Dill Bread Starts with Dill Dough

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Dill Bread

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so I thought I’d share a family secret. Good dill bread starts with a good dill dough.

However, I’m the first to admit that when it comes yeasty doughs, especially dill doughs I only have limited experience. Still, I like dill bread, and have a few words of wisdom to pass along.

This dill bread recipe has low-country, southern roots. This is a style of cooking of which many of my readers may be a little dubious. So I decided to grab this dill dough with both hands and demystify a taboo subject. That’s because in my world there’s nothing better than good Dill Bread with Cottage Cheese and Fried Shallots.

This dill bread, or something like it, dates back to my youth– long before I knew anything at all about dill doughs. Still, I loved dill bread growing up. This super fortified version often made an appearance at our Thanksgiving table. I like it warm to the touch and slick with butter.

To get dill bread this good you have to be willing to stuff your dill dough to the hilt. In this version, I’ve included cottage cheese, deep-fried shallots, and of course dill– both the seeds and the dried leaves. There’s also a big spoonful each of dried basil and dried marjoram. This may seem like a lot of additions, but trust me, these supplements will not be an encumbrance. In fact I had no trouble at all getting my dill dough to rise. I never have.

To prove my point I’ve included a couple of photos clearly showing the heights this dill dough can reach. As I said, good dill doughs are the first step getting good dill bread. The kind that will leave you and all your dining partners completely satisfied. GREG

Dill Bread

Dill Bread with Cottage Cheese and Fried Shallots

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 8-10Source Bread: Diane Morgan & Shallots: New York TimesPublished
Dill Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cup canola oil
  • 2 cup thinly sliced shallot rings
  • ¼ cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • ¼ ounce active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoon granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus more for greasing dish)
  • 1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg (lightly beaten)
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

Directions

Prepare the fried shallots: In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, heat canola oil until it registers 275 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until light golden brown, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer shallots to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Increase heat to high and place a fine-mesh sieve over a heatproof bowl. When oil reaches 350 degrees on the thermometer, add the fried shallots and cook just until they are crisp and well-browned, a few seconds, watching carefully so they do not burn.

Immediately pour oil and shallots through sieve to stop cooking, then transfer shallots to paper-towel-lined plate to drain. Reserve oil for another use. Shallots will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day.

Prepare the dill dough: In a small bowl, combine the water, yeast and ¼ teaspoon sugar. Stir and set aside until foamy; about 8 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix remaining sugar, cottage cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil, fried shallots, dill seeds, dill weed, marjoram, basil, and salt; stir to combine. Add the baking soda, egg, and yeast mixture; stir to combine. Using a wooden spoon, stir in flour, scraping sides until well incorporated. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm place until double in size; about 1 hour.

Punch down the dough. Generously grease a 1 ½-quart straight-sided casserole or souffle dish. Turn the dough out into the dish. Cover with a towel and let rise about 1 hour. Remove the towel and continue to let rise until the dough has risen above the the rim.

Meanwhile, place the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Bake the bread until deeply golden brown, about 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let the bread cool in the dish for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the dish to loosen the sides. Turn out onto the rack to cool somewhat. Serve warm.