A few *cough* years ago when I was heading for college, I copied all of my favorite recipes out of my mother’s cookbooks. Just so that I wouldn’t have to do without anything, you know, essential.
I copied a few recipes that she had never made, but that looked interesting. One of them was “cottage cheese bread”, which I’d never heard of. But hey, it’s a bread! With cheese! Why not?
I started making this when Mr. Caffeinated and I were newlyweds in college. I made it by hand. And let me tell you, this is NOT an easy bread to knead by hand. If you are looking for an upper body workout that accomplishes something worthwhile, this is it.
Now that I have my Bosch – I love my Bosch – I make this bread all the time. And I like it with all-white-flour, or all-whole wheat-flour, or any combination of the two. My favorite way to eat it is toasted, with butter and a little salt. It’s also good straight from the oven, still warm.
I’m sneaky, though. When I’m feeding it to the unsuspecting, I don’t tell them that it’s got cottage cheese in it. You’d never guess; the finished bread doesn’t taste cheesy, or show signs of cheese at all. So many people equate cottage cheese with diet food or “food that Mom made me endure, but that I hate”, that it defeats the purpose to tell them in advance that it contains cottage cheese.
It’s after they inhale a couple of slices and say, “What is this?” that I drop the bomb.
I like the looks of disbelief.
I’m easily amused.
To make this, I start my yeast proofing by whisking it and the sugar into the warm water.
While it’s waking up, I add everything else besides the flour directly to the mixing bowl.
Then I grind the flour. I have a WhisperMill on semi-permanent ‘loan’ from the J family. (Thank you!) It makes great flour.
By the time this is all done, the yeast is quite happy. So happy, in fact, that if I answer the phone or deal with some juvenile emergency in the middle of this, the yeast will climb right out of the cup and party all over the counter.
I try not to let that happen too often.
Everything goes in the mixer, plus about 75% of the flour, and I mix it for about a minute.
Then I let it rest for 20 minutes. THIS is the time to deal with children surfing down the stairs on my cookie sheets, etc.
After it rests 20 minutes, I turn the mixer on low and let it start kneading. Here, it’s been going a couple of minutes. Not ready yet. Needs a bit more flour. I add it about a ¼ c. at a time.
Still not ready. Too sticky.
Now it’ s cleaning the sides of the bowl. This is what I’m looking for!
See the strands of gluten developing in the dough?
Someday, some professional baker is going to tell me that I’m not doing it right. Until then, I revel in my ignorance.
I turn it out on the counter for the next step. It’s still pretty sticky.
So, I pick it up and let it stretch out, then fold it over and turn it 90°.
… and fold.
… and last fold.
It makes a big difference in the texture of the dough. See? Before stretch:
Sometimes it won’t stretch three times, and will only cooperate twice. That’s fine.
A quick gloss of oil, pop it into a greased bowl, and it goes into to the microwave with a cup of boiling water to rise for an hour.
After an hour, this is happy dough.
I whack it into three pieces with my bench knife.
Each piece is gently flattened into a rectangle roughly the width of my loaf pan, then rolled up into a loaf. The seam goes on the bottom.
These then rise for another 30-45 minutes, until the centers are risen about an inch above the loaf pan. Rats, I didn’t get a picture of that…
Then into the oven until the center reads 198° on my Thermapen.
There you have it!
I will often make 2/3 a recipe, which makes three loaves. This recipe divides well into thirds.
This is another of those “I have no idea where the original came from” recipes. If you know the source, let me know, eh?
Cottage Cheese Bread
|3 pkg. or T. yeast||3/4 t. soda|
|3/4 c. warm water||1/3 c. butter|
|3 T. sugar||3 large eggs|
|3 c. cottage cheese||8-9 c. flour|
|1 t. salt||2 T. dough enhancer|
|2 or 3 T. onion, grated fine||Oven 350°|
- Whisk water, yeast and sugar in measuring cup; set aside.
- Combine all other ingredients except flour in mixer.
- Add yeast mixture once it has begun to bubble.
- Add 6 cups of flour and turn mixer on low for one minute, to blend all ingredients thoroughly.
- Cover and let set for 15 minutes.
- Turn mixer to low, and knead for 5 minutes.
- Scrape dough into well-oiled bowl. Spray surface of dough with oil. Cover with cloth and let rise for one hour.
- After dough has risen, divide into 3 or 4 loaves and rise in loaf pans for 30-45 minutes. Set timer for 15 minutes; start oven when timer goes off.
- After loaf centers are 1” or so above the pan, it’s time to bake.
- Bake at 350°, until internal temperature reaches 198°; about 25-30 minutes.