These days, it seems everyone has some sort of adverse feeling or physical reaction to old-fashioned, store-bought white bread. So when it comes to making stuffing, it seems wrong to buy the little white dried bread crumbs or bread cubes (or croutons) that have been sitting in a bag for land knows how long. So I decided to make my own.
Let's get one thing clear: I am not BAKING bread from scratch. That's not my thing. Maybe one day, when I'm retired, I'll bake bread. But for now, there are so many delicious, yummy choices at my local farmer's market that I just don't need to.So here's how to make homemade bread cubes or bread crumbs:
- It all starts with the bread. Pick your favorite bread, hopefully organic. Also, lighter bread, nothing too dense. I went with a light and fluffy farmhouse wheat bread that my family and I all love the flavor of and that seems like it will taste good with gravy.
- Now, cut the bread into cubes and lay them out on a baking tray. Basically, you want the bread to dry out and go stale without going moldy. If you need to speed the process along, place the bread cubes it in the oven for an hour or two at 200 degrees.
- To keep the drying process going while still protecting your cubes from interested parties (mice, bugs, cats, or kids) cover with a tea towel.
- You can go from fresh bread to bread cubes in two days (maybe faster, but that's as fast as I needed to). From here, use them in your own stuffing recipe or in my favorite stuffing recipe.
- If you want bread "crumbs"...simply crush the cubes into bits. That should be fun!
For more from Maria Rodale, visit www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com