Last year The Husband and I were part of a Bible study for: 20-something married couples who have not reproduced. It was a great group of fun, energetic, interesting people. One of the other couples in the group has now become some of our best friends… but they now have an adorable little guy who was born last November.
The Church assigned elders to our group to be the host of the first session then to monitor our progress throughout. As with any group of 20-somethings without children, our group had difficulty setting a specified time to meet. The only solution we could come up with was to have a dinner or lunch meeting every week, the days and times changing constantly. One week’s theme was Italian dinner and the elders made this bread that was so good we ended up eating 2 loaves of it.
After a small amount of begging they handed over the recipe. I made every attempt to make it for about 2 months then it was so hot outside that I couldn’t stand the thought a hot oven. Outside with a cold drink at the pool was the best I could do. Eventually the recipe was forgotten and lost; the perfect bread that begged to be devoured was a distant memory.
A few months ago I woke up one morning and had an unbelievable craving for the bread that couldn’t be ignored. I searched my recipe files for the recipe to no avail. I eventually begged our friends for the recipe again, then immediately stopped by the store for the ingredients to make it that very night. The Husband ate 3/4 of the loaf immediately.
Recipe courtesy of The Elders
1 package yeast
1/4 c warm water
2 T sugar
1 c cottage cheese
1 T butter
1 T minced onion (fresh not the dried stuff)
2 t dill seed
1/4 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 1/2 – 4 c flour*
Make a sponge with the yeast and warm water by dissolving the yeast into the water and letting rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently warm the cottage cheese and butter to luke-warm. I do this in the microwave for about 45 seconds. Cream the cottage cheese with an immersion blender or regular blender.
Combine the yeast and cottage cheese mixture in the bowl of a stand mixer (or if you’re a tough girl or had a rough day- do this by hand in a plain bowl), add onion, dill seed, egg (unbeaten), baking soda and salt until well combined. *Susan’s recipe says to use about 2 to 2 1/2 c flour until the mixture becomes a stiff dough. For me to get a stiff dough, I used about 3 1/2-4 cups.
Knead dough for about 4 minutes until nice and elastic-y. Susan doesn’t actually mention kneading the dough, but I get a little freaked out when I don’t do it so I just slapped my dough hook on and kneaded away. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a towel and let rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Punch dough down, kneed again (I usually just put it back in the kitchenaid to do it’s magic). Let rise again until light in color and puffy again, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until golden brown. Brush with soft butter and sprinkle with salt.
Makes 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves. I actually just doubled the recipe and made 2 large loaves… because that’s how we roll.