Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Cottage Cheese Dill Bread
The first bread I ever baked was Dilly Casserole Bread, the winner of the 1960 Pillsbury Bake-Off. (This was back in the day, when contestants actually baked things from scratch instead of using cake mixes).
And when my daughter asked me for an easy bread recipe, I found the Dilly Bread recipe for her, because I knew she'd want something 1) with an interesting flavor and 2) that was dead easy to make. So naturally when I saw this slightly more sophisticated (that is, with 8 times as much butter) version of the original recipe, I wanted to try it.
Still dead easy. In fact, if you use instant yeast (a better invention than sliced bread), it's even easier because you can eliminate the process of proofing the yeast in liquid and can just dump everything in one bowl.
My current recipe, taken from Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland, by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson, uses fresh dill (although you could also use dill seed). The fresh dill gives the bread a cleaner, livelier flavor than the dill seed. Even using 1/4 cup of fresh dill, I could see only traces when I sliced into the bread, but the taste was distinctly there.
The dough takes only about an hour and a half to rise; then it's flattened out, where it rests under a towel for about 20 minutes.
And shaped into a loaf. Maybe if I bake bread for another 20 or 30 years, I'll finally get the knack of making them level. I certainly won't be entering any listing loaves in the State Fair.
Jim asks me why I always want perfection. In turn, I ask him why he doesn't. It's just how marriages work.
I liked the dill taste, although it does limit the number of things this bread is appropriate for. (Breakfast toast with strawberry jam? Maybe not.) We ate it fresh from the oven with slices of cheese and sweet cherries for a mid-afternoon snack. I think it would be a dynamite base for egg-salad sandwiches, and would be good, if unusual, if shaped into dinner rolls. If you don't like dill, of course, you'll just want to move on to the next recipe.
Cottage Cheese Dill Bread
adapted from Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland,
by Beth Dooley and Lucia Watson
1 scant tablespoon instant yeast
1/4 cup (30 g.) warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup (225 grams) small curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking sodea
3 cups (375 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
Mix all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook. Knead for about 8 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth.
Put the dough into a greased bowl and cover loosely with a towel. Let it rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Put the dough on the counter. Stretch into a rectangle and give two business-letter turns. Let rest for 10 minutes. Shape and place into a lightly greased 8- or 9-inch loaf pan, and let rise for another 30 minutes. Put the bread in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 40 minutes. Take the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack to cool.
Posted by Marie at 7:39 PM