HOW TO Make Fresh Dill Bread?

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Now that you have made your Ricotta, you will still have a lot of left over whey. You can now use it in bread baking, soup stock or even to cook pasta. Ricotta freezes fairly well, but is never quite as good as fresh. You can freeze lots of Ricotta in the summer to use in bread baking in the winter. The following Dill bread recipe uses both whey and ricotta in its preparation. However, if you do not have whey and Ricotta, this bread can be made with water instead of whey, and small curd cottage cheese instead of Ricotta. This is a delicious bread that makes excellent toast and grilled cheese sandwiches. This recipe makes two loaves of Dill bread.

Dill Bread Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup. Whey
  • 1 Tablespoon. Yeast
  • 2 Cup. Ricotta
  • 2 Tablespoon. Butter
  • 4 Tablespoon. Sugar
  • 1 small. Onion, minced
  • 2 tsp. Dill weed
  • 2 tsp. Dill seed
  • 2 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking soda
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup. Wheat germ
  • 5-6 Cup. Flour

Heat the whey to luke warm and place in a large mixing bowl. Dissolve the yeast in the whey. Place the Ricotta and the butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat in the microwave until the butter just melts – about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on high; be sure to stir it occasionally.

To the yeast mixture add the sugar, onion, dill weed & seed, salt, baking soda and eggs. Mix until combined. Add the wheat germ and the Ricotta, and mix well. Add 1 1/2 cups of the flour and beat on medium for 5 minutes. Slowly add another 1 1/2 cups of flour. Now switch to the dough hook and continue to slowly add enough of the remaining flour to create a fairly stiff dough. I use a heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer when making this bread. If you have a “weaker” mixer, you may have to finish adding the rest of the flour by hand. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead until the dough springs back when you poke it – approximately  5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down, knead briefly and divide in half. Shape the dough into smooth loaves and place in greased loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour. Alternatively, if you do not want to time the risings, you can just keep an eye on the loaves until they look right.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for about 50 minutes.

When the bread is done, turn it out of its pan and let it cool on a wire rack. Cut yourself off a piece and eat it while it is still warm. Yummy.

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HOW TO Make Ricotta Using ONLY Whey?

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Sour Cream Whipped Toppings Yogurt Packaged Cheese Feta Mozzarella Parmesan Provolone Ricotta Vegetarian Blue Cheese Cheddar Cheese Blends Almond Milk Soy Milk Milk Substitutes Butter & Margarine Cheese Assortments & Samplers

Each time when you make cheese, you end up with a lot of whey i.e., The nutritious liquid left over from curdled milk when the curds are removed. Whey contains the water-soluble proteins, vitamins, and minerals in the milk. And there are many things you can do with this leftover whey. You can use it in bread baking and soup stock, and even to cook pasta. You can even drink whey plain or sweetened. And in a pinch it can be used to ripen your cheese if you are out of culture (* You cannot use whey that has been used for Ricotta or  Paneer for this).

One of the really neat things about making cheese is that almost every time you make a hard cheese you can also make Ricotta. Ricotta is Italian, meaning  “to cook again”. It is a soft, smooth, fresh, unripened Italian cheese usually made from the whey of goat, cow or sheep milk.

Ricotta is made by using heat to precipitate – separate out the remaining albumin protein from the whey left over from making lactic acid/rennet precipitated cheeses. Usually recipes call for the use of an acid, such as vinegar in precipitating the curds. I have found, that in most cases, due to the fact that you ripen the milk as you make your hard cheese, the whey has enough acid on it’s own and does not need the extra vinegar. I also find that leaving the vinegar out creates a smoother cheese. If you use the vinegar, the cheese will tend to be slightly grainy. Ricotta is not a high yield cheese, but it is worth the effort. Many recipes call for the addition of some whole milk to increase the yield, but I find this effects the texture – makes it grainier and I do not recommend it. I prefer my Ricotta – smooth.

* Note: That you cannot make Ricotta from the whey left over from making an acid precipitated cheese such as Paneer/ Queso Blanco or whole milk Ricotta. Reason being, you have already precipitated out all the albumin protein the milk has to give using acid and heat and there is nothing left over in the remaining whey to make whey Ricotta.

You can use your homemade Ricotta in almost any recipe that calls for cottage cheese. It can be used instead of cream cheese to make cheesecake. You can also stir in some herbs and eat it on crackers.

Traditional Ricotta Recipe, using only left over Whey

Making Ricotta is very simple. Over direct heat, heat the hard cheese whey to 200°. By the time it has reached this temperature you will see very tiny white particles – the albumin protein,  floating in the whey. The heat and acid from the ripe whey has precipitated the protein. You can add a little vinegar at this point if you really think it necessary ( 1/4 Cup. per 2 gallons of whey), it is up to you as it would not affect the Ricotta.

Line a colander with very fine cheesecloth, called “butter muslin”. You must use a very fine cloth here, or your cheese will pass through the regular cloth. If you do not have fine cheesecloth, use a clean cotton cloth. Place the colander over a big pot so you can save the whey and carefully pour the whey into the colander. Be very careful because the liquid is hot. Tie the ends of the cheesecloth together and hang the ricotta to drain for a couple hours.

When it has drained, place the ricotta in a bowl and add salt to taste. You will find that the Ricotta made from the whey of different cheeses has different tastes and textures. In my opinion, Feta makes the strongest taste as the taste increases as it ages in the fridge. Whereas, Mozzarella makes the best. Your Ricotta will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge. Enjoy!

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