Baking at Thanksgiving. It’s a big deal to some people and a late afternoon stop at the grocery for others. Perhaps because often folks are cooks OR they’re bakers and rarely both. The pumpkin pie may have all the memories the turkey never garnered and the homemade yeast rolls and butter just might be why your grandson shows up. On the other hand, it could be all about the dressing, gravy or even the ham at your house where no one looks twice at dessert. I once brought turkey and dressing to a summer potluck, where a close friend refused to eat a bite. When I asked why, she said, “You didn’t make gravy. I don’t eat dressing without gravy.” She truly had some serious food traditions and it’s not unusual. Listen to your friends and family talk about Thanksgiving and you’ll see.
At our house, my own grandson walks in the door nearly each time he comes and says,
Grandma, do you have any bread?
My mom was a baker and my sisters and my daughter are, too–as was my brother. Left–in Hawaii on our Hawaiian cruise 10 years ago. No baking done there!
When I ask my son what he wants for Thanksgiving dinner, he says, “Spinach soufflé and pumpkin pie. I’ll be good if there’s pumpkin pie.” Maybe it just boils down to (good pun, huh?) you have to have whatever it’s not Thanksgiving without.
And that’s kind of how it goes. My daughter needs pumpkin pie for breakfast and I hear that a lot. The leftovers are IT, whether they’re a turkey sandwich on white with mayo or that jelled pumpkin pie that has pulled away from the crust and can be eaten cold right out of your hand while still piled high with whipped cream.
Below: my favorite three people in the world and the best reasons I bake
There are, however, so many great things to bake besides pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving that I hesitate even to mention things like….
…but I will. Have fun looking through my own More time Thanksgiving baking favorites. When I saw other websites with helpful pages, I included them. This post ends with a whole list of great resources to peruse. Happy Thanksgiving making and baking!
Favorite More Time DESSERTS:
GOT KIDS?? The individual desserts below are great for the kids to do–they’re microwaved one at a time in ramekins. Best fresh, they could be done a day ahead and refrigerated. (Fast Kiwi Tarts, Pumpkin Custards, and Berry Cheesecakes). Adult supervision necessary, as always. These are from the blog unless otherwise noted.
above: Individual Fast Kiwi Tart has a skinny, store-bought ginger cookie at the bottom for a “crust”
More Time at the Table Basic Pie Instruction: Pie 101-(Rhubarb is the pie used for the main lesson, which gives details on making crust and includes links to several More Time pies.)
More Time at the Table Pumpkin Pie 101- (No freezing. Can make whole pie one day ahead and refrigerate. Crusts can be made early and frozen; see above information.)
More Time Derby Pie (pecan/chocolate/bourbon)
Microwaved Individual Pumpkin Custards (from my blog dinnerplace.blogspot.com)
above: More Time’s Kathy’s Apple Pie
MAKE AHEAD/MAKE FRESH BREAD, MUFFINS, BISCUITS, AND ROLLS
The rule of thumb for keeping sweet breads such as pumpkin or banana bread is 2 days on the counter, 1 week in the fridge, and 2 months in the freezer–well-wrapped. If you live in a warm or humid climate, skip the counter, and refrigerate or freeze immediately after cooling. Dinner rolls (yeast rolls) can be made a day or two ahead and stored at room temperature or frozen for 1 month–well-wrapped. Even better is to make the dough, shape the rolls without a first rise or just a brief one, and freeze, tightly wrapped, for no more than a month. Take out, thaw in fridge overnight, and bake “fresh.” Making biscuits? Mix the dry ingredients on Wednesday, cut in the dough, add the milk, and cut them out to bake them on Thursday. I don’t think a do-ahead on biscuits works well; they’re meant to be ultra-fresh. In a pinch you could make them a day ahead and re-heat.
For my crescent rolls (below), I use an old, time-honored Betty Crocker recipe from a wedding gift cookbook circa 1974; it’s much like this one.
More Time’s Easy Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls (Dough made in bread machine, rolls hand-formed and baked in oven.)
Cornbread is a staple for lots of dressings and, with a little help, it’s easily gluten free.
NEED MORE INFO? CHECK OUT BAKING WITH THE EXPERTS:
The Complete Guide to Thanksgiving Baking by King Arthur Flour-includes some GF options
Thanksgiving Breads from Food and Wine
Lost Pies of the South by Nancie McDermott in November, 2017 SOUTHERN LIVING
Give baking thanks and enjoy each moment,