Originally posted on November 28, 2012 at 12:00 AM
As we’ve been using home baked bread almost exclusively of late when it came to stuffing the turkey this year I was presented with something of a dilemma. Did it make a lot of sense to create dough, rise that a couple of times, bake it only to tear it up and sog it with broth to render it as stuffing? I wondered if I could just stuff with the raw dough and be done with it but several visits to the internet with every query combination I could think of rendered not one reference to stuffing a bird with uncooked dough.
I agonized over this for some time wanting especially to avoid the mouthful of dough sensation you get when biting into a piece of half baked bread (such as during an oven failure.) I did recall though how once upon a time when I had no oven at all, only a trash burner stove on which to cook, I made some excellent steamed loaves which sliced and tasted pretty much like baked bread.
I made my decision late Wednesday afternoon and that evening began turkey preparations.
I used essentially the recipe given in a recent blog entry but I had a 2-cup can of chicken broth to use as liquid so I began with that and 2.5 cups of white flour, the sugar, salt, oil and yeast; plus a couple teaspoons of powdered sage. When that foamed I began adding a home ground whole grain flour of about one part barley to three parts wheat, adding about 2.5 cups before I had a dough I wanted to work with, perhaps a little softer than what I generally use for bread.
I let this rise, punched it down and formed it into a thin, flat sheet rather like pizza dough then began folding in 2-cups chopped onion, ½-cup sliced mushroom, 1/2 –cup grated cheddar and finally the turkey giblets. I divided this into one quantity about 2/3 of the dough and the other the remaining 1/3, stuffing the smaller amount in the neck of the turkey and the larger in the tail area. I closed the legs of the turkey as usual and let it sit in a cool place until early Thursday morning when I put it in to bake at 350 F.
I had a problem with dough continuing to rise out of the cavity and mushrooming atop the bird. Though I repeatedly pushed it down and in I ended up with some overdone stuffing exterior to the turkey, which was excellent as dog treats but not for much else. I’d say next time I’ll be a little more conservative about the amount I stuff in the bird. The dressing which stayed inside was moist, tasty and gave no hint of being unbaked. Now that I know it will work I’d have no hesitation doing this again next year.