26 December 2016

Cornbread for stuffing (or "dressing")

The first step in making cornbread stuffing, as a stuffing or side dish for a roasted bird or pork roast, is to make cornbread. In the U.S. of course, you can buy ready-made mixes or bags of cubed cornbread, so you don't need to bother. But your own bread is always better. It's simple.

This recipe is in U.S. cups, and a cup is 8 fluid ounces. A set of measuring cups is a handy tool to have.

Cornbread for stuffing

1 cup fine cornmeal
¾ cup quick-cooking polenta
2 or 3 Tbsp. plain flour (optional)
1½ tsp. baking soda or powder
1 cup plain yogurt (or buttermilk)
½ cup milk (or more for consistency)
1 egg, beaten

Mix all ingredients together to make a fairly stiff dough. Add more milk to thin if you want. Pour (or spread) the dough into a generously oiled and heated baking dish. Bake at 425ºF (220ºC) for 25 to 30 minutes.until brown.

Let the dense cornbread this recipe produces cool and dry for 24 hours and then cut it into small cubes — say half an inch or 2 cm. For extra flavor, spead the cubes out on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven for a few minutes before mixing them with the other stuffing ingredients.

The range of ingredients you can use in the stuffing is, well, endless. Sauteed mushrooms and onions; bell peppers; cooked sausage meat, pork lardons, or poultry; cranberries or raisins; pecans, walnuts, or pistachio nut; herbs. I posted a list of ingredient ideas yesterday.

After you've tossed the cubed cornbread (or white bread, which works just as well but gives a different taste and texture), moisten the stuffing with hot broth or water. Add in a few tablespoons of melted butter or duck fat, for example, or some olive or other oil. Finally, stir in two beaten eggs to bind everything together.

My stuffing had enough liquid in it so that you could see it just below the surface of the bread cubes. That was okay — it all boiled away as it baked in a hot oven for 30 to 45 minutes, until browned. To serve the stuffing or dressing, you can spoon it out of the dish, or you can try to slice it. It's easier to slice once it has completely cooled down.


  1. How did the dried cranberries do in the dressing? I've never put any in mine, but bet they would be pretty good. Longer days are here again. We have the best Christmas weather possible this year- in the 70s and no rain yet.

    1. I put them in mine, Evelyn, and it's mighty good :)

    2. Ours were dried cranberries that Walt soaked overnight in water. They are really good in the stuffing, and also good as cranberry sauce made with a whole orange (peel and all), some sugar -- and not cooked.

  2. I would like this for breakfast please :)

    1. Without the sausage meat and chicken liver, I assume. Or do you mean just the cornbread?

  3. I don't remember seeing cornbread in stuffing growing up in Texas - it must be a southeastern thing. It looks delicious, and I'm sure it's very tasty. Our version was light and dark bread (usually pumpernickel) with various additions.

  4. Maybe Texas is too dry, overall, for growing corn. Aren't the local tortillas made from wheat flour?

  5. Maybe Texas is too dry, overall, for growing corn. Aren't the local tortillas made from wheat flour?

    1. Yes, flour tortillas are the norm there.


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