One of the biggest and best food contests is the “Pillsbury Bake-Off”, which has been held in this country since the late 1940’s. This is a contest that has been referred to as “the Olympic games of cooks” and it indeed showcases the cooking talents of many throughout the land. Over the years, many recipes that were Bake-Off winners have become all-time favorites and I’d like to pass along one of those winners today, which is for “Dilly Casserole Bread”.
This bread recipe was a winner in the 1960 Bake-Off. This is one of the most requested recipes from the contest files and it’s equally as good today as it was back then! It contains some rather interesting ingredients, including cottage cheese, minced onion and of course, dill seed. This is baked in a straight-sided casserole dish, like a souffle dish, so even the shape of the bread is different. It makes some incredibly tasty bread and will be a nice change from the plain breads we tend to serve at meals so often.
You start by combining flour, sugar, onion, dill seed, salt, baking soda and yeast. You now heat some cottage cheese, along with some water and butter until they are warm. This is added to the flour mixture and mixed for three minutes. Additional flour is added to form a stiff dough. This now goes into its first rise for about 45-60 minutes. The dough is stirred down and placed in a 1-1/2 to 2 quart deep casserole, like a souffle dish. It now gets a second rise of about 30-45 minutes. This is now baked for 30-40 minutes. It’s now unmolded and cooled to warm. To finish, it’s brushed with additional butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. You now have a classic loaf of bread!
One thing I would strongly advise in making this bread is to make certain to grease your baking dish really well as this bread tends to stick to the dish more than most breads. This bread is great as is, but I also like to butter it and toast it. It’s also great with garlic butter spread over and toasted, which would go great with spaghetti and other Italian pasta dishes.
Another classic Pillsbury Bake-Off recipe was one for “Ring of Coconut Fudge Cake”, which is a recipe I shared quite a long time ago. In case you didn’t get this recipe, follow this link to get it now:
Enjoy this long-time Pillsbury standard and once you try it, you’ll see why it’s remained one of the most popular from the Bake-Off files!
DILLY CASSEROLE BREAD
- 2 to 2-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2-3 teaspoons instant minced onion
- 2 teaspoons dill seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 envelope dry yeast
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- 1 cup creamed cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoon butter or margarine, melted
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, along with the sugar, instant minced onion, dill seed, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda and yeast. Mix well. In a small saucepan, heat the water, 1 tablespoon butter and cottage cheese until very warm, about 120-130 degrees. Add this and the egg to the flour mixture. Blend at low speed of electric mixer to dampen the dry ingredients, then increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes. By hand, stir in remaining 1 to 1-2/3 cups flour to form a stiff dough. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber scraper. Cover bowl loosely with greased plastic wrap and a cloth towel. Let rise in a warm place, about 80-85 degrees, until light and doubled in size, about 45 minutes to an hour.
Generously grease a 1-1/2 to 2 quart straight-sided baking dish, such as a souffle dish. Stir down the dough to remove all air bubbles. Turn the dough into the prepared dish. Cover and let rise in a warm place until light and doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Uncover the dough and bake for 30-40 minutes or until deep golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Immediately remove from the dish and let cool on a wire rack. Brush warm loaf with the 2 teaspoons melted butter and sprinkle with coarse salt. Yield: 1 loaf.