So nice to have the temperature finally cool down a bit! Fritz and I got up bright and early so we could get our laundry done and go to the gym before we have to really get serious about studying.
Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve been working on running again. I’ve never been a big fan of running, most likely because I’m just not very good at it–the furthest I have ever gone in one go is three miles. And it was h-a-r-d. I’ve always wanted to be a runner, because it’s an amazing form of exercise that is available to you any time, any place. But…I’m just not good at it. Then last year I picked it up again, but did something to injure a peripheral nerve in my left leg–probably going too much, too soon. After all, my body has never really been trained to run.
As I’m sure you can imagine, the burning down my leg combined with tingling and numbness in my feet which worsened as I sat through class did not encourage my running aspirations.
This year, after doing lots of exercises to get rid of the nerve problem (for the most part), I started thinking about running again. Dang it, if a physical therapy student can’t train her body to run healthily, then who can? So I started a new program that involves lots of stretching, strengthening targeted to specific muscles that I know are too weak (that’d be my glutes), and a very slow and steady running goal. I started at half a mile, and added a tenth of a mile every time I worked out. Running at a 10-minute mile pace means it’s only one more minute of running every time I add on.
So far, I’m at a mile and a half! Woo! It’s hard, but it’s not that hard. My biggest problem with running is all mental–I have to distract myself from focusing on how much distance I’ve covered, otherwise, it’s torture. And so far, no nerve problems.
Anyway, after my short run today, I was seriously craving some carbs (actually, I always crave carbs). Luckily I made this light and fluffy but seriously savory bread yesterday!
Dill & Cottage Cheese Bread (from Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads)
- 1 C cottage cheese
- 2 T sugar
- 1 T dried onion flakes
- 1 T fresh minced dill
- 1 t salt
- 1/4 t baking soda
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 package dry yeast
- 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour
- 1/2 t butter, melted (don’t this until it’s about to come out of the oven)
- dash of salt
Grease a casserole dish (1 1/2 quarts) or two bread pans–or one bread pan if you want one gigantic and oddly shaped loaf like mine.
In a saucepan, warm the cottage cheese over medium heat just until it feels warm to the touch.
In a mixing bowl, combine the warm cottage cheese, sugar, onion, dill, salt, baking soda, eggs, and yeast. If you don’t have eggs at room temperature, just place them in a bowl of hot water for a minute or two until they warm up–it’ll help the bread to rise. Add the flour 1/2 C at a time until a thick batter is formed–a very thick batter.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and allow it to rise until doubled in size, about an hour. Once it’s ready, stir down the batter, and spoon it into the dish/bread pans.
Cover the pans with waxed paper, being careful that the paper doesn’t touch the dough since risen dough may fall once the wax paper is removed. Allow it to double in size again, about 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 20 minutes before baking.
Bake the loaf on the medium rack until it is a deep brown, 40-45 minutes. You may want to cover it with foil after a half an hour so it doesn’t brown too much. When a toothpick is inserted, it should come out completely dry. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with a dash of salt.
Allow it to cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
I think this might be my favorite bread I have ever made. It tastes nothing like cottage cheese (actually reminds me a bit of an everything bagel), but is super light and fluffy. And the savory flavor is to die for.
I toasted a giant piece for breakfast this morning and had it with two eggs on top. So delicious!
Fritz isn’t quite as in love with it as I am (his loyalty remains with banana bread), but he has enjoyed several pieces today, so I think that’s enough confirmation for me.
So light! So fluffy! I love me some dense, nutty, whole-grain breads, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change.
I’m off to try to get some studying done.