Rosemary Whole Wheat Stuffing with Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms

Can you believe it’s only a week away from Thanksgiving?  We are having a “Friendsgiving” again this year.  Of course, my Dad will be there, but other than him, that’s it for family.  I’m really looking forward to this holiday.  Last year was the first time we did “friendsgiving” and it was kind of a fluke.  The weather was horrible and our good friends decided to cancel their trip out of town due to the weather forecast.  They had nowhere to go and no time to plan a dinner, so I tossed in the table leaf and added a few more plates and the guest list was +4 more.  It was a wonderful day full of memories I will cherish the rest of my life.  Next Thursday will be a repeat of last year, but with the addition of 3 more who were unable to make it last year for some crazy reason like….escaping the snow to play on a beach in Florida, or some lame reason like that.  Hi Tom & Amy!  :)  They regretted that trip after hearing about all of the fun we had.  Ok, they didn’t.  They came home with stellar tans and sandy toenails.  I’m looking forward to having them join us this year and hopefully this will become a tradition that will live on for many more Friendsgivings to come.

If you’re looking for a new recipe for stuffing, here’s one I’ve been making for years.  I always make my own bread for stuffing, because that’s how I roll, but if you’d rather use a bag or box of pre-cut and toasted bread from the store, the results will be just as great.  But if you’d like to give bread baking a shot, I promise this recipe is painless.  The only equipment out of the norm is the food processor, but you could do it by hand just as easily.

Start off with 1 cup of all purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tablespoon yeast, 1 teaspoon salt & 1 teaspoon sugar.  Put it all in the bowl of the food processor and give it a quick pulse to combine.  At this point you can toss in any herbs you like.  For this recipe I added rosemary.  Pulse it up a few times.  Measure out 3/4 cup warm tap water and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  With the processor running, add the water mixture through the feed tube.  The dough should all come together, if it is loose ad a bit more water until it forms a ball.  Process for 1 minute to knead the dough.  Turn it out onto a floured board and give it 2 or 3 turns (kneads) then cover it with a bowl and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  After 10-15 minutes, the dough should be about 1 1/2 times the size.  Using a sharp knife, cut it in half.  Stretch each piece out and using your fingers, or side of your hand make an indentation in the middle.  Fold the long side closest to you into the middle.  Then fold that over the far side.  Place the seam down on the pan.  Now, you can cover it with a towel and let it rise if you’d like, but I put it in the oven at this point – no rising.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until it has a hollow sound when thumped.

Slice baguettes into bite sized pieces and toss them back on the baking sheet.  Toast them at 350 for 25 minutes.  This will crust up the exterior so you don’t end up with mushy stuffing.  No one likes it that way.  Ok, maybe one person I know, but she shall remain nameless.

In a large skillet melt 1/2 stick of unsalted butter, add in 2 large onions that are cut into slices and about 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Toss it to coat in the butter.  Keep the heat at about medium and stir occasionally, until the onions become golden brown.  Don’t let them burn.

Add the bread cubes and onions to a bowl and set aside.

Add 1 pound of crimini mushrooms that have been washed and quartered and give them a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Saute them until they start to brown.

Add them to the bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon of chopped rosemary and salt and pepper to taste.

Add 3/4 cup of chicken stock and deglaze the pan.  Pour it into the bowl with the bread mixture.

Add 2 eggs (thanks Farmgirl Lisa!!).

Give it all a good stir to incorporate.

Spray or butter a 9×13 inch baking dish.

Add the bread mixture, cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.  Remove and devour.

Rosemary Whole Wheat Stuffing with Caramelized Onions & Mushrooms
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Ingredients
Rosemary Whole Wheat Bread
1 cup all purpose flour + 2 tablespoons
3/4 cup cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, leaves only
3/4 cup warm tap water
1 tablespoon olive oil


Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Stuffing
1 recipe Rosemary Whole Wheat Bread, cubed & toasted
1/2 stick unsalted butter (4 tablespoons)
2 large onions, cut in half and sliced thin
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound crimini mushrooms, washed and quartered
1 tablespoon rosemary, leaves only
3/4 cup chicken stock
2 large eggs
salt and pepper to taste


Directions
Rosemary Whole Wheat Bread
1 In the bowl of a food processor, add the flours, yeast, sugar and salt and pulse to combine.  Add the rosemary and pulse to combine.  Add the olive oil to the water and with the processor running, add the water through the feed tube.  Process for 1 minute to knead the dough.  It should be in a ball.  Remove to a lightly floured board and knead 2 or 3 times.  Cover with a bowl and let rest for 10-15 minutes.
2 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.  Cut the dough ball into 2 and using your fingers spread out to about 12 inches long.  Make a dent down the center lengthwise and fold the long side closest to you into the middle.  Fold the 2/3 section over the back side making a long rope with a seam lengthwise.  Place on the parchment lined sheet seam side down and repeat with remaining dough.  
3 Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the baguette sounds hallow when thumped.  Remove and let cool completely before slicing.  Turn the oven down to 350 degrees F.  Cut the baguettes into cubes and add back to the parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.  Remove and let cool.  Add to a large bowl and set aside.


Caramelized Onion & Mushroom Stuffing
1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter.  Add the sliced onions and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Toss to coat with butter.  Turn the heat down to medium and saute the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown.  If they begin to burn, turn down the heat a bit.  Add the onions to the bowl with the toasted bread cubes.  
3 Add the mushrooms to the large skillet and season with salt and pepper.  Saute until they begin to brown, about 5 minutes.  Remove to the bowl with the bread mixture.  Add the rosemary to the bowl.  Turn the burner up to high and add the chicken stock to the skillet.  Scrape up any browned bits on the pan and then pour into the bread mixture.  Add 2 eggs and toss all to combine.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.  
4 Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with cooking spray (or butter generously) and add the stuffing.  Cover tightly with foil.  Bake for 30 minutes then remove the foil and bake for another 30 minutes.  Remove and serve immediately.


Makes 6-8 Servings


More Thanksgiving Inspired Recipes….
Spiced Cranberry Sauce with Apple & Orange
Pumpkin Coconut Panna Cotta with Gingered Pecans & Bourbon Glaze

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