Friday, February 20, 2015

Dilly Bread

This bread was an extremely popular one in 60's.  Every mother was making it; it was all the rage.  It was a Pillsbury Bake-Off winner which catapulted it into millions of American homes.  Mine was one of those homes.  My mother made it all the time. She let me make it with her and it has remained one of my favorites.

The ingredients are easy to assemble:  yeast, cottage cheese, flour, sugar, butter, dill weed, egg, instant dried onion, baking soda, and salt.

It's a yeast bread

and a batter bread; so you don't have to knead it.

I love that it has cottage cheese in it.  I was one of those children who loved cottage cheese.

Once mixed up you'll have a heavy batter.  Cover the mixing bowl and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour.  

Stir down the batter and spoon it into a greased 1-1/2  to 2 quart casserole

Cover with wax paper and let rise until the batter doubles; about 45 minutes. I put mine in a non-heated oven because Lovey and I keep our house pretty cool in the winter.

When doubled, remove the wax paper and bake in oven preheated to 350°F for about 40 - 45 minutes.   My mother always made it in a small, round, enameled Dutch oven exactly like this one. 

I love that the minute the bread comes out of the oven it's finished off by brushing the top of the loaf with melted butter then sprinkled with salt.  

This is absolutely the best bread to serve with soups and stews.  Simply sliced and buttered, or

use it to make a grilled cheese sandwich.  Mmmmmm.

  Dilly Bread
Yield 1 loaf
Adapted from my mother's adaptation of the Pillsbury Bake-Off Recipe

1 cup small curd cottage cheese, room temp
1 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 - 3 Tbsp. dried minced onion
2 Tbsp. fresh or 1 Tbsp. dried dill weed **
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, room temp
1 pkg. active dry yeast
2-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. butter, melted
coarse Kosher salt

Mise en place:
  • measure cottage cheese and 1 Tbsp. butter into small saucepan
  • measure sugar, onion, dill, 1 tsp. salt, baking soda, eggs, and yeast into a large mixing bowl
  • Measure out flour
  • melt the 1/2 tsp. butter and set aside with Kosher salt
  • generously grease a 1-1/2 to 2 quart casserole
In a small saucepan, heat the cottage cheese and 1 Tbsp. of the butter until warm to the touch (110° to 120°F).  Turn the cottage cheese into the mixing bowl with the next 7 measured out ingredients.  Stir until mixed.

Add the flour 1/2 cup at a time to make a stiff batter, beating well after each addition with a wooden spoon, if by hand, or with a mixer using the flat paddle.  This is a heavy batter, not a dough, and will not be kneaded.

Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about one hour.  Remove the plastic wrap and stir down the batter with 20 strong strokes.  Spoon the batter into a generously greased 1-1/2 to 2 quart casserole.

Cover with wax paper and leave until the batter doubles in volume, about 45 minutes.  Keep the wax paper from touching the expanding batter or it may collapse when the paper is pulled away.

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Bake the loaf until it is deep brown and crusty, around 40 - 45 minutes.  A wooden skewer inserted in the center should come out clean and dry when the bread is done.  If moist particles cling to the probe, return the loaf to the oven for an additional 5 - 10 minutes.  Cover with foil if needed to prevent excessive browning.

Remove the bread from the oven and immediately brush with the 1/2 tsp. melted butter.  Sprinkle salt lightly over the crust.  allow the bread to cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the casserole and placing it on a metal rack to cool.

**The original recipe called for 2 tsp. dill seed.  I used dill seed for years, then when dill weed became regularly available in the markets I started playing around with using fresh dill weed.  It's wonderful either way so the choice is up to you.

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