23 November 2008

Thanksgiving Prep, One

Saturday -

Thanksgiving preparation started on Saturday with the bread for the dressing. Along with the white bread I made cornbread for the cornbread dressing (which also has regular bread in it).

From Baking with Julia, the recipe for 'white loaves' is what I have been using for the past few years. It's a straight dough, though I sometimes let it sponge at the beginning, and I always add two tablespoons of vital wheat gluten. The dough is made in the way of a brioche in that the four tablespoons of butter are kneaded in after the initial kneading, resulting in a very smooth, satiny dough. Two loaves are made from this recipe, and that's exactly enough for the amount of bread cubes needed. I can't help but to nibble on the crusts and a few of the bread cubes because this is better than Wonderbread.

Sunday -

What better way to start the day than with buttermilk pancakes and pumpkin syrup? There's no direction, just mix in a 2:1 ratio syrup and pumpkin puree, a tablespoon of butter, and a splash of lemon juice. Heat in the microwave or in a small pot on the stove until simmering. Stir, check to see if it's thoroughly heated, and pour over your pancakes. This would also be great on oatmeal and many other things. I didn't add spices because I like the taste with just the pumpkin and syrup.

From the same cookbook I mentioned above, I used the recipe for 'flaky pie dough', or something like that. It has both butter and shortening, which I like because it has that unbeatable taste only butter can give, and it's flaky due to the shortening.

Since the full recipe makes enough for two double-crust pies, I have to make it by hand because my food processor isn't large enough. I didn't add the full cup of ice water, but I probably should have added two more tablespoons from the remaining 1/4 cup so the finished dough would be more like how it was when I made pumpkin pasties. Not that I didn't add enough water, I just would have liked it a bit more moist. Hm.

I'm planning on making one pumpkin pie and one apple pie, along with a pumpkin roll. I thought about making three dough discs and using the doubled amount for an open-faced apple pie with long pleated edges, but I'll save that for a time when I can experiment.

What kind of pies are you going to make?

Day two of Thanksgiving Prep is over, but it's only going to get busier from here!


  1. i love your posts!

    for thanksgiving, since it's going to be a small affair for us, i've decided to make bars instead of pies. so i'll be making a pecan pie bar and a pumpkin pie bar, which is probably better to package up for leftovers. We'll have some friends over (but not a lot), so hopefully it'll be enough! i'm trying to decide right now whether to go with bars or tarts, since tarts would be more uniform.. :)

  2. Great prep so far!! :-)

    I'm making a pumpkin pie, of course :-)

  3. Yay for thanksgiving prep!
    Glad you like my BSI choice---hope you submit something! Good luck :)

  4. Your bread looks awesome!

  5. Holy cow Chris, you really start the Thanksgiving countdown early. I'm guessing you're doing most of the cooking :) Everything looks great so far, and I think that pumpkin would be great on oatmeal... oh man

  6. Mmmm, pumpkin syrup! i'm making my crusts tomorrow and trucking them home :) hope they turn out ok! the pies are pumpkin chiffon and an autumn galette (apples, pears, cranberries)... can't wait!

    good luck with the rest of the prep, and way to be on top of your game ;-)

  7. You missy are working hard! You are making your own bread for the stuffing! You are too good.

  8. Pearl - Oh, I'd definitely go for tarts. It's a nice way to add a little more elegance to the meal. And it's just cute!

    VeggieGirl - Yes, pumpkin pie is standard (unless, of course, someone doesn't like pumpkin pie...)!

    Amy - I definitely will if I can come up with something!

    Adam - No, I just do most of the prep because I want to. Homemade bread for the stuffing? My idea. I've been making the pies so I just take care of the crust, and other stuff I do because it helps if it's done earlier. My mom and I work together when it comes to putting together most of the dishes.

    It would probably be great in a vanilla shake, too, or warmed milk.

    TTFN - Ooh, a pumpkin chiffon pie sounds stellar! I was looking through my old recipes and saw one for 'pumpkin mousse tart' or something and it sounded really nice. I'll save that for later, though.


    Val - I think it was two years ago when I was slicing regular white bread and thinking how ironic it was that I wouldn't choose to eat it, yet I didn't mind it in stuffing. It doesn't hurt to experiment, so I made the bread one year and everyone liked it better and now I always make bread for stuffing.

  9. Oooh, look at that dough!

    I'm probably going to make a pecan, apple and maybe a chocolate pecan. Maybe a pumpkin roll.
    Ahh! I don't know!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. Your thoughts are appreciated! ^,^


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