, add the stuffing to the cavity. Bake as normal, making sure the stuffing cooks to 165 degrees before serving.
Products featured on Wide Open Eats are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.