Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jan’s Dilly Bread Recipe

Jan’s Dilly Bread

This is a lovely old recipe from Jan, a church friend of ours when I was growing up. Jan and her husband Bob (who happened to be the physician that removed my tonsils in 1985) had the most exquisitely darling children, not the least of whom is Kristen, whom I actually looked into adopting when I was around fifteen because I loved the little blond darling so much. The judge didn’t go for it, and even if he had, I think Jan and her husband Bob would have strenuously objected. (Name that movie.) I made Jan’s Dilly Bread over the weekend and loved it. It’s a cinch to make, has a great texture and the delicious flavor of dill seed, and—brace yourself if the following phrase causes you to recoil (but the fact that the phrase is “following” means you haven’t even read it yet, so you don’t know what to brace yourself against.)—cottage cheese. But in the finished product I promise you can’t see so much as one single curd.

Oh, man. If you hate cottage cheese, I can actually hear you screaming as you run from your computer. I realize this is your idea of purgatory. But trust me. It works. We need the cottage cheese to be on the warm side of lukewarm, so stick it in a small saucepan over very low heat for just a minute or two. Doesn’t need to be hot! Just nice and warm for the yeast.

Meanwhile, dissolve some yeast in warm water. Again, not so warm that it’ll kill the yeast…but warm enough to make the yeast happy.

Back to the cottage cheese: add in some sugar…

Softened butter…

Baking soda and salt…

And some dill seed, and while we’re on the subject: how good is dill seed in bread? Oh my goodness. To die for. Jan’s recipe also calls for minced dried onions, but I omitted them because I’m a rebel without a cause.
Actually, I just didn’t have any minced dried onions in the house.

Finally, add in a couple of eggs.

Stir it all around…

Then pour in the yeast/water mixture and stir it gently.

Finally, stir in the flour in batches…

Until totally combined. After that, you’ll want to cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep it in a relatively warm place until doubled in bulk, about an hour and a half or so. (If it appears the dough isn’t rising, set it on a warm pan.)
Punch down the dough, then place it in a generously greased round baking dish. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let it rise again for about 45 minutes.
Bake the bread in a preheated 350 degree oven and brush with melted butter.
Oh, and I don’t have photos of the rising and punching and transferring because I’m a rebel without a cause.
Actually, I just forgot to take the photos. Happens.


I like the round shape of the loaf, because you can easily cut it into wedges.

And of course, butter is always required. One note: I wound up baking the bread in the upper half of the oven, and I noticed that the dill seeds got a little too brown. For this reason, I’d recommend baking in the lower half of the oven.
Tastes delicious, great texture, super easy to throw together. A winning combo. Thank you, Jan!
Here’s the printable:

Recipe: Jan’s Dilly Bread

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  • 1 package (2 1/4 Teaspoons) Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/4 cup Warm Water
  • 1 cup Cottage Cheese, Heated To Lukewarm
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Dried Onion
  • 1 Tablespoon Softened Butter
  • 2 teaspoons Dill Seed
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 whole Egg
  • 2-1/4 cups Flour (more If Needed)

Preparation Instructions

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Combine warm cottage cheese, sugar, minced onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda, and egg. Stir to combine.
Stir in yeast mixture gently, then add flour gradually, stirring gently.
Cover dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until double in bulk. Punch down dough, then turn into a well-buttered round baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 more minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake bread in lower half of the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Brush top with melted butter after baking. Serve warm with butter!


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