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Lately, there has been a surge in artisan-style bread. Those crusty loaves of bread that use starters and achieve complex flavors over time. Personally, I love these types of bread and will often spend hours delving into their nuances.
This recipe is not one of those types of bread. Dilly bread is the easiest and quickest way to make bread. Growing up, the ingredients were always in our kitchen, including the most unique component in the recipe: cottage cheese. Maybe it’s a Midwest staple, but cottage cheese was always a warm-weather side dish that we had with sandwiches in the summer. The cottage cheese is definitely unique in the recipe, but it adds a tangy richness to the bread.
This is my go-to bread for sandwiches, to serve with a celebration meal, or just for that carb fix.
The ingredients in this dilly bread
- Cottage cheese, while a super unique ingredient in this bread, is blended quickly so there are no distinct cheese pieces in the bread. Instead, the addition of cottage cheese will create a richer, more flavorful bread. This ingredient also helps to tenderize the bread.
- Honey balances out the flavors and helps give the bread a nice golden color.
- Butter provides some richness and tenderness, just like the cottage cheese. I always use unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
- One egg boosts the yeast that’s added and gives some extra rise to the bread. Personally, I always use large eggs.
- Everything bagel seasoning is great way to add minced onion, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds, which all boost the flavor. Minced onion, which is in this seasoning mix, is a terrific way to add onion flavor without the water content of a fresh onion.
- Dried dill is the classic herb that my mom always added to this bread, hence the name. Dried herbs have so much condensed essential oils that it takes just a small amount to get great flavor.
- All-purpose flour will give the bread the structure needed to be soft yet sturdy. Bread flour can be used instead, but is not needed.
- Instant active dry yeast is added with the flour so it evenly mixes into the dough. I prefer to use instant yeast, as opposed to active dry yeast, since it does not need to be bloomed in warm water. Active dry yeast requires a blooming time, which adds time to the overall process. No thanks!
This bread is a one-bowl wonder. Once the ingredients are mixed together, it forms a slightly sticky, shaggy dough, which is key. Instead of kneading and adding more flour until the dough is perfectly smooth, allow the dough to rest and rise. Once the dough has risen slightly, it will knead into a smooth ball and, after a final rest, can be baked.
The result is a delicious bread that seems like it took hours, but the hands-on time was only minutes. It’s a winner!
Watch how to make this dilly bread
No-Fail Dilly Bread
- 1 ¼ cup whole milk cottage cheese slightly warm
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp butter melted
- 2 tsp dried dill
- 1 tbsp everything bagel seasoning
- 1 large egg
- 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package (2 ¼ tsp) instant active dry yeast
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- Blend the cottage cheese until mostly smooth.1 ¼ cup whole milk cottage cheese
- In a large bowl, combine the blended cottage cheese, honey, butter, and egg. Whisk until smooth. Add the everything bagel seasoning, dried dill, flour, baking soda, and yeast. Using a fork or Danish whisk, combine the ingredients into a wet shaggy dough. Mix until the dough just begins to clear the sides of the bowl. Drizzle with neutral oil and cover to allow the dough to rest for one hour.2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp butter, 2 tsp dried dill, 1 tbsp everything bagel seasoning, 1 large egg, 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour, ¼ tsp baking soda, 1 package (2 ¼ tsp) instant active dry yeast
- After one hour, preheat the oven to 350°F. Do not worry about making sure the dough is doubled in size. Punch down and knead it into a ball. Place the ball on parchment paper in a 4-quart Dutch oven or 4-quart oven-safe bowl. Let the dough rest for an additional 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes, use a sharp knife to cut an "X" into the top of the ball. Place the dough in the preheated oven. Bake until the bread is golden with an internal temperature of 190°F, about 40-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the bowl for 5 minutes. Finish cooling on a wire rack.