Jul 18th, 2006
My mom left a lovely comment on one of my cookbook awards posts, reminiscing about her copy of the 1968 Pillsbury Bake Off Breads Cookbook. I've seen this book and it's not a pretty sight - pages are stuck together, the colors are weird, and some of the photos are not so enticing. (What is up with the iced phallic looking item on the cover? If you can't see it you can click the picture to get a larger view. I believe that is the Can-Pan Bread my mom mentioned, but it looks like... well I don't even want to write what it looks like, but suffice it to say that I find it disturbingly... sexual.) But this isn't the beauty portion of the competition and the book means a lot to my mom because of the memories it conjures, many of which are about family.
So when my brother and I visited my folks for 4th of July, it made sense to pull out her old cookbook and make something for all of us to enjoy together. My mom picked out the Dilly Casserole Bread and was going to make it for dinner one night, but she and I ended up making it together, and my brother the photographer took a picture. It was nice. And by nice I mean it was a truly good moment but one so slight and nebulous that I'm afraid it would collapse if burdened with the weight of my less than graceful prose, so for now nice will have to do.
And as almost a side benefit to the whole endeavor, the bread was excellent. It puffed up beautifully, spilling over the top of my mom's blue casserole dish. We spread our dill-scented white bread lavishly with butter and topped it with thick slices of marinated tomato. The dill in the bread harmonized well with our salmon main course, but was subtle enough that my 'strange green stuff' fearing six year old dug right in.
I'm glad my mom and I got a chance to look through this book together, and I'm looking forward to trying a few of the other bread recipes that I carted home. But I'm still a little freaked out by that Can-Pan Bread...
Dilly Casserole Bread2 1/2 to 3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp instant minced onion
2 tsp dill seed
handful of chopped fresh dill
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup cottage cheese
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp butter
coarse salt, if desired
In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of flour, sugar, onion, dill seed, salt, soda and dry yeast. In a saucepan, heat cottage cheese, water and butter until mixture is warm. Add egg and warm liquid to flour mixture. Blend at lowest speed until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining flour and fresh dill to form a stiff dough. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Stir down dough. Turn into well-greased 8-inch round (1 1/2 or 2 quart) casserole. Cover; let rise in warm place until light, 30 to 45 minutes. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes until golden brown. Brush with butter and sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired.
-Pillsbury's Bake Off Breads Cook Book, 1968