I first had this bread when we lived in North Carolina and I was invited to a friend’s home for lunch. I’ve had the recipe on this blog since 1996 when I published the recipe; nothing else. While I’m working to clean out some dead wood, I spied it and I simply could not remember where the recipe came from but I knew I had to make a loaf and share it with you. Somewhere in the back recesses of my brain I thought it might have been Southern Living Magazine; you know, one of those recipes that were sent into the publication by readers. If not it was probably from a compilation of recipes put together by a local church; those little cookbooks often held great treasures.
Not really expecting to find much I did a quick Google search before writing this post and lo and behold; it’s attributed to Leona Schnuelle from Crab Orchard, Nebraska. She won the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest with this bread way back in 1960. It’s sort of amazing that a bread I’ve known and loved for as long as I can remember, that surely has been included in more than one of very church and community cookbooks that I mentioned, would be from this classic competition. I wonder now if any other winners have perpetrated a similar legacy…and now I’m sort of interested in finding out.
For this recipe it’s apparent that the only ingredient required from Pillsbury was their flour which sure left the door open to lots of interpretation. I’m not sure I could compete adequately in the contest today where a variety of brand products are required to succeed so I’m hoping Leona was around long enough to witness how lucky she was.
If you glance at the ingredients, you might be taken aback. Dried and minced onion? Small Curd Cottage Cheese? Butter or margarine? OK, I can live with the dried onion; I usually have emergency stock on hand. Nothing wrong with the cottage cheese; it’s not a typical bread ingredient but it really adds something special to this bread. What I left in the recipe that was hard was the designation for butter OR margarine and I really have to encourage you to go the butter route. I may have had margarine growing up because with our family of 8 those were the corners that were cut to keep the food budget in check but today I don’t think it’s worth sacrificing for. Butter baby…all the way!
Dilly Casserole Bread
- 2 to 2 2/3 cups All Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 to 3 teaspoons instant minced onion (or real onion)
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon margarine or butter
- 1 cup small curd creamed cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons margarine or butter, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, if desired
- In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, onion, dill seed, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda and yeast; mix well.
- In small saucepan, heat water, 1 tablespoon margarine and cottage cheese until very warm (120 to 130°F.). Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture; blend at low speed until moistened.
- Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining 1 to 1 2/3 cups flour to form a stiff batter.
- Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Grease 1 1/2 or 2-quart casserole. Stir down batter to remove all air bubbles. Turn into greased casserole. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
- If necessary, cover with foil to prevent overbrowning. Remove from casserole; place on wire rack. Brush loaf with melted margarine; sprinkle with coarse salt. Cool 15 minutes.
Approximately 90 minutes in total is required for bread to rise twice.