Loafing Around

Plays Well with Peanut Butter!Going back to work after a lazy weekend is always tough. It makes it a bit better when you have yummy eats to look forward to all day. Another thing that can vastly improve a Monday is finding out that you are the winner of the past week’s BSI contest! I was so excited and honored when I found out that my Very Strawberry Almond Butter Bars were declared the winning recipe this week. I know that the competition was tough. Thanks so much for hosting, Laura, and thanks for choosing my little bars!! Thanks to all of you for the positive comments on the post as well. I’m really enjoying the bars, and, if you decide to make up a batch, I hope you will enjoy them too! Don’t forget to check out Christina’s site, Dinner at Christina’s, to find out about the BSI for this week’s contest. I already peeked, and she chose a good one!

I had a yummy bar this morning, bulgur chili in my lunch, and I had last night’s loaf of bread waiting at home as an incentive to make it through the day. I love cooking all weekend long. It makes for a week of good eats!! I saved room to have a couple of slices of the bread after dinner with, well, what else?? Peanut butter! Last night I had the deconstructed PB&J you see above. Tonight, I had one slice with regular peanut butter and another with PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams. I just love having fresh bread, and this is an interesting loaf. As I mentioned, I’m trying to bump up the protein in my diet. I decided to make a simplification of a recipe from the same book I used for my “Big Batch” Bran Bread: Martha Rose Shulman’s Great Breads. This recipe is great because it has a ton of cottage cheese in it, and that gives it a little protein boost! The end result is a loaf with a nice crisp crust and a very moist interior.


The original recipe was for an herbed version of this bread. I’m sure it would be good, but I didn’t really want to be wedded to dill for an entire loaf, so I decided to leave out a few things and just make the basic bread. Here’s the recipe:

Cottage Cheese Bread

adapted from Great Breads by Martha Rose Shulman


1 Tbsp. active dry yeast

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar

1 3/4 cups 1% lowfat cottage cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup egg beaters, at room temperature

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 2/3 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup all purpose flour (plus extra if you are kneading by hand)

1/4 cup teff flour (you could use another flour or just use more all purpose flour if you don’t have teff)

nonstick cooking spray


Dissolve the yeast in the warm water in a large bowl (the mixing bowl if you are using a mixer), and stir in the agave nectar or honey. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes, until creamy.

Press the cottage cheese through a sieve or give it a zip in the food processor. Stir it into the yeast mixture. Beat in the egg beaters, olive oil and baking soda. 

Combine the flours and salt in a medium sized bowl. Add all at once to the yeast mixture. Use a spoon to stir the flour into the liquids until the dry ingredients are moistened. Place the mixing bowl on the mixer stand, and, using the dough hook, mix on low speed for 2 minutes. Then increase to medium speed and mix for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be sticky. After kneading it in the mixer, it should be fairly smooth and elastic and should spring back when indented with the fingers.

If you choose to knead the dough by hand rather than with the mixer, you should incorporate the flour and then knead on a floured work surface for 10 minutes adding extra all purpose flour as needed, up to 1/2 a cup. If you are a points counter, you may want to keep track of the additional flour and refigure the points using the recipe builder.

Scrape the dough out of the mixing bowl and onto a lightly floured surface or a nonstick mat coated in nonstick cooking spray. Knead for a minute or so by hand. I sprayed my hands with cooking spray as needed to keep the dough from sticking. Form the dough into a loaf by flattening it into a rectangular shape and then folding it like a business letter, pinching the seems to seal. Tuck the ends toward the center and pinch to seal those seams as well. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just make a loaf. 

Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Place the loaf in the pan with the seam side down. I placed the loaf pan over my bread and then flipped the baking mat over rather than trying to lift the loaf off of the mat. Spray the top of the loaf with cooking spray.

Cover with a towel and allow it to rise for 2 hours, or until the top of the loaf curves above the side of the pan. 

About 30 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees, with the rack in the middle.

Bake the loaf for 35 to 40 minutes, until it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.

This makes 12 unofficial 2 point slices or 24 unofficial 1 point slices (when made using teff flour and no additional all purpose flour)

I decided that I’d rather use a sieve for the cottage cheese than dirty up my food processor. It didn’t take me too long to press every last bit of this through the mesh.

Cottage Cheese in a SieveI can never resist taking a photo of the dry ingredients. I think they are so pretty. The darkest part is the teff flour. I bought a bag the other day, and I’m having fun mixing it in to all sorts of things. As I said above, you could just use 3/4 of a cup of all purpose flour instead of the AP flour and teff flour combo if you don’t have teff flour on hand. 
The Dry Team
I love using my dough hook, but kneading by hand obviously works well too. I’ve certainly made my share of bread without the luxury of a dough hook. A benefit of the mixer is that you don’t need to add as much extra flour in order to work with the dough. Extra flour adds calories, but also makes for a heavier bread in some cases. As you can see, this is a pretty sticky dough, and I’d rather let the mixer do the work than get my hands stuck in the middle of it.
You don't "knead" the mixer, but it makes it easier!
This bread is a bit easier than some because it only has to rise one time. I can never resist buying old pyrex with funky designs like the one on this loaf pan when I spot one at Goodwill. I just think they are fun! Here’s how it looks before it rises:
Before the Rising
 Here’s how it looks after it rises and right before it goes into the oven:
After the RisingOops! That one was a little blurry, but you get the point. Finally… here is the finished loaf!
Loafing Around
My workout was great last night, and it was nice to come home to a loaf of fresh bread and the aroma of baking. I think that there’s nothing like it! I see a lot of peanut butter toast in my near future, and I’m planning on making a special sandwich filler for tomorrow. That will have to wait for now… 
What would be on your ideal slice of toast??? Sweetie Pie wants to know!

Now that I’ve posted two bread recipes, I can honestly say that I think the bread recipes are the hardest to write. If you have any questions or find anything to be absolutely confusing, please let me know. 

Before I go, I want to tell you to check out Missy’s awesome granola giveaway at Missy Maintains in celebration of her new domain name. Check it out! 
Also, there is a fun British bar giveaway over at Thinspired. Happy Blogaversary!

I’m shooting for an early bedtime this evening, and I need to fix some of this bread up for the freezer before I crash so I guess I’d better get to it. Have a great evening, and don’t forget to check out this week’s BSI over at Dinner at Christina’s. Ciao!!


Filed under Baking, Bread, BSI, diet, Fitness, Food, Recipes, Vegetarian Recipes, Weight Loss, Weight Loss Success Story, Weight Watchers

12 responses to “Loafing Around

  1. Oh wow, that bread…!!! The loaf that I baked last week was a somewhat failure so I am thinking I have a new bread recipe to try this week! 🙂 My ideal slice of toast is spread with lingonberry jam and a slice of strong cheese 🙂

  2. maggieapril

    I love homemade bread, but it is yet another baked good I can’t resist eating too much of, so I skip it.

    Ideally my piece of homemade toast would be loaded with peanut butter and bacon. These days I measure the peanut butter and skip the bacon. 😦

  3. congrats on the win! your bars looked great 🙂

    that bread looks really good, too.

    I love pb or almond butter and really good jam. or just butter sometimes –

  4. Thanks for the shout out 🙂 Love the bread!

  5. Why? Why do I get hungry every time I visit your blog? That bread looks so darn good.
    I love cinnamon toast and cheese toast. mmm…..may have to make some this morning.

  6. I’ve never heard of yeasted bread made with cottage cheese, but it looks sooo good! I think I’ll have to try it. 🙂

  7. Congratulations on the very well deserved win!! I love your bread as well. It looks great. The problem I always have with freshly baked bread is that it is soooo good that I eat too much of it. So I have only made bread myself once and that was more or less from one of those pre-done packages. All you add is water and voila; bread done. But reading about your breadrecipes; I might have to try a real bread….

  8. Thanks for spreading the BSI word!

    I love buying old bakeware at thrift stores, too! Not only are they retro and cute, but I always feel like they’re more sturdy and just better quality than the flimsy stuff they sell nowadays.

  9. Oh my gosh, that bread is amazing!!!!!!

  10. erinbee

    hi there.

    i just found your blog by way of the bsi.
    congratulations on your win. now send
    me some of those bars. A S A P !!! haha.

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