James Beard's Sour Cream Bread
We subscribe to a local CSA group (community supported agriculture), so we get a box of veggies, fruit, and herbs every two weeks. We got some dill last time, so I thought of dill bread...something with cream cheese or sour cream, or even cottage cheese in it. I wanted a break from making lean artisan(al) breads. Gotta go back to the roots every now and then. I modified James Beard's Sour Cream Bread from Beard on Bread, and it came out beautifully. This smelled so good, it was hard to keep from cutting it while it was hot.
Sour Cream Bread (with my mods and comments in italics)
1 pkg. active dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup warm water (100F-115F)
2 cups sour cream, at room temperature
~ 1/3 cup minced onion
~ 3 tablespoons minced fresh dill
1 tablespoon salt (too much. Try a scant 2 t.)
1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour (I substituted whole wheat for one of the cups)
Combine yeast, water, and sugar. Let sit till foamy. Put sour cream, salt, and soda in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture, onion, and dill. Gradually mix in 4 cups of flour to make a wet, sticky dough. Dump the dough onto a moderately floured surface and continue mixing/kneading (use a dough scraper) for at least 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary, to make a workable, less sticky dough. (My hands ended up pretty coated with dough. I used about 2/3 cup above the initial 4 cups). Shape into a ball, and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm spot till doubled. (I set it at room temperature for one hour, then used my proofing cycle at 85F for another hour).
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 2 loaves. (I rounded each piece and let them rest about 15 minutes before shaping). Shape into loaves and put into greased loaf pans. (The book calls for 9x5 pans; mine were 8.5x4.5, which may account the the tops exploding.) Cover and let rise again. (I used the proofing cycle for about one hour, at which time the dough crested over the edges of the pans).
Heat oven to 375F. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (I rotated the pans after 15 minutes, and baked for another 15. The internal temp. was at least 200F.) Remove from pans immediately to cool on racks.
Yum! The bread is soft and flavorful, but just a bit salty. I found that to be true of most of the recipes in this book, but I just forgot to adjust this time. I also think I'd replace more of the AP flour with whole wheat, just to firm up the loaf a bit.
This dough would make great rolls too.