For the Amish, baking is an art form, a pleasure, and a way of life. The emotion they bring to baking is at the heart of The Amish Cook's Baking Book (Andrews McMeel, 2009). Together, celebrated Amish cook Lovina Eicher and her editor, Kevin Williams, introduce a new generation to Amish baking. In this excerpt from the book’s chapter on breads, learn this Dilly Bread Recipe for a homemade Amish baking treat.
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Dilly Bread Recipe
This is a delicious, moist bread. The dill flavor makes a nice addition to a sandwich. This recipe can also be made into dinner rolls, and the little flakes of dill add a pretty green color to the rolls. Dill can be grown in the garden. Mom’s dill would come up year after year, but I haven’t had as much luck with mine.
1 package active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup small-curd cottage cheese
1 tablespoon dry dill seed or dill weed
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 large egg
2 1/2 cups bread flour
Dissolve the yeast in the water in a large bowl. Add the sugar, onion flakes, butter, salt, cottage cheese, dill, baking soda, and egg. Mix well. Slowly add the flour, beating after each addition. After all the flour is added and stirred in, you may need to knead the dough with your hands to finish mixing the flour in. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour.
Punch down and shape into 12 rolls or 1 loaf. Grease a baking sheet for the rolls or grease and flour a 5 by 9-inch loaf pan for the loaf. Place the dough on the sheet or in the pan, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise again until light, 30 to 45 minutes.
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake until golden brown, 14 to 16 minutes for the rolls or about 45 minutes for the loaf. Remove the pans from the oven and brush the bread or rolls with melted lard or margarine. Unused rolls or bread can be sealed and frozen, or stored in a sealed container and stay fresh for 3 to 4 days. Makes 12 rolls or 1 loaf.
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from The Amish Cook’s Baking Book by Lovina Eicher with Kevin Williams and published by Andrews McMeel, 2009. Buy this book in our store: The Amish Cook’s Baking Book.