A Bun In The Oven


Thanks to the power of persuasive Harris Teeter advertising, I was thoroughly convinced that I needed two 16 ounce containers of cottage cheese in my grocery cart last week. Not only was I convinced that I needed them, but convinced that I wanted them.  That's 32 ounces. Two pounds. Of cottage cheese.  At such a bargain, who cares that it was more cottage cheese than I have ever or will ever eat in my entire life.  I was crazy to pass it up.  

Then I was even crazier trying to figure out what to do with it all.  Sure, I could load it up with some black pepper and eat it with fruit for breakfast, but remember we're talking bulk quantities here.  I have my limits.  After I used part of it in lasagna, I took to the internet for ideas.  I had a really hard time deciding between this recipe for homemade bread and the suggestion that I found of mixing the cottage cheese with mashed up bananas and raisins.  I can assure you that suggestion goes well beyond my limits.

I put all the ingredients into my bread machine, started the dough cycle and let it do it's thing because I'm lazy like that when it comes to making bread.  I only use the machine on the dough cycle because I prefer to shape my dough differently or bake in a "regular" loaf pan.  The square chunk of bread that comes out when you bake in the machine is just not my thing, and I think it turns out too dense anyway.  When the machine finished, I kneaded the dough just a bit with some extra flour (I initially used only 3-1/2 cups of flour like the recipe suggested, but really needed more like 4 cups because it was way too sticky to deal with) and let it rise in a loaf pan until doubled in size.  Baked at 350 for about 20 minutes or so, the bread was an excellent use of cottage cheese and you'd never even know it was in there!  This might be a sneaky way to get some protein and calcium into the kiddies, unbeknownst to them.  I'm thinking you could use this as a basic recipe and customize the dough to your liking with herbs, poppy seeds, sesame seeds or whatever your heart desires. 

The loaf was best when eaten within 2 days of being baked and I enjoyed it toasted with a smear of butter and homemade plum jam for breakfast in the mornings.



Cottage Cheese Bread

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
1 cup cottage cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg
1 tablespoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)

Directions:

Add the ingredients to your bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer, and start. You can use up to 1/2 cup more bread flour if the dough seems too sticky.

If you're only using the dough cycle, after the machine has finished place dough in a greased loaf pan; cover and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size.  Bake 350 for about 20 - 30 minutes. 

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