So, I know Thanksgiving is over, but this Pull-Apart Dressing turned out too good for me not to post it. I think it would be delicious and complementary with Christmas dinner as well—whether turkey or ham—so if you consider it that way, I’m posting three weeks early! A couple weeks ago, I was inspired by a Fig & Anise Pull-Apart Bread over on Happyolks. It was the first time I had seen layered pull-apart bread, rather than rolls or knots. So I put that in my file of things to try. Then, last week, Two Red Bowls posted Thanksgiving Stuffing Dinner Rolls, inspired by J. Kenji López-Alt over at Serious Eats. And I thought, that’s what I want to do with the layered method! So I whipped up my own tried-and-true sauté of celery, red pepper, mushrooms, and shallots, along with a huge gob of butter and some Herbes de Provence and made a Holiday Pull-Apart Dressing loaf! Though I’ve lived both north and south of the Mason-Dixon line, I decided to give a nod to my Southern roots by calling this Dressing instead of Stuffing. And really, since I didn’t stuff it inside the turkey, doesn’t it make more sense anyway? (Cue indignant huffs here.)
Two Red Bowls had a couple of great tips: 1) Incorporate a roux of stock and flour into the dough to keep it moist and soft (it works!), and 2) Add ¼ cup (about 60 ml) reduced chicken stock, or glace, to the dough. I worked both of these tips into my go-to pull-apart dough recipe to make it more suitable for this savory dish. Instead of making my own glace, I purchased some by Knorr. I don’t know if there’s a product like this available in the States, but for those of you in Europe, Knorr’s Fond “du Chef” sure is a time saver! If you can’t find some to purchase, simmer 1 cup (240 ml) of stock until it’s reduced to ¼ cup (60 ml).
120 ml (1/2 cup) chicken stock
2.5 tablespoons flour
120 ml (1/2 cup) warm milk
1 teaspoon sugar
25 g (.88 oz) fresh yeast
85 g (60 ml or 1/4 cup) chicken glace
120 ml (1/2 cup) additional milk
57 g (1/4 cup) butter, melted
600 g (4 cups) flour
1 large shallot
4 white mushrooms
1/2 of a red pepper
1 stalk celery
57 g (1/4 cup) butter
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Heat 120 ml (1/2 cup) stock until simmering, then sprinkle over 2.5 tablespoons of flour, continuously whisking until a smooth roux, or paste, forms. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle the sugar over the warm milk, and stir in the fresh yeast. Let it sit for about 10 minutes, until foamy. When the yeast mixture is foamy, add the roux, glace, additional milk, egg, and melted butter, and stir until combined. Add the flour about a cup at a time, stirring after each addition. With the last addition of flour, tip contents onto a clean surface, and knead the remainder of the flour in with your hands, until the dough forms a smooth ball. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise about an hour until doubled in size.
Finely chop all the vegetables and melt the butter over med-high heat. Sauté the vegetables in the butter for 7-8 minutes, until softened. Add the Herbes de Provence and sauté for another minute more. Remove from heat.
Tip: If you have extra dough, use a smaller loaf pan or a large cupcake pan for the remaining squares.
Roll the dough out, on a lightly floured surface, into a 45cm x 35cm (18in x 14in) rectangle. Spread the reserved room temperature butter over dough. Spread vegetable sauté evenly over dough. Cut dough into 8cm (3in) strips. Stack strips into an even pile, and cut into squares. Place squares, one pile at a time, vertically into a loaf pan. (For detailed pictures of this process, see Happyolks or The Pioneer Woman.) Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Bake for 20-28 minutes, until golden brown.