Add the flour, cornmeal, yeast, sugar, celery salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and onion powder in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water, melted butter, and eggs.
Stir to combine, then knead for five to seven minutes or until the dough is soft, springy, and no longer sticky.
Transfer the dough to a large, lightly greased bowl, cover with a piece of plastic wrap or a clean dish towel and set aside in a warm spot for one and a half to two hours or until doubled in size.
Lightly grease two nine-by-five-inch loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray. Punch the risen dough, turn it onto a work surface, and divide it in half. Press each half of the dough into a rough rectangle approximately nine inches wide. Roll the dough up into a log with the nine-inch side towards you and pinch the seam closed. Transfer each dough log to a prepared pan and loosely cover it with a clean dish towel. Place the dough back into the warm spot for one hour or until it rises about one inch over the top of the pan.
Heat your oven to 350°F. Bake the risen loaves for 35 to 40 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 190°F, tenting with aluminum foil if the tops are browning too much.
Allow the loaves to cool in the pan for five minutes, then turn them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
TIP: This loaf is perfect for making into stuffing (my family’s favourite recipe follows) or even slicing and using for leftover turkey sandwiches the day after a big holiday feast!
The night before, you plan on preparing the stuffing, slice the bread, and pick it into small bite-sized pieces. Spread into one layer on a sheet pan or two and leave out on the counter overnight to stale.
To prepare the stuffing, lightly grease a nine-by-13-inch casserole dish with non-stick cooking spray. Melt the butter in a large pan over medium-low heat and add onion and celery—season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for eight to 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and very lightly golden around the edges. Meanwhile, add the stale bread into a large bowl along with the sage. When the vegetables are tender, scrape into the bread bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, if adding meat to your stuffing, place the pan back onto the heat and turn it to medium. For the sausage, remove the casings, add the meat to the pan, and break it up into crumbles with the back of a spoon. Cook until golden and cooked through. If using bacon, chop it into bite-sized pieces and cook it until crisp. Add the meat into the bowl with the bread mixture and allow to cool slightly.
Beat the egg and chicken broth together and pour over the bread mixture, stirring well to combine. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish and spread into an even layer, being careful not to press the mixture down too much as that will give you a very dense stuffing.
You can bake the stuffing immediately or cover the pan with plastic and store it in the fridge for up to 1 day.
To bake the stuffing, heat your oven to 350°F. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden and crisp. If you make a big holiday feast and your oven pulls double duty, you can bake this stuffing between 325°F and 425°F. Still, the timing will need to be adjusted, more for a lower temperature and less for a higher.