WHEN NADINE SHARED THIS RECIPE, she told a story.
She had clipped the recipe from her hometown newspaper--The Opelika Daily News, on Wednesday, August 22, 1973. At the time, she was 8 months pregnant, expecting her third child. She was already Mother to a 3-year-old little boy and a 1-year-old baby girl. She was living in a small un-air-conditioned home, in Alabama, in the August heat, and there she was baking bread. I love her for that.
I have baked this bread several times and each time I wonder why I don't make it more often. It is easy and extremely flavorful. The additions of cottage cheese, finely minced fresh onion, and dill seed--not dill weed--provide a subtle savory flavor no one could guess.
It is a very old fashioned recipe. Not like the dense, chewy breads with a crispy crust so popular today.
I like baking it in a well buttered, smaller, 1 1/2 quart casserole. It rises and puffs up tall, looking like a giant cupcake. Indeed, the texture of the bread is very cake-like with a soft and delicate crumb and tender crust.
And the next day, toasted? Exceptional.
Dilly Casserole Bread
1 pkg. yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup cottage cheese, room temperature
1 Tbsp. butter, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. fresh minced onion
2 tsp. dill seed
2 1/4 - 2 1/2 cups flour
Soften yeast in warm water and let stand 10 minutes. Combine in large bowl, the cottage cheese, butter, sugar, salt, baking soda, onion, dill seed, and the softened yeast. Beat well to blend. Add flour and beat well.
Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Stir down dough. Turn into a well greased 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole. Let rise until light, 35 to 45 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 - 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown. Brush with soft butter and sprinkle with salt. Cool 10 minutes, then remove bread to cooling rack.