Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Sound of Music Meets Culinary School...Cottage Cheese Dill Rolls!

I was recently reunited with a good friend named Tara...

from Culinary school who shared a common over-excitement for a certain dinner roll with me. We adored the tender crust and soft dough with flecks of dill and sprinkled with salt. Tara went on to use this recipe at Deer Valley in Utah in a loaf bread. We lost touch. To my amazement what was lost has been found! We both just recently found we still love this recipe and use it! Both of us teach cooking classes. Both still bake bread. Both still love to find our inner creative spirit--Tara calls it the "Great Cooking Spirit". And of course, we will always love Chocolate...

I think it was a friendship unlike any I had at culinary school because we both attended the same church. I kept hearing about this "Mormon girl" . I guess it was odd to some people. I was thrilled to finally meet her, of all places, in the restroom as I hummed a church song. Finding a sister is always good. Finding one while removing curlers hidden under your chef hat is even better! Yea, I did learn something from "The Sound of Music". "How do you solve a problem like Maria"... or Stephanie? I had a date later that night with a handsome young man, so I didn't want hat head! Instead of a guitar case I carried a knife case. As for the date... I married the guy! It was fate all around that day!!

We always washed out hands before making case anyone wondered.

Now, the recipe still remains just as true as a good friendship. If the friend is a true friend it won't matter how long it's been, you can still do things together and share memories. Which we did on Wednesday evening...Laughter through tears is one of my favorite emotions! If it's a good recipe, no matter how long ago you last used it, it will still make good on it's word (so to speak). This recipe in particular lends itself the perfect addition to any Thanksgiving dinner. It may become a tradition! --So, imagine my guitar going pling-pling as I sing in a very Julie Andrews kind of way, "lets start at the very beginning, a very good place to start... when you read you begin with ABC, when you bake you begin with dough and cheese"... or something like that....

So, this one is for Tara! Thanks for bringing back all the memories of Advanced Pastry and the love of baking we had... and continue to share! She is to blame for this grand new blog you are reading. I don't think I would be doing it without her encouragement! I copied this directly from Tara's site:

Cottage Dill Rolls

1/4 c warm water

2 T sugar

1/4 oz dry yeast

6 oz cottage cheese

1 egg

2-4 T minced onion

1 T fresh dill, chopped fine

1/2 t baking soda

10 oz AP flour

egg wash:

1 egg

2 t water or milk or cream

kosher salt

Proof the yeast, water and sugar in a small bowl for 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the cottage cheese, egg, onion, dill, and baking soda. Add the yeast and mix. Add the flour and knead until you have a firm but smooth dough. Let double in size. Form into 2 oz balls and let rise again. Mix the egg and water or milk or cream together to make an egg wash. Paint the rolls and garnish with a good amount of kosher salt. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown. (It took 20 minutes in my oven, and I rotated them halfway through.) Enjoy!
posted by TARA,

Tess Notes:

To my whole grain bakers: Whole wheat flour can be used, I prefer King Arthur White Wheat--a whole grain flour, or fresh home ground flour from hard white wheat.

Do not use soft wheat as this will not give enough protein for good bread. If you have any questions, post comments.

In anticipation of a few who aren't pastry chefs with baking scales,.... here are the dry weight measurements as close as possible to the recipe..: 1/4 oz dry yeast is 1 1/2 tsp....I use the 4T minced onion... (yea that's 1/4 cup!), If you use dry dill, use 1 1/2 tsp....10 oz flour equals 2 cups.For those who can't weigh rolls, This should yield 10-12 rolls. I bake mine on stoneware. If you want to make this into a gorgeous loaf, double the recipe. Bake 425 degrees for 15 minutes then lower to 350 for 15-20 more...or until internal temperature is over 175 degrees.

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