I was beginning to question myself yesterday about whether or not I would be able to keep up this blog. I knew I would be getting an essay the next day in English, I knew I would have to start flute lessons soon, I knew I would have to continue swimming, play tennis, do other homework. Yet I also realized that this is what I want to be doing most of all, and I would have to keep this up for just that reason. Really, I would much rather be kneading bread than solving complex problems. So, I know I shall most definitely be keeping this up, if only to keep me cooking when I would otherwise not bother due to lack of time.
Well today I returned home to learn that chicken soup was being made for dinner, so that was out of the running for my blog post. I couldn't possibly post a simple chicken soup, it is most definitely beneath me...No, don't worry that's not it at all, I love chicken soup, but I just wanted something that was a little more interesting.
On that same note, I have been wanting to have more recipes from my cookbooks to add some variety. I have convinced myself that it will be good to provide people with recipes that they can't quite as easily access for themselves, or haven't come upon before. Thus, today I leafed through my many cookbooks and found a recipe for Dill Batter Loaf in Joy of Cooking. It's ingredients were all those that I had already, or had in excess and wouldn't be able to use any other way. For example, dill. I got it through the farm share talked about last time and had had nothing to use it with, yet in this recipe it was described as being almost essential. The only ingredient I was missing was large-curd cottage cheese, yet I had ricotta cheese in the fridge. After leafing through the back of Joy of Cooking I found out that ricotta and cottage cheese are very similar, but for moisture content, which had been my assumption to begin with. I just added a little more milk and away we went.
The bread is positively wonderful. It is very airy and light and tastes primarily of dill. I cut down the salt a bit, but not too much, as we often have bread with salted butter and really salty bread is pretty terrible to begin with. I would say this was a good choice, as the bread was good as I made it, so you may wish to do the same. The recipe is below:
Dill Batter Loaf
Joy of Cooking 75th Anniversary Edition
One 9 by 5 inch loaf
This is an updated version of the Dill Batter Loaf that has been a long time Joy favorite. (Referring to how my edition is the 75th anniversary edition, so some updates and additions have been made). Fresh dill can now be found year-round at most supermarkets and is much preferred to dried dill or dill seeds.
Combine in a small bowl and let stand until the yeast is dissolved, about 5 minutes:
1/2 cup warm (105 to 115 degrees Farenheit)
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
Combine in a large bowl or the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer:
3 cups bread flour (Used just all-purpose flour, which it says will be fine)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 1 tablespoon dried dill or dill seeds
2 tablespoons sugar or honey
(1 tablespoon wheat germ, toasted) (Didn't bother adding)
1 teaspoon salt
Add the yeast along with:
1 cup large curd cottage cheese (Added 2 tablespoons less than a cup of ricotta cheese and replaced it with milk)
1 large egg
Mix by hand on low speed until the dough comes together, adding additional flour or warm water if needed. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm place (75 to 85 degrees Farenheit) until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Punch down the dough, form into a loaf, and place seam side down in the pan. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. If desired brush the top of the loaf with:
1 egg, lightly beaten, or 1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
Sprinkle lightly with:
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt or a few dill seeds
Bake until the crust is deep golden brown and the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaf from the pan to a rack and let cool completely.