Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Dilly Bread

Dilly Bread

By: Ardis E. Parshall - May 31, 2008

This is the easiest yeast bread in the world to make — you don’t really knead it (just squeeze it enough for the dough to stick together), and you don’t need a loaf pan (a pie plate or a glass casserole dish, even an oven-proof mixing bowl, works just fine to produce a rustic-looking loaf).

What does it have to do with Mormon history? Only that in the days when wards used to raise their own funds to build chapels and conduct youth activities, we used to have a lot of bake sales and Relief Society bazaars and dime-a-dip suppers, and Dilly Bread was my mother’s regular contribution. She baked several loaves at a time for those donations, because she knew that when my dad took it down to the site of the bake sale, the smell of the fresh bread would drive him crazy, and he couldn’t resist buying back at least one loaf to have for supper that night.


1 package yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup cottage cheese, heated to lukewarm
2 tblsp. sugar
1 tblsp. minced onion
1 tblsp. butter
2 tsp. dill seed
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. baking soda
1 unbeaten egg
2¼ to 2½ cups sifted flour

Soften yeast in water. Combine in mixing bowl: cottage cheese, sugar, onion, butter, dill seed, salt, soda, egg and softened yeast. Add flour to form a stiff dough, mixing well after each addition. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in bulk – 50 to 60 minutes. Stir down dough. Turn into well-greased 8-inch round casserole (1½ or 2 quart). Let rise in warm place until light, 30 to 40 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, until golden brown. Brush with soft butter.

Yield: 1 round loaf



  1. A blessing upon you, Sis. Parshall! I hereby promise and covenant to try your recipe, non-chef though I be. Cottage cheese and minced onion are, of course, staples of my everyday existence, and I suspect that such exotica as eggs, and dill seed – and leavening – can be obtained at my local Wegman’s grocery store (judging from the fact that they even carry live lobster, swordfish, and white truffles in a locked Lucite case @ $999.99/lb.) . . .

    The dilly smell in my kitchen will surely conjure up memories of those old-time Relief Society bazaars, with the $25 quilts, the embroidered pillow cases, and the home-made cherry pies baked by more affluent sisters of the Boise 8th Ward who found time to braid strips of crust across the top. Your sacred bread formula has also recalled memories of riding home to the farm after those wondrous events, lying in the back of the car (what was a seat belt?), staring up at a full moon creeping behind the clouds as I drifted into childhood’s comfortable protected sleep.

    Three cheers for Dilly bread! Will return & report.

    Comment by Rick Grunder — May 31, 2008 @ 8:55 am

  2. You will not be disappointed, Bro. Grunder. Be sure to have butter — real butter — at room temperature waiting for your loaf to come out of the oven.

    Amazing what memories a smell, or even the anticipation of a smell, can evoke.

    If you bake it in a round plate or dish, the best way I’ve found to slice it is in half through the equater, then in slices at right angles to the first cut. It can be a little crumbly, so wedges get messy. Remove it from the baking dish and let it cool a little, if you can stand to wait, to keep the bread from packing while you slice.

    Mmmmmmm …..

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 31, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  3. Prudent advice, no doubt! Only the price of gas – and the trifling matter of an early Mormon book soon at hand – keep me from hieing to Wegman’s right now.

    Anticipating the “Mmmmmmm …..”

    Comment by Rick Grunder — May 31, 2008 @ 10:05 am

  4. For us non-Americans, how much yeast is in “1 package” please?

    Comment by namakemono — May 31, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  5. namakemono, I had the same question with French recipes that call for one envelope of vanilla.

    It’s a heaping tablespoon (like a rounded soup spoon). Doesn’t have to be very precise.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 31, 2008 @ 5:42 pm

  6. I was given some Amish friendship bread which was pretty good but was mostly like a cake. This looks like even more fun. Thank you for sharing, Ardis!

    Comment by Proud Daughter of Eve — May 31, 2008 @ 6:12 pm

  7. Bread making was a big deal growing up and is now part of my home. My mom used to make the sacrament bread. There is something wonderful about that.

    Comment by J. Stapley — May 31, 2008 @ 6:35 pm

  8. We make bread from this recipe now and then, and it is indeed a treat.

    We bake it in pie tins instead of casserole dishes. It is a very hearty bread, and goes well with soup on cold days.

    Comment by Mark IV — May 31, 2008 @ 7:35 pm

  9. There, you see?! In the mouths of two or three witnesses —

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — May 31, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

  10. #5 thanks (^-^)
    #7 homemade bread for Sacrament? Wow, that sounds good!!!

    Comment by namakemono — June 1, 2008 @ 6:46 am

  11. Ardis,
    This will date me, but I remember the Relief Society bazaars and spending all year embroidering beautiful pillow cases and helping with quilts to sell. I also have the recipe for Dilly Bread, which I used to make back then, served with REAL butter. Every time I get my recipe book out so I can make bread sticks or rolls, I see the Dilly Bread recipe staring me in the face, and I wonder what ever possessed me to try this recipe in the first place, as I don’t like cottage cheese.

    Comment by Maurine — June 1, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

  12. But that’s like saying you don’t like baking soda! Cottage cheese replaces milk in this recipe, and you no more taste it or feel its texture than you do any of the other ingredients (dill seed and onion excepted).

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 2, 2008 @ 7:39 am

  13. You are right, of course. The cottage cheese thing never stopped me from baking the bread because it was so good. I really don’t know why I haven’t made it for a long time.

    Comment by Maurine — June 2, 2008 @ 6:57 pm

  14. And you were also right about the oven-proof mixing bowl, Ardis, since that was my choice for today’s excursion into the once-intimidating world of baking . . .

    Dilly Bread and great-grandfather’s rolling pin

    Dilly Bread is a new taste and smell sensation for me, but I’m learning fast! Of course this opens new temptations from which previously I was immune, but I guess that is kind of like life itself, eh? A little devil on my left shoulder is already suggesting substitutions involving olive oil and rosemary. But then, that wouldn’t be Dilly Bread, so I’ll try to control myself until the whole loaf is consumed, and my tastes become more refined.

    Thanks for the treat, Ardis, and for this culinary adventure!

    Comment by Rick Grunder — June 4, 2008 @ 4:20 pm

  15. You made it, Rick! I’m delighted! And it looks so pretty, too. I hope you like the dill, and if you branch out into other herbs, please tell me how that goes.

    It’s rainy and cold here, and Dilly Bread just may be on tonight’s menu chez moi.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 4, 2008 @ 4:56 pm

  16. Ardis–I’m remembering this as a Pillsbury Bakeoff winner from the very early 1960s. Can anyone date it any earlier?–“old family recipe”, etc.

    Comment by Marjorie Conder — June 6, 2008 @ 4:37 pm

  17. Marjorie, it’s definitely a Pillsbury Bake-off winner, $25,000 prize according to the note on Mom’s recipe card, but she didn’t note the date, unfortunately.

    [Later: It’s 1960, according to a number of pages found by googling.]

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — June 6, 2008 @ 4:57 pm

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