Thursday, November 7, 2013

Thanksgiving Stuffing with Turnip and Bacon

What do you do when life hands you a loaf of dry bread?  Make stuffing!
That is just what happened last weekend.  After a bread-baking fest last Friday, one of our loaves turned out just dry enough that it was not fit for sandwiches or soup. 

It was my first loaf of bread baked with organic Einkorn wheat flour.  This ancient wheat grain is unlike the wheat in today's market.  It has never been hybridized, and for that reason is radically different than today's wheat:  it is kind to the gut.  In fact many people with wheat or gluten intolerances can consume Einkorn wheat with no adverse reaction whatsoever.  This makes it an extremely digestible, gut-friendly choice for bread or stuffing.

For more information on Einkorn wheat, you can read this article by Sarah at the Healthy Home Economist:

We measured, proofed, kneaded, proofed and baked, according to the recipe on the bag. 

But, it wasn't meant to be.  This crusty loaf was officially deemed a "lesson learned". 
My husband, ever quick on his feet, instantly suggested we make stuffing out of the bread.  I thought, "I have never made stuffing from a loaf of bread before."  I had always bought the bag, followed the directions on the bag, and not given stuffing much thought.  It couldn't be that hard, could it? 

Now, the norm in our home is to work with what we have on hand, and last weekend was no different.  We did not have sage or celery in the house, but we had a turnip and some other herbs.  Those could work.  Oh, and we just happened to be cooking some pastured bacon at that moment.  Lucky us!  We could use bacon grease instead of butter, and then chop up some bacon and fold it into the stuffing.
So, we used bacon grease, turnip, onion, garlic and herb seasoning in the stuffing.  It was amazing!  The turnip added moisture and crispness without too much flavor.  The bread absorbed all the liquid and was moist.  And, well, bacon makes everything better.  It was so good, we plan on making it again for Thanksgiving.

Recipe:  Stuffing with Turnip and Bacon

5 cups of cubed bread (if prepared without herbs, add herbs to the stuffing)
1/4 lb of pastured, uncured bacon (free of nitrites and nitrates)
1 cup broth or water
2 tablespoons bacon grease (we probably used more to be honest!)
1/2 turnip, chopped finely
1 small onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 cup suggested herb mix: sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, marjoram, fennel, coriander, bay leaf **Note: use just 2 tablespoons if your bread was baked with herbs
1/4 cup toasted chopped hickory nuts (totally optional -- we happened to have some from our friends' tree)
Salt and pepper to taste

1.  Cook bacon, reserving the oil.  In an 8-quart sauce pan, sauté the turnip, onion and garlic in the bacon grease until very soft.
2.  Stir in the herbs.
3.  Add water and bread cubes and stir together.
4.  Simmer for 5 - 10 minutes on warm/low to let the bread steam and completely soften.

This recipe was posted on the Food Renegade Fight Back Fridays for Nov 8, 2013.

Enjoy!  Let me know if you end up using the recipe!

-- Two Peas


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  2. This looks amazing! I just attempted to bake my first loaf of bread using einkorn flour, and had similar results to yours. Before you made the stuffing, did you do anything to dry out the bread further, or was it fine just cubing it and tossing it in? Also - have you had any better success with making einkorn bread since? If so I'd love any tips! Thank you!!!

    1. Hello Memories! Thank you for visiting! No, I did not dry the bread before making the stuffing and it was easily cubed and turned into a delicious, moist stuffing. I haven't made bread with einkorn since, so next time I do, I'll let you know how it goes. Let me know if you have a better turn-out, also! Thanks!


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