Dilly Bread


Dilly bread and fresh homemade butter.

Dilly bread is a hearty, old-fashioned bread that is traditionally baked in a pan or a big cast iron skillet. It’s a yeast bread that almost feels like a quick bread, fragrant with the dill seed but a little sweet at the same time with the sugar and butter. The cheese lends an added richness and pioneer substance. This is a bread the farmer wants to find on the table steaming in a cloth-covered basket after a hard day of work.

I baked it in a loaf pan, just to be ornery, making regular bread slices instead of cornbread-style squares. It works just fine that way, too. This recipe was sent to me by one of my readers here, Jennifer Sue Elkins. It was her grandmother’s dilly bread recipe. I baked this yesterday during my day of being Jane. (See what I’m talking about here.)

The recipe calls for creamed cottage cheese. I’m not sure exactly what that is or how it does or doesn’t differ from what we just call cottage cheese today, which has a bit of cream to it. I had some homemade lactic cheese in the fridge, so I went with that. Lactic cheese is a versatile and easy soft cheese. Let it hang a long time and it’s a bit like a ricotta. I use it in lasagna and other similar recipes. Don’t let it hang so long and it’s creamier. I use it for dips and cheesecakes, etc. You can find the lactic cheese recipe I make in this post. To use in this recipe, I took a cup of lactic cheese, adding a bit of light cream to make what I thought would be a good substitute for creamed cottage cheese.

I think any similar type of soft cheese would work just fine in this recipe.

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How to make Mamaw Morgan’s Dilly Bread:

1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon yeast
1 cup creamed cottage cheese, heated to lukewarm
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried minced onion
1 tablespoon butter, softened
2 teaspoons dill seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
2 1/4 to 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Soften yeast in warm water. Add cottage cheese, sugar, onion, butter, dill seed, salt, baking soda, and egg.

Beat to combine. Add flour gradually; beat. When dough is too stiff to use the electric mixer, stir in remaining flour with a sturdy spoon. I only used 2 1/4 cups of the flour, not 2 1/2. Knead lightly and transfer to a greased bowl. Let rise till doubled.

Punch down dough and place in a greased loaf pan. Let rise again. Bake at 350-degrees for 40-50 minutes or until browned. Brush with butter and sprinkle with salt. (I used coarse salt on top.)

Perfect. Call the farmer to the table!

See this recipe at Farm Bell Recipes and save it to your recipe box.

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  1. knancy says:

    I made this bread a lot in the late 60’s early 70’s. I always made it in a round glass casserole dish. I also used dill weed instead of seed. Caraway seed would be great, too. Pioneer Woman featured this in mid January of this year and in the comments there was a link to Time Magazine showing it as the $25,000 winner in the Pillsbury Bake Off in 1960. Retro bread! I’d dig out my tie dye , but don’t have to because I bought all new hand done tie dye summer before last! Good to know I’ve lived long enough to see history repeat itself! Funny to see it written, “like my grandmother used to make’. Well, here I am still wearing tie dye but not a Grandma. One of easiest and tastiest breads I made.

  2. Karen Anne says:

    creamed = to mash

  3. B. Ruth says:

    This is good bread….I got the recipe in the 60’s from the Pillsbury Bake Off. Usually featured in the newspapers like other contest recipes of the times. It was the bread to make and I remember the recipe spread like wildfire thru churches, room mothers, womens clubs, etc…
    My recipe called for a Poppy seed topping and always baked in a loaf pan…I used dill weed as well as dill seeds…Our local Dairy sold creamed cottage cheese..It was just wetter and the curds weren’t as large..
    The rave then was to use it with a dinner of spagetti and salsd..
    Later years, we always just made garlic toast…funny how things change!

  4. Deb says:

    YUM :chef: does this look good – I have Friday off and now I know what I will be doing while I quilt. THANKS! :snoopy:

  5. Ramona says:

    Call it yummy sounding to me!

  6. Sundownr says:

    “Electric Bread” has fabulous bread machine version called “Cottage Dill” that uses regular cottage cheese, and both dill weed & seed. It’s one our favorite machine breads, and it makes the house smell so good too!

  7. knancy says:

    The “regular” cottage cheese we buy in the stores today is creamed cottage cheese. It is simply cottage cheese with cream/milk added back into it. Dry cottage cheese is not found so readily now. The recipe for home made cheese using vinegar in the milk and heating is your basic cottage cheese. Suzanne’s choice in her cheese for this was right on the mark as she adapted her cheese from the original vinegar recipe for higher return on the product. :pinkbunny:

  8. bonita del rey says:

    My recipe for this bread comes from Beard on Bread © 1973 Knopf. This was the first bread I ever made on my own. I’d never even seen bread made. I was very, very proud when it came out. Oh and yes, it was made in a round casserole as others have mentioned Back then cottage cheese came in creamed curd and dry curd. Now it seems to come in small curd and large curd. It all seems creamed to me.

  9. Whaledancer says:

    There’s a wonderful old USDA booklet with detailed instructions for making cottage cheese at home, available as a PDF file at https://agnic.msu.edu/hgpubs/modus/morefile/hg129_77.pdf

    It explains that creamed cottage cheese is simply cottage cheese with cream added, since cottage cheese is made with skim milk. The cottage cheese you buy is creamed cottage cheese, unless it’s fat-free.

  10. Lindsay says:

    This looks soooo good! I’ve been having a bit of a love affair with dill, I wish I could try this one (our oven crapped out lol). For now I’ll just imagine the smell :hungry:

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