The night before cooking, spread all the bread out in a single layer on sheet pans or towels and allow to dry out overnight.
The next morning, in a large bowl, break the bread into coarse 1-1/2 inch pieces.
Cut the sage leaves into thin stripps. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat, making sure not to burn it. Add the celery, onions and apple and cook over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the stock or water. Increase the heat to moderate and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 3 minutes.
Pour the mixture over the bread. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add the leaves to the bread mixture. Add the sage to the bread mixture. Add the raisins, salt and pepper, and mix well.
Either stuff a 14-16 lbs turkey with the mixture and roast immediatly, or put the misture in a large roasting pan and cover with foil. If baking seperatly, bake the stuffing in a 375 deg oven, covered for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake for another 30 min and serve alongside roast turkey.Servings: 8