Most stuffing recipes made with squishy sliced white bread and the usual celery-onion-pork combo end up resembling, at best, sausage-flavored paste. Here, the bread cubes stay crispy on top, and the vegetables give the stuffing a great flavor.
What to buy: Because the base of this stuffing is the bread, make sure you buy a loaf with good flavor and a crispy crust. Avoid mass-produced French bread that is overly soft or spongy, as it will get mushy. If you can’t find suitable French bread, a good substitute is ciabatta or other crusty Italian bread.
Game plan: This stuffing can be completely made ahead. Cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. Rewarm uncovered in a 350°F oven for about 30 minutes.
1 loaf sweet batard (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and cut into quarters
1 medium celery root, also known as celeriac (about 1 pound)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for coating the dish
1 medium yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups mushroom broth
Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with butter; set aside.
Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and toast until dry and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and transfer to a large bowl; set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring rarely, until browned, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl with the bread cubes; set aside.
Using a vegetable peeler, peel celery root and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. (Peel and cut the celery root at the last minute, because it will oxidize when exposed to air.) Return the frying pan to medium heat and add butter and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. When butter has melted, add celery root, onion, sage, and thyme and season generously with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion just begins to soften, about 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer vegetables to the bowl of bread cubes and mushrooms.
Evenly drizzle wine around the bowl, add egg, and stir to evenly coat bread cubes and vegetables. Drizzle half of the mushroom broth over the mixture and stir to evenly combine. Drizzle in the remaining broth and stir until all bread cubes are evenly moistened. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
Transfer stuffing to the prepared baking dish, slightly compacting it. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake until bread cubes on top are crispy and browned, about 30 minutes more.