Saturday, June 23, 2012

Family Dill Bread

And now to return to our regularly scheduled programming. One of the other treats I made for my mom and dad was our family-favorite dill bread. This is actually the first bread I ever learned to make; my mom taught me when I was still quite young. I loved cooking with her. She always let me lick the bowls -- and oh, I still have yet to meet a dough or batter that I don't love. It is also the most addictively delicious bread I've ever had.

Cottage cheese dill bread
1 packet yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm (lukewarm) water
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon minced onion
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons dill
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg

Set aside 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on how quickly you work. Pre-heat oven to 350.
1. First, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon of sugar in lukewarm water. Stir, then let sit for about 5 minutes or until bubbly.
2. Melt butter in small saucepan, add cottage cheese, minced onion, 1 tablespoon sugar, dill, baking soda, and salt. Mix. Heat until a little bubbly/somewhat warm.
3. Beat egg in a large bowl. Mix in bubbly yeast mixture, then slowly integrate cottage cheese mixture. Be gentle.
4. Add flour, mixing until dough starts to pull away from sides/is malleable. Knead additional flour in until dough is no longer sticky.
5. Place in greased bowl (I use olive oil to grease). Let rise in a warm place for an hour or until doubled.
6. Punch down, put in greased bread pan. Let rise another 30 minutes or until just crowning the bread pan.

Cottage cheese dill bread
Cottage cheese dill bread

7. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
8. Eat, eat, eat!

As there are a fair number of ingredients, I like to collect and cluster them together before baking. So, I put 1 tablespoon of sugar into a little bowl and put it by the yeast. Likewise, I put the other sugar, onion, dill, salt, baking soda in another little bowl.

Since this is a yeast bread, the best thing you can do for yourself when making this recipe is to keep your hands clean. Yeast is pretty sensitive to heat, so you want to be constantly testing the temperature of the cottage cheese mix, and you want to make sure your water is just a shade north of lukewarm.

You must, must make this bread. I make it for almost every potluck I go to, and it is always highly requested. Trust me. It is succulent, flavorful, and just generally perfect in every delicious way.

Ease: 5-8 depending on your yeast comfort level
Taste: 10
Comfort: 10

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