Friday, October 21, 2011

Foodie Fridays: Cottage Cheese Dill Casserole Bread

From Chiriquí Chatter

Yesterday we had our first real taste of cold weather.  It was blustery, chilly, and overcast -- just the sort of day that makes me want to bake some bread.  There is something about bread baking that makes a house feel warm and cosy, safe and secure from the unpleasant weather buffeting about outside.  As it has been a while since I last baked bread, I decided to ease back in to the routine by making a relatively easy recipe.  Casserole breads are easy because they require no kneading, and Cottage Cheese Dill Casserole Bread is an old favorite.  If you are really careful you can even get away with not touching the dough at all -- just stir with a spoon and then transfer the dough to a casserole dish with an oiled spatula and spoon -- but somehow I can't resist getting my hands into that sticky dough.  It just doesn't feel like bread baking to me unless that yeasty, sticky mixture is all over my fingers!  This bread should be eaten warm for best results, preferably with a little butter, but even eaten cold the next day that fragrantly dilly slice is still tasty.

Cottage Cheese Dill Casserole Bread

1 package active dry yeast
2 T. sugar
1/4 C. warm water
2 1/2 C. flour
2 T. minced fresh onion
1 1/2 tsp. dried dill
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 large egg
1 T. unsalted butter, melted
1 C. cottage cheese, warmed to lukewarm

Stir yeast and 1 tsp. sugar into the water and let stand until foamy.  Combine flour, remaining sugar, onion, dill, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.  Add egg, butter, cottage cheese, and yeast mixture.  Stir to form a soft dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour, then stir dough down.  Transfer to a greased 1 1/2 quart casserole.  Cover and let rise again until doubled, about 40 minutes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until well browned.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then loosen from sides of casserole and transfer to wire rack.  Serve warm.

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