Dilly Casserole Bread – 1960 Pillsbury Bake-Off Winner

Dilly Casserole Bread is old fashioned recipe that’s a Pillsbury Bake-off prize winner from 1960. It’s stood the test of time too; this Dilly Casserole Bread is as good today as it was then.

Dilly Casserole Bread

I first had this Dilly Casserole Bread when we lived in North Carolina and I was invited to a friend’s home for lunch. I’ve had the recipe on this blog since 1996 when I published the recipe; nothing else. While I’m working to clean out some dead wood, I spied it and I simply could not remember where the recipe came from but I knew I had to make a loaf and share it with you.

Somewhere in the back recesses of my brain I thought it might have been Southern Living Magazine; you know, one of those recipes that were sent into the publication by readers. If not it was probably from a compilation of recipes put together by a local church; those little cookbooks often held great treasures.

Dilly Casserole Bread

Not really expecting to find much I did a quick Google search before writing this post and lo and behold; it’s attributed to Leona Schnuelle from Crab Orchard, Nebraska. She won the Pillsbury Bake-Off® Contest with this bread way back in 1960.

It’s sort of amazing that a bread I’ve known and loved for as long as I can remember, that surely has been included in more than one of very church and community cookbooks that I mentioned, would be from this classic competition. I wonder now if any other winners have perpetrated a similar legacy…and now I’m sort of interested in finding out.

For this recipe it’s apparent that the only ingredient required from Pillsbury was their flour which sure left the door open to lots of interpretation. I’m not sure I could compete adequately in the contest today where a variety of brand products are required to succeed so I’m hoping Leona was around long enough to witness how lucky she was.

Dilly Casserole Bread

If you glance at the ingredients, you might be taken aback. Dried and minced onion? Small Curd Cottage Cheese? Butter or margarine? OK, I can live with the dried onion; I usually have emergency stock on hand. Nothing wrong with the cottage cheese; it’s not a typical bread ingredient but it really adds something special to this bread.

What I changed in the recipe was a designation for butter OR margarine. I may have had margarine growing up because with our family of 8 those were the corners that were cut to keep the food budget in check. Today I don’t think it’s worth the sacrifice; it’s butter baby…all the way!

Dilly Casserole Bread

I remember the first time I tried this bread at a friend’s home; I was not at all sure I would like it. The notion of combining a flavor best known for pickles with a bread seemed strange to say the least but I’m telling you the truth; left to my own devices I think I could sit and eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

Those devices being a soft chair and some butter. It is really that good and I’m so glad I’ve resurrected it from the past; it was time! If you’re not sure what you’re serving with your holiday meals or summer barbecue, try something different. The flavors are subtle and delicious…I don’t think you can go wrong!

PIN IT! ‘Dilly Casserole Bread’

Dill and Cottage Cheese Casserole Bread in a Springform Pan

Dilly Casserole Bread
Print Recipe
4.6 from 10 votes

Dilly Casserole Bread

A 1960 Pillsbury BakeOff winner that is just as good over a half century later. Easy too!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Additional Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 55 mins
Course: Breads
Servings: 1 Loaf
Author: Barb

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 ⅔ cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp instant minced onion or real onion
  • 2 tsp dill seed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 cup small curd creamed cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp butter melted
  • ¼ tsp coarse salt if desired

Instructions

  • In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, onion, dill seed, 1 teaspoon salt, baking soda and yeast; mix well.
  • In small saucepan, heat water, 1 tablespoon margarine and cottage cheese until very warm (120 to 130°F.). Add warm liquid and egg to flour mixture; blend at low speed until moistened.
  • Beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, stir in remaining 1 to 1 2/3 cups flour to form a stiff batter.
  • Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and cloth towel. Let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 45 to 60 minutes.
  • Grease 1 1/2 or 2-quart casserole or 10" springform pan. Put a circle of parchment paper in the bottom and grease it. Stir down batter to remove all air bubbles. Turn into greased casserole or springfrom. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until loaf is deep golden brown and sounds hollow when lightly tapped.
  • If necessary, cover with foil to prevent over-browning. Remove from casserole dish or baking pan and place on a wire rack. Brush loaf with melted margarine; sprinkle with coarse salt. Cool 15 minutes.

Notes

Approximately 90 minutes in total is required for bread to rise twice.

Nutrition

Serving: 18

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42 Comments

  1. Easy bread to make, stupid proof recipe, I should know as I could screw up corn flakes given half the opportunity. Note: Forget bread machine recipes, this is REAL BAKING with great results and little effort.
    Shoving ingredients into one end of a machine and getting a bad tasting goop out the other end is not only “not baking” but usually results in less than great results in taste. Learn to bake the old fashioned way, you will not regret it.

  2. One of these messages says it can be made into rolls. Since this is a batter bread, and loose enough to ‘pour’ out of the mixing bowl, how should the recipe be altered to make it hold together enough to be formed into rolls?

    1. Someone may have left a comment to that effect but it’s something I’ve never done so I hesitate to give you my assurances that it would work.

  3. LOVE THIS BREAD! I’ve always paired it with a hearty potato soup! Cut a slab, butter and toast till golden brown and dip in your soup! Comfort food at its very best!

  4. I grew up in Crab Orchard and remember the excitement of Leona’s dilly bread recipe. My Grandmother made this recipe into rolls for every family dinner and they always were gone quickly.

    1. It’s such an old recipe but it is still so satisfying…I LOVE keeping track of recipes like that. I’m OK with jello salads going by the wayside but not this bread.

  5. I make this at home all the time and I have since the 70’s when I received the recipe from a friend as part of a wedding shower gift! Great memories!! I’m with my Grandkids now and they’d like to make it since they love it so much!! But, I don’t have dried onion or raw onion on hand. Can I effectively substitute onion powder? And if so, how much?

    1. I think you should be able to do that successfully. The only problem is I don’t have any so I can’t tell you exactly how much to use but if you have some look on the container and see if it doesn’t tell you what the substitution amount would be.

  6. I made this bread recipe several times from a church cookbook I got back in the 80’s in south Texas. This bread goes so well with shrimp gumbo.

  7. It was fun to read all the comments about Dilly Casserole Bread. Leona was a good friend of my mother before they were both married to the Schnuelle name. I always make a triple batch and use different size pans. That way if you are only sharing with two or three people, you can freeze it and keep some for later.

  8. I’ve made this type of bread since the 60s. My recipe is called Shambarger’s Dilly Bread. Recipe is almost exactly the same: mine calls for more onion. It is a wonderful bread. Am going to make some today to eat it’s soup for dinner tonight. Love the “old” recipes.

    1. It is a favorite here too; my only problem is that I struggle with only eating a slice. Warm with some melted butter? That’s a danger for me! 🙂

  9. I LOVE this bread. It always brings back delightful childhood memories!
    I always use a lot of fresh dill as well as dill seeds (I really love dill…); I also just a combination of onion powder, onion flakes/dried chopped onion and fresh minced onion—a lot more than the recipe calls for actually. And I usually put a little white and black pepper in the dough as well.

    Someone mentioned concerns about excess liquids… There are multiple ways this can be mitigated. The first is actually NOT doing anything to the recipe or ingredients, but instead lowering the oven temp after 20 minutes or so and baking it a bit longer.
    My additions and changes tend to add even more moisture than the difference in cottage cheese, and I have the load actually collapse a big during cooling because it was so moist. A bit of extra flour is another option, but I prefer the oven temp/baking time adjustment. I decided against straining the cottage cheese, but of course that is another viable option.

    And of course the recipe itself gives a range of 2/3 cup flour—for a recipe this size that is significantly more than usual.

    The first few times I made this something seemed to be a bit off so I asked my mother about it and after a couple days she remembered that she used to substitute about 1/2 of white corn flour (as opposed to corn meal—the fineness of the grinding/milling is the difference), and I really like the effect that has.
    I’ve also toyed with substituting about a third of the flour for various whole grain flours—such as ‘white’ whole wheat, brown rice or a bit of coconut, almond or other flours—or even something like a multigrain pancake or bread mixture. So far they have all been delicious and unique. For some reason this recipe seems especially able to handle such substitutions well.

    I used to work in a bakery so I ended up buying some dough conditioner which I also add (about a tablespoon).

  10. Not to be picky, but why would you be against using margarine in the bread batter, but then brush it with margarine when it is finished baking?

    1. Oh my gosh Sharon, all the years this has been on my blog and that has been incorrect. I changed it to butter in the ingredients but clearly I failed to change the instructions to read butter instead of margarine!

      I’m on my phone right now and I tried but I just can’t get it to change on my phone for some reason but I’ve made a note and I will take care of that tomorrow so thank you thank you thank you very much!

  11. Im so happy to find this recipe. My mother used to make this bread back in the 60s.
    I would like to know if I could substitute dill weed for the dill seed.

  12. This was the first bread I ever made back in the early 70s. I was searching for this specific recipe and was glad to find it here. the one thing that concerns me is back then cottage cheese was very different than it is now. It had a much drier consistency. If you scooped it with an ice cream scoop it would hold its shape on the plate. Today’s got a cheese has much more whey making it a lot wetter. I would think this would alter the texture from the original recipe.

    1. Because I live in Denver I’ve never worried about it too much because everything here gets dry including flour so a bit more moisture is never a bad thing. But if you thought it was too wet I would suggest you just put the required amount into a strainer and let it strain over a bowl before mixing it all together.

  13. I have the 1960 Bake-Off book it was first published in. Hadn’t made it in years till recently. My children still love it and it is new and delicious to my grandchildren. I make it in my bread machine on the dough cycle. Then I put it in a casserole dish for its second rise and baking.

    1. I’ve used lots of different kinds; the directions call for a ‘casserole’ and yes, I think I’ve used a round casserole dish at one time. The photos show it in a springform pan (cheesecake pan) which is 10″ in diameter but you can also make it in a cake pan if you have a large one. With any of them, I prefer greasing the bottom, cutting a piece of parchment to fit the bottom and greasing the parchment before putting the mixture in. Parchment has become something I use for all cakes and breads now; nice to know something won’t stick to the bottom!

  14. I see no one has commented on this for a year so I’ll chime in. I’ve been making this since the 1980’s and have the Pillsbury book that it was published in which tells you how old I am! (Not at home so had to look for recipe). I wouldn’t have thought dill would be good in a bread either, but it is awesome! The perfect bread to go with soup or to make a sandwich out of – you won’t be disappointed! And, if you have salt flakes for the top, even better! Either way, try it and you’ll be a convert! I’m making it right now!

  15. I haven’t had this bread for many years but I never forgot how delicious it was! My Mother-in-law made this bread and always had it available for us when we visited. Such sweet memories. I have this on my to do list and today I’m off to the store to get supplies. I’m thankful you have this recipe for me to follow!

  16. This sounds delicious! And what a cool discovery to make about the bakeoff. I grew up using margarine as well when we thought it was healthier than butter. But now that we know better, I’m with you: butter all the way!

  17. I just took fresh bread out of the oven and love the smell that fills the house. I think this dill bread would be really interesting and can see why it stood out of the crowd and won the prize. Will have to give it a try!

  18. I’ve actually had dill in bread before. Not a typical flavor (in the US, at least) but it really works. Maybe it’s this recipe I’ve had, and didn’t know it! This does indeed look like a winner — thanks.

    1. You’re so welcome; funny how one little thing will remind us of something we love that we sort of forgot about it isn’t it? Now I have to make it too!

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