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Home Grown Recipes
Vegetarian Bread Bird
Are you looking for an affordable alternative to turkey on your vegetarian holiday table? This is it. Bread dough wrapped around a delicious stuffing fashioned into the shape of a turkey. It is sure to be the highlight of your next vegetarian feast!
Stuffing (can be prepared ahead of time):
1 cup cooked rice, any kind
two slices of old fashioned rye bread, crumbled
4 slices Italian style white bread, cut in cubes
1 small zucchini grated
1 medium carrot, peeled and then grated
1 medium onion chopped
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp rubbed sage
2 Tbsps dried parsley
1 tsp ground thyme
2 eggs beaten in 1 cup of water

Bread dough:
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp dry yeast (instant kind)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup hot tap water
2 Tbsps oil
1 egg, beaten
1 cup soy milk, or regular milk
Put rice, breads, zucchini and carrot in a large bowl. Add seasonings. Heat butter at a medium heat and cook onions until soft. Put onions in with the bread mixture and blend in well. Slowly add the egg mixture and blend in to make a light mixture, not too wet. Set aside.

Put 3 cups of flour and salt in a bowl, mix well. Make a well in the flour mixture and put in yeast and sugar. Gently pour in the hot water, being careful to not disturb the flour too much. Let sit 15 minutes until frothy.

Add oil, egg and milk to the bowl and blend everything together. When mixed, add the remaining flour slowly to make a firm dough. If 5 cups of flour isn't enough, add more as necessary. Knead for about ten minutes and then let rest.

At this point, you can cut the dough in half and roll it into two 12 by 12 squares. Put half of the stuffing on each square and then pull up two sides and seal together in the middle to form a roll. Gently pull up the ends and fold them over to form a loaf shape. Invert into two loaf pans and let rise at least 30 minutes before baking. Puncture top 3 or 4 times to let out steam. This can be done with a turkey shaped cookie cutter for a fancy effect.

Bake in an oven preheated to 350 deg Fahrenheit. To glaze it, you can brush with an egg white blended with 1 Tbsp water.

Shaping a turkey loaf:
Grease a 9 X 11 baking pan. Cut bread dough in half. Set one half aside. Cut the second half into thirds. Place two of the thirds aside. Cut the last third in half.

Roll the full half of bread dough into a large circle, at least 12 inches in diameter. Put 3/4 of the stuffing mixture on this circle and then pull the edges into the centre, sealing it well. Invert this loaf into the 9 X 11 pan, putting it as close to one end as possible.

Roll each of the two "thirds" of the dough into rough triangle shapes that have a long point at the bottom and a slightly rounded flat top. Use two carrot sticks or sweet potato sticks to firm up the "bone" part while rising. Place these about an inch from the lower point of the triangle. Divide the remaining quarter of the stuffing between each triangle, placing it equally between the two upper points.

Pull in the edges of the dough to the centre of the stuffing, sealing it so no stuffing can be seen. Pull in the edges around the long bone until you reach the end. Seal all seams well as you go. Roll up the end of the dough over the bone to make a "knob". Seal this to the drumstick. Play with it until it looks to be the right shape. Repeat with the second drumstick. Using water. Seal the drumsticks, faceing backwards, to the body of the bird. Place a rolled piece of foil under the ends of the bones and have them meet in the middle of the end of the pan. Adjust so they look authentic.

With the final two pieces of dough, form wings. They will be long sausage shapes that come to a point at one end. Bend them back against themselves and then seal to the body loaf with water, making sure the points seal well and don't pull too far from the bird.

Let rise 30 minutes, any longer and it won't look like a turkey anymore. Preheat oven to 350 deg Fahrenheit. Use a skewer to poke holes over the "breast" area to look like pores. Adjust the shape of the legs and wings. Using a sharp knife, cut the back portion of the loaf open, between the drumsticks, to allow stuffing to peek out. Glaze if desired with egg yolk. Soya sauce or maggi can be used in the glaze to "brown" the turkey if desired.

Bake for 45 mins to an hour, until the dough is browning and the stuffing is hot.

Let sit for 10 minutes then carve and serve with veggie gravy.

Serves 10 to 12 people.

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