Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do. Ecclesiastes 9: 7
Why are we baking when the world is on fire? Nourishment, obviously, but also the belief that life continues, even while we try and find a new normal, the belief that loved ones will continue to show up to eat, that bread makes a table, a bridge and a tonic.
This bread comes from “A Divine Cookbook: How to Prepare Everythng from Angel Food Cake to Deviled Eggs.” Covenant Presbyterian Church in Charlotte NC published this in 1982, and despite this having been the church where the lead minister once asked me, “What do single women want anyway?”, the women — married and single — could cook.
It was 1982 so there are lots and lots of congealed salads, casseroles and desserts, but there’s also Emma Harper’s recipe for Dill Casserole Bread. It’s an easy, straightforward bread with a soft, salty crust and a divine aroma of dill and onion. The cottage cheese gives it a tender crumb, not really suited for sandwich-making but divinely suitable for buttered toast.
Dill Casserole Bread
2-1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
1/4 cup warm (110-115) water
1 cup creamed cottage cheese, nuked to lukewarm
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant minced onion
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons dill seed
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soda
1 unbeaten egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt for sprinkling
Soften yeast in warm water. In mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, sugar, onion, butter, dill, salt, soda and egg.
Add 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour to form a stiff dough, beating well after each half cup. Cover =- let rise in warm place (85 to 90, no problem these days) until light and double in size, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Stir down dough. Turn into well-greased round 1-1/2- or 2-quart ovenproof bread bowl or casserole. Let rise in warm place again until light, 30 to 40 minutes.
Heat oven to 350°. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is dark golden brown. Brush with butter and sprinkle top with salt immediately when removed from oven.