If you follow me on Instagram, and especially if you frequently watch my stories, you have probably noticed I really have an infatuation for my homemade pain de mie (the best white sandwich bread you will ever be blessed to know, if you ever get a chance to try it!). While this recipe can be made with really any bread of your choosing, I love it most when it allows my homemade bread a chance to shine in a new form. Making a loaf of bread just to turn it into stuffing may sound like a waste of time and effort, but I am convinced that homemade bread, of any variety, has such a unique and complex flavor that simply cannot be replicated by store-bought varieties. But, like many things, this recipe is only good if you like it… so feel free to substitute whatever bread you prefer. Roughly the amount of a small loaf of sandwich bread. If you choose purchased bread, I personally recommend buying a loaf from Panera, if you have one nearby!
1 loaf of pain de mie, diced
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 sweet onions, finely chopped (leeks make a lovely substitution)
3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves of garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh sage leaves, finely minced
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup of dry white wine
1 bunch of flat leaf parsely, stems removed, finely minced
*1 cup of water
*2 teaspoons “Better Than Bouillon” chicken base
*the water and chicken base may be substituted for chicken broth
Spread bread cubes on a large baking sheet at slide into a 300ºF oven for about 30 minutes to slightly dry out. Stir every 10 minutes. This can be done in advance.
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions (if using leeks, ensure they are thoroughly washed to remove all sand before cutting and adding), celery, and salt. Stir frequently, and cook until vegetables are soft. Add garlic, sage, and black pepper. Stir briefly, and quickly add only half of the wine before the garlic burns. Cook until wine is mostly evaporated, just a couple minutes.
Butter a large baking dish. Whisk chicken base into the 1 cup of water. Add all the contents of the skillet to the baking dish, along with bread cubes, parsley, remaining wine, and water with chicken base. Carefully mix all the ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, add to the baking dish, and thoroughly mix everything together.
Cover with foil, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 20 more minutes. If you prefer more moist stuffing, leave the foil on the whole time.