Right off, I have to admit we cheated a bit. Our Cottage Dill Bread, which left our house smelling like pickles all day yesterday, was produced mostly in our automatic breadmaker. We figure the mixing and kneading phases can be easily automated ... and why not?
We've wanted to make this again for quite some time. The first time we made it, a year or so ago, it didn't quite turn out. Mom wonders whether she added all the ingredients in the correct amount. It looked great until we baked it - and that we do quite traditionally in the oven - when a small section of the top dimpled and fell. Even so, the bread was wonderful.
Here's the finished product, just sliced. Oh, the wonderful aroma! It would drive a pregnant woman mad!
Cottage Dill Bread
1/2 cup water (warm. about 100°)
2 cups white flour
1 tablespoon dry milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon margarine (or butter)
1/4 cup cottage cheese (we prefer Michigan brand)
1/2 tablespoon dry onion
1/2 tablespoon dill seed
1/2 tablespoon dill weed
2 teaspoon active dry yeast (or 1 teaspoon fast rise)
A few notes on putting the ingredients together: We combine all the dry ingredients in a large measuring cup (minus the yeast). I mix the water and the cottage cheese to blend it thoroughly before pouring it into the bottom of the breadmaker's pan. I pour the dry ingredients atop the liquid. The margarine goes in on top of the dry ingredients and the baking pan is placed in the breadmaker. The yeast is them added to the special dispenser on the breadmaker (which adds it later).
A note about the yeast: I prefer the Fleischmann's active dry yeast. I also had some Montrachet yeast left from winemaking (about a teaspoon) and I added that, too. I didn't want it to get old and I thought it would work well in this way. It did.
When the dough is made (almost 2-1/2 hours), we take it out, knead it gently on a floured pastry cloth, form it into a single loaf, and place it into a greased bread pan. Keep it in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes. It should double in size.
Bake it for about 30 minutes at 350° until golden brown. If you tap on it with a knuckle, the loaf should sound hollow.
Mom smears the loaf - all sides - with margarine while it is still warm. That softens the crust. This bread is best served warm and eaten at once.