No-Knead Cottage Cheese Dill Bread | Papa’s Dilly Bread

Full sized no knead Dilly Bread from Foodie with Family

I have spent my entire life thinking my dad is pretty much the bees-knees and since he just keeps improving with age like a fine wine (or a stinky cheese, as he would say), I’ll just keep carrying on that way. My dad has always been that perfect blend of serious, goofy, cautious and devil-may-care. For example, he’d make sure you put your seatbelt on before driving on roads that were closed due to weather conditions just because he could.

Dad is one of those renaissance men. He’s equally at home screaming at a hockey match, speaking in churches, ploughing snow, operating his ham radios, working on his local volunteer ambulance squad, fishing, reading books, crafting groan-inducing puns, felling trees on a dime, listening to beautiful music, dandling grandkids on his knees, pulling campers on water skis around a lake in a speed boat, putting nervous parents at ease on airplanes, and hiking the vast wilderness trails near where he lives.

With a list of attributes like that, is it any wonder I’m an unapologetic daddy’s girl?

But that’s not all. My dad can bake. He has a specialty bread -one that most everyone who spends a decent amount of time with him gets a chance to taste at some point or another. Dilly Bread. Many years ago, dad took the recipe from the “Deaf Smith Country Cookbook” and made it his own. Translation: he made it better.

To begin with, this recipe is a no-knead recipe. No knead to tinker with that. Ahem.

You just mix the lot up in a big bowl with a sturdy spoon and let it rise in a warm corner. As for the changes, the original recipe called for honey as the sweetener. Dad has mainly used sugar over the years, mainly because -as he says- that’s what he had handy. I stick with the sugar vs. honey, both because it’s easier to measure and it’s a less expensive ingredient. Dad also played with the type and proportion of onion in the recipe. He suggests using minced dehydrated onions because “it’s easier to add more onion to the dough.” I stick with the minced dehydrated onions not only for that reason, but also because this is a very slack, moist dough and the dehydrated onions soak up a bit of that moisture, making it easier to work with. When I asked Dad what kind of flour he prefers (because the book didn’t specify) he said, “Whatever I have on hand, but I did try  making it with all whole wheat once and it didn’t rise enough for my liking.” I personally like to toss a little whole wheat in there, so I go for about a 2:1 ratio of all-purpose flour to white whole wheat. Then you get that wonderful toasting quality of whole wheat along with the more impressive rising ability of all purpose.

Now, once your dough is rising, you need to turn your attention to what you’ll use to bake it. I had a double batch of this rising on the counter the other day when I realized that my oven had (once again!) broken. The potential two-fold horror of wasting A.) a batch of perfectly good bread dough for my favourite bread that has B.) four full cups of cottage cheese ($$$$$) in it made me get really creative really quickly. I determined that my little old toaster oven could fit two standard loaf pans in it side-by-side, but that wouldn’t account for the other two loaves worth of dough. I brought out and greased a fistful of ramekins in a fit of desperation and found that it made BEAUTIFUL little individual loaves when baked.

Miniature Dilly Bread

Mini Dilly Breads from Foodie with Family

The little loaves somehow skirt the “don’t cut when hot” rule. Why is this? Well, mainly because a tiny, hot loaf of bread just hollers, “Top me with a cold pat of butter and watch it melt!”

Sliced miniature No Knead Dilly Bread from Foodie with Family

And if you do that, you have to do this…

Mini Dilly Bread from Foodie with Family

Right?

So- you’re left with choices… standard loaf pans, ramekins, or…by extrapolation… pretty oven-safe bowls. The nice thing about using ramekins for dough was that I had leftover dough that wouldn’t fit anywhere I could bake it before over-rising.

How is this a nice thing now when it’s usually to be avoided?

It’s time I introduce you to yet another one of my dad’s finer ideas… The Baker’s Tax. This is the reason you want to be at my dad’s house when he’s baking. He deliberately ACCIDENTALLY puts a little too much of everything into his mixing bowl so he has too much dough to fit in available pans. He then rolls little bits of the dough out as thin as he can without ripping it, melts an indecent quantity of butter in a cast-iron skillet…

Butter in a pan for bakers tax from Foodie with Family

…And fries those rounds of dilly, oniony, cheese-studded dough.

Bakers tax in the pan from Foodie with Family

Behold the brilliance of The Baker’s Tax.

Bakers tax from Foodie with Family

If you are nearby when these are fresh from the oven and you have a single lick of sense, you will beat a hot path for the kitchen and be not proud about eating as many of these little rounds of glory as you possibly can. If you should somehow make an entire batch of dough into these, I will tell you that you probably couldn’t find a better possible flat bread to wrap around smoked turkey breast, lettuce and onion with a smear of spicy mustard. But that scenario would presuppose you hadn’t already eaten them all, so we’ll just leave that one alone.

In the meantime, while you’re waiting for your standard loaves of the stuff to bake, contemplate how you want to serve the finished product. Sliced thin, this is just about the best deli-meat sandwich vehicle you’ll ever eat. Toasted on one side in a pan with butter, you can’t imagine a better accompaniment to a fried egg, mug full of soup, or bowl full of stew.

But if you were to slice a couple of hearty pieces of bread, butter them both and stack them around some nice melty cheese, then slowly fry it in a pan until it was deep golden brown and the cheese was gooey, you might just yawp from the pure joy of the thing.

Six out six sturgeon faces agree: any way you slice it, Papa’s Dilly Bread makes people happy.

sturgeonfacesatthesturgeonriver

 

5 from 1 reviews
No-Knead Cottage Cheese Dill Bread | Papa’s Dilly Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
This no-knead sandwich bread is flecked with aromatic and flavourful dill and onion and enriched and kept moist by the addition of cottage cheese. The little melted pockets of cheese make this bread one of the ultimate choices for toast. When baked in ramekins, the dough makes beautiful little individual loaves ideal for accompanying meals.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons yeast
  • ½ cup warm water plus a pinch of sugar
  • 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like canola, vegetable, or corn)
  • 2 tablespoons raw or granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill SEED
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill WEED
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups white whole wheat flour (*See Notes)
Instructions
  1. Gently stir the yeast into the warm water with the pinch of sugar in the bottom of a large mixing bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is frothy. While that rests, whisk together the cottage cheese, milk, oil, sugar, minced onion, dill seed and weed, salt and eggs in a saucepan over low heat just until lukewarm.
  2. Add that to the yeast mixture and stir. Add the flour all at once and use a sturdy spoon to mix until there are no dry pockets of flour and everything is evenly moist. The dough will be shaggy, but that is as it should be. Don't get zealous and try to over work it.
  3. Cover with a damp tea-towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour and a half, or until almost doubled in bulk.
  4. Grease the pans you want to use to cook them (it will yield 2 standard loaf pans but can also be divided among ramekins or baked in oven-proof bowls.) Divide the dough to fill the greased pans by about ⅓. Reserve any leftover dough for The Baker's Tax (See Notes).
  5. Cover the loaf pans with a damp tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 30 minutes while you preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake the risen dough for 30-40 minutes for full-sized loaves or 25-30 minutes for ramekin sized individual loaves.
  6. Remove from the oven and let the loaves rest in the pans for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Store loaves wrapped in a clean towel at room temperature for up to three days, or wrap cooled loaves in a double layer of plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months.
Notes
*If you don't have white whole wheat flour, you can simply substitute an equal amount of all-purpose flour. It will still be delicious.

The Baker's Tax is simply walnut sized pieces of leftover dough rolled out about ¼-inch thin and fried in melted butter in a cast-iron skillet until deep golden brown and cooked through. It's a reward for baking that you might just like so much you plan ahead to have leftover dough the next time!

Comments

  1. says

    What a beautiful story about your dad- I’m a daddy’s girl as well and it always makes my heart swell when I hear of others feeling the same! I absolutely love the last picture of your dad with your boys. The bread is gorgeous, don’t get me wrong
    but the mini muffins loaves toasted in butter? Be still my beating heart.

    • says

      Daddy’s Girls Unite! I love the pic of Papa and his boys, too, Kelley. It’s one of my all time faves. I’ll tell ya, I momentarily panicked when my oven quit, but those mini loaves were stupendous. I’ll be repeating that. Besides, with an odd measure like a ramekin, there’s bound to be more left for The Baker’s Tax. :-)

    • says

      Emily- You can definitely use the bread machine yeast. Add the water to the other wet ingredients to bring it to lukewarm and whisk the yeast into the flour before adding it into the wet stuff. Tada!

  2. Christina says

    I…just…have to go home now and eat something. I can’t tell you people how wonderful this bread is. Especially for grilled cheese sandwiches. Gah! The pain of not having any dilly bread right now is pretty unbearable…

  3. Chocolate Lady says

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I just checked the fridge and since I have about 2 cups of cottage cheese that need to be eaten, I’m making this now! Your dad sounds like a treasure and makes me cherish even more the fond memories I have of my daddy who passed a few years ago. I adore your blog, and as a fellow homeschooler of 4, love that you homeschool, too.

  4. says

    Your dad sounds like a ton of fun! Your story made me smile ;)
    I grew up with cottage cheese pancakes (which have yet to be on my blog for some reason) as a fav breakfast. They remind me of my dad who sounds a bit like yours.
    I am looking forward to making this cozy bread for sure!
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Amy says

    I can’t believe I had not made ‘Dilly Bread’ for so long – thanks for the reminder!!! AND thanks ever so much for the mini-dilly-bread idea. I had gotten the cutest little mini-cupcake sleeves with cute Russian dolls on them, and I was looking for just the right thing to use them for. That was it – I do wish I’d thought to start them before 8 p.m. (2 martinis ‘inspired’ me to make them for my birthday office treat the next day), but they turned out not only adorable but delicious. All were polished off lickety-split (especially lickety – split and buttered caused lots of finger licking!). Yay! I’m going to do it again this weekend, starting at a more reasonable hour, and make the fried bread with the bakers tax…

  6. Randi says

    Thanks for posting, I first made this bread in a jr. high home eco. class, I am now 61 so it was a few years ago and I always thought this was a terrific bread. I like the addition of the white whole wheat, thanks for such a comprehensive sharing of a family favorite.

  7. Marcia says

    It smells like oniony heaven as it bakes! My tummy wants some now but it is still many hours till breakfast. What to do, what to do?

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