Monday, 18 August 2008

Herbed cottage cheese bread

This, finally, is the last of the breads I made when I had all those herbs to use up. It's from Moosewood Low Fat favourites, and I chose it because it was a bit different from the other breads I was making. I've really liked my attempts at baking savoury breads with cottage cheese before, so I gave it a whirl. It also used two of the three herbs I was hoarding - thyme and rosemary. I didn't get round to trying this loaf for a while as I was going away the next day, so I sliced and froze it. I've had it in sandwiches since, and it's nice and light. My only criticism is that it's sweeter than I would have liked. It was so long ago that it's tricky to work out why. It's quite possible that I used agave nectar instead of honey, in which case I might not have reduced the quantity enough (agave nectar is much sweeter than most other sweeteners). It wouldn't stop me making this bread again, but I would reduce the amount next time. I might even try adding sundried tomatoes another time too - hmm, the more I think about it, the more I think that could be a really good plan, although then I'd want to eat it with cottage cheese on top, and I can't quite get my head around whether that's ok.

Herbed cottage cheese bread, from Moosewood Low Fat Favourites

1 tbsp yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
1/4 cup honey [or agave nectar, in which case reduce the amount]
1 tsp salt
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
1 tsp minced fresh rosemary
3 tbsp minced scallions
1 cup whole wheat bread flour
1 1/3 to 2 cups white flour
1 tsp baking powder

Prepare a 2-quart casserole dish with a light coating of cooking spray or oil. In a small bowl, combine the yeast with the sugar and warm water. Set aside to proof until bubbles rise to the surface, 5 to 10 mins.

In a small saucepan on a low heat, gently warm the cottage cheese, oil, sugar, honey, salt, thyme, rosemary and scallions. Transfer the cheese mixture to a large bowl. When the yeast is bubbly, add it to the bowl. Stir in the whole wheat flour and beat by hand 100 strokes. Combine a cup of the white flour with the baking powder and mix into the batter, then stir in enough additional white flour to make a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-10 mins.

Shape the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, and turn it once to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and set aside in a warm spot for about 45 mins, until doubled in size. After the dough has rise, punch it down, turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 mins. Shape it into a ball and place in an oiled 2-quart casserole dish. Return the dough to its warm place and let it rise again until doubled, about 30-45 mins

Preheat the oven to 350 F near the end of the second rising time. When the dough has doubled in size, bake 30-40 mins until it is golden brown and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack about 10 mins and it will be easier to slice.


Johanna said...

this bread looks lovely and I love your suggestion of sun dried tomatoes - definitely worth a try. Cottage cheese is very high on my list of ingredients to try in bread but 1/4 cup honey does sound a lot!

Lysy said...

I'll let you know if I try it! The more I think about it the more I think I did use agave nectar as I don't think we have that much honey in the house! I don't think it needs anywhere near that much, but then American breads and muffins do seem to vary from British ones, so perhaps it was designed as more of a sweet treat than a sandwich staple.