Heat oven to 350 F.
In skillet cook bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet and let cool; cut into small bite size pieces. Using small amount of pan drippings from skillet, saute celery and onion until tender. Add dates, garlic and thyme and sautee for 1 to 2 minutes longer. In large bowl mix bacon, rice and date mixture together with croutons. Add enough broth/stock to mixture to make sure the stuffing is moist. Place in buttered dish and bake until stuffing is done in the center but crisp on top.