I may have mentioned my lifelong obsession with recipes. Even as a kid I read cookbooks (and-yes-Archie comics), tore recipes out of magazines and at times snooped through the kitchens of families I babysat for (hey, they said I could help myself to anything!) in the hopes of finding recipe boxes or those community cookbooks for me to flip through during Fantasy Island.
I still have a lot of my old hand-written recipe cards and filed-away magazine pages, some neatly cut out and pasted on paper sorted into binders. (I was a bit of a recipe nerd. I still am.) The memory of an old batter bread that came in a Fleischmann’s leaflet had been flitting in and out of my head for a year or so, since all that no-knead bread hoopla. This week I went so far as to dig them up – yep, I still have those binders – and put them in the proximity of the kitchen. And then yesterday a new recipe booklet arrived in the mail – the sort of thing I love to get – a collection for Bake for the Cure, an initiative of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. In it, the recipe for dill batter bread I had been thinking of! Could there have been a clearer sign? I recall an oatmeal version too, but this is a good start. Did I mention it’s no-knead? It’s so ahead of its time.
I’m not a fan of dill, but wasn’t as a kid, either. My foggy memory remembers leaving it out – it obviously isn’t a structurally essential element of the bread anyway. It also contains cottage cheese, which I generally don’t have on hand, but it has a way of disappearing into the loaf, and so I picked some up. I added grated Parmesan thinking a cheesy loaf would go well with the parade of soups that has kept all my largest pots in heavy rotation for the past week.
The bread itself isn’t like no-knead bread at all – you don’t leave it on the countertop overnight to come into its own, you beat it with an electric mixer and then leave the sticky lump of dough for an hour, then bake it – no punching down, no spending three hours in its service.
The resulting loaf wasn’t as crusty as no-knead bread, having been baked in a casserole dish rather than a lidded pot, but has a great dense, moist texture, and for some reason I love loaves you cut into wedges to dip into soup. Tomorrow morning I’m totally trying a cinnamon-raisin version.