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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.
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!”
And if you do that, you have to do this…
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…
…And fries those rounds of dilly, oniony, cheese-studded dough.
Behold the brilliance of The Baker’s Tax.
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.
No-Knead Cottage Cheese Dill Bread | Papa’s Dilly BreadRate Recipe
- 2 tablespoons yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water plus a pinch of sugar
- 2 cups small curd cottage cheese
- 1/4 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
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour *See Notes
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 1/3. Reserve any leftover dough for The Baker's Tax (See Notes).
- 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.
- 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.
Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.
did you make this recipe?
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I’ve made bread for years and never had a failure till I tried this recipe.It was dry and never rose at all. It is now in the garbage. Was the cottage cheese dry or creamy. It didn’t say.I used the dry.
Hey Bert- If you’ve made bread for years, you might want to have a gander at it and adjust before baking. I’ve never seen cottage cheese marketed as dry or creamy. Mine has liquid in it.
Also, if it didn’t rise AT ALL, you may have some bum yeast. Next time, let it rise ’til doubled in bulk regardless of how long it takes.
Sandy C. says
I googled Dill bread and found this post. I am not lying, that was one of the best blog posts I have ever read! It makes me miss my Dad ♥ I too was a Daddy’s girl. I received a countertop hydroponic garden for Christmas and the Dill is taking over, so I was looking for something to do with it. I will be making this tonight! I love the Baker’s tax! I always called those types of things the Cook’s reward! Thanks for making my day brighter today! Stay well!
Oh Sandy, thank YOU for making my day brighter! It’s so nice to know it made you think of your Dad. <3 I hope you love it!
Is the cottage cheese to be used creamed or dry please?
Thanks in advance. – Linda
Hi Linda- I use the potted sort with cream that I purchase at the grocery store. 🙂
Hey Rebecca can you bake the bread in muffin tins?
Rebecca S says
Can you bake the Dilly Bread in muffin tins?
You sure can, Rebecca!!!!
Excellent recipe! I substituted a can of coconut cream that was very thick and a small amount of vegan cream cheese for the cottage cheese it turned out fabulously! Thanks for publishing this❤️
I’m so glad you like it, Jenée! Thank you for taking the time to rate the recipe and let me know you love it.
Jo Rita Jordan says
1 1/2 cups of flour? It makes a sloppy batter, not a “ ragged dough” most receipes use about 3 times that much flour.
Hi Jo Rita- Did you notice it was 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour PLUS 3 1/2 cups of all purpose flour? That’s quite a bit more flour than you mention here. It makes a delicious bread. You should try it some time.
Mikayla Johnson says
A delightful recipe! I made this Dilly Bread for my dad for Father’s Day, he had mentioned his grandma used to make it and he hasn’t had it in decades. I surprised him with a loaf from this recipe. It made him smile and he said it tasted just like his grandma’s used to. Thanks so much for a Father’s Day win, I will definitely come back to try more of your recipes!
Thanks so much for taking the time to rate the recipe and let us know you loved it, Mikayla! I’m so glad your dad loved it!!
Can you use Plain Greek Yogurt instead of Cottage Cheese, Please?
Hi Marina- I haven’t tried that, but it’s worth a shot! Please let me know how it turns out for you if you try it.
Have made this bread twice before, and each time it was delicious! Have my 3rd loaf in the oven now. I always halve the recipe since it’s just me and my boyfriend. I found this recipe because my Aerogarden came with dill seeds, which I’ve never grown or cooked with much, and it grew so fast, I was drowning in it! Totally got why it’s called dill WEED. I substituted the fresh leaves for dried dill weed and seeds, and it turned out great. My boyfriend wouldn’t eat it the first time because he thought the dill flavor was too strong (he has a child’s palate) so the next time I added a fraction of the dill and he loved it! I don’t cook FOR him and don’t much care if he likes what I make or not, lol, but it might be a helpful indicator for anyone with kids whom they do want to please. The first time I made it, I was impatient and got the cottage cheese mixture on the stove too hot and didn’t want to wait for it to cool down. I think it killed my yeast because it didn’t rise much and was super dense. Was more careful the past two times and it rose better. I don’t much care for the blogger’s post so I scroll past that as fast as I can. Am I the only one to find the paean about her dad super braggy and kinda creepy? Sorry to say so. But I still give him props for creating this yummy recipe. Thanks to him! And the baker’s tax is genius and so stinking yummy and easy. Although it’s really crumbly, this is such a nice homemade bread, delicious with a strip of bacon, cheese, and an egg on top, and a great way to use up fresh dill and cottage cheese. Thanks for posting!
Wow, Anna. You’re in what amounts to my virtual living room calling my tribute to my dad creepy. He’s a nice guy who doesn’t get a lot of recognition and I think he deserved it. Glad you liked the bread, but not sure why you needed to be such a Debbie Downer.
Mikayla Johnson says
Rebecca I just wanted to say I loved your tribute to your dad, I thought it was really special, sincere, and sweet–definitely not creepy. This world needs more recognition of good fathers. I especially connected with it because I made this same recipe for my own dad for Father’s Day. I’m sorry this other commenter said what she did. I especially loved the curmudgeonly faces he and your boys posed in that hiking picture–it cracked me up. Hope you have a great day. -Mikayla J
Thank you so much, Mikayla. 🙂 I appreciate your kind words.
What a story teller you are – made the recipe so “hometown”. Sounds yummy can’t wait ti make it. BTW – is your dad single? Lol
Thanks so much, Bindi! HA.
I had a recipe similar to this except using honey instead of sugar and only dill seed and grated onion. Has anyone seen this recipe. I’m stumped. Thought it might be kichenaid recipe but that was a dead end. My kichenaid book has disappeared after 30 yrs.
Oh man, Andi. That drives me nuts when I lose a loved recipe. Try this one with honey in place of the sugar and dill seed/grated onion. This recipe was closer to that originally, but I’ve published it with the changes my dad made over the years.
looks just like my moms . she’s been gone for 28 yrs. i have recipes of hers, but can’t find this one! I’ve really been craving it lately. can’t wait to try it! thank you –
I’m so very glad you found this, Kaliki! I hope it tastes like your mom’s bread!
I’m wondering if this recipe could be made as a tear and share style bread ring. I’m thinking balls of dough placed close to one another so they form a ring when baked. Going to cook this for a gathering soon if you think it might work. Thanks!
Hi Christine! I have not tried it, but I don’t see a reason that it wouldn’t work! Please let me know how it goes if you decide to try it!
I cook a lot, but am not good at baking. I made this recipe for my family and they were all very impressed. Easy to make. Great results! Delicious, multi-use bread that pairs well with many things. Will definitely make again and again. Thank you for posting this great recipe.
Thanks so much, Lance! I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know it went well for you. You may want to consider my new bread baking cookbook that’s coming out in December. It has an entire chapter dedicated to one-hour bread recipes!!
Hilary Meredith says
So I didn’t have whole wheat flour. I used 4 cups all purpose flour and one cup quinoa. Also upped the dill and added a half cup of granola that I had in the pantry.
OH MY GOODNESS. SO DELICIOUS
Those are some pretty inventive substitutions! I’m glad you loved it.
You can use cottaged cheese that has “turned” and it is still yummy.
Dawna Capaldi says
Have you ever tried to cut the milk in half and add pickle juice? Just a thought.
I have not, but what a fun experiment!
Sylvia E Rogers says
I made this and it was great! I didn’t have the dehydrated onion and used fresh. Also, I only had wheat flour. Bread has a great flavor and was easy to make!
Ruthann Osborne says
Can you use fresh dill in this ? if so, how much?
Absolutely!!! Fresh dill would taste great in it, I think. I haven’t tested it that way, so I’d say google the usual fresh for dry substitution and start there!
Kathy Green says
Never used cottage cheese in bread before!
Sue C says
I remember this bread from my teen years, my Mom and I made it often. We baked a big round of it on a pizza pan. Our favorite use for it (after pigging out on it fresh from the oven) was to slice and toast it for tuna sandwiches. The BEST tuna sandwich bread!
I bet this would be awesome for tuna sandwiches!
Love this recipe and that picture had me cracking up for a good minute. Your dad sounds like the kind of man I admire, and any man that bakes gets brownie points in my book. Thanks for the thorough post, and I love getting some backstory with recipes, too. One last thing: Baker’s tax = Gold. I’ve got one of my cast iron skilets on the stove-top now, preheating.