My Mom has a collection of well-loved cookbooks. Their pages are wrinkled and browned, and covered in handwritten notes and perhaps a bit of food. Some of the cookbooks were written by chefs that were famous in the 70s and 80s. Some are incredibly random. I can’t tell you how my mother got her hands on a cookbook titled “Applehood & Motherpie: handpicked recipes from Upstate New York” by the Junior League of Rochester, but it’s the source of this recipe for Dill Cottage Cheese Rolls that were contributed by Nicki R. Doolittle.
The original recipe is for bread, but my mother adjusted it so that she could make dill cottage cheese rolls. She also added her own adjustments to the recipe, reducing the amount of onion, and adding a second round of rising the dough. (I used shallot instead of onion just because I like shallots more).
If you haven’t tried dill cottage cheese bread, you are in for a treat. There was a bakery in Kennebunkport in the 1990s that made delicious dill cottage cheese bread and rolls. Every November my parents would place an order of the rolls to serve on Thanksgiving. When the bakery closed, my mother used this recipe and learned how to make the rolls herself.
These rolls just might be better the day after Thanksgiving. That is when I use them to make my classic post-Thanksgiving sandwich consisting of cranberry sauce, alouette cheese, turkey, and mashed potato. Sometimes I throw some green bean casserole in there too. It’s amazing.
I know that as a food blogger, what I do is online, but I love the thought of cookbooks being passed down through generations. Maybe people will start passing down printouts of recipes with notes all over them.
I need to end this post with a shout out to my Mom, Mary Ann, since it is her birthday next week. Happy Birthday Mom! (Last year we celebrated with a trip to Napa and Sonoma).
- 2 Packages Active Dry Yeast
- 1/2 cup Warm Water (105F - 115F)
- 2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons Sugar
- 2 cups Cottage Cheese
- 1 tablespoon minced Shallot or Onion
- 2 tablespoons Dill
- 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
- 2 teaspoons Salt
- 2 Eggs
- about 4 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 tablespoon Butter
- Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water. This will increase in size, so pick a bowl that is bigger than you think you need. Stir in 2 teaspoons sugar, and set aside.
- Next whip the cottage cheese in an electric mixer. Pour the cottage cheese into the bowl of the mixer and whip on a high speed for 2 minutes, or until the cottage cheese is almost smooth.
- Pour the shallot (or onion), dill, baking powder, salt, remaining sugar, and eggs into the bowl with cottage cheese. Stir to combine. Then add the yeast mixture.
- Next start adding the flour. Add it 1/2 cup at a time until the dough becomes stiff and hard to stir.
- Flour your working surface and knead the dough. If the dough is sticky, add more flour as you go. I added about another cup of flour to the dough as I was kneading. You want the dough to get to the point where it stops leaving a sticky mess on your hands. Knead until all the flour is evenly incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil into the bottom of two large bowls. Slice the dough in half, placing each half into one of the bowls. Coat the dough with the oil. Cover the bowls with a cloth and place them somewhere warm so that the dough can rise.
- Let the dough rise for 60-90 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen, knead it again for a minute. Then divide the dough into 20-24 rolls, and form the dough into small rounds. Space them out on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them, and let the dough rise for an additional hour.
- Once the rolls have risen, bake them at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Halfway through the baking process, brush some melted butter over the rolls to help them brown. Remove from the oven once they reach a light golden brown. Let the rolls cool on a rack before storing in an air tight container.