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.
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
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!
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