We recently spent a few days at the shore where we enjoyed the sun, swimming and a trip to one of our favorite restaurants where you can dine at one of their outdoor seating areas right on the water. The food is always delicious, but somehow the view below while eating always makes it even better.
We enjoyed a wonderful late lunch before heading back to our place for some late afternoon swimming. My son loves pickles and had never had fried pickles before, so I suggested we have them as one of our appetizers. I felt pretty sure that he would enjoy them, and he did! They were served with a ranch style dipping sauce. As we ate them, the inspiration for the recipe in my post today came to me.
I knew there was plenty of fresh dill waiting for me in my current aerogarden setup at home and I remembered the recipe I created back in February for a bread with fresh herbs. I decided that with a few tweaks, that recipe could be changed to have a bit of the flavor profile of our fried pickle appetizer. So using the same base recipe, I changed the mix of fresh herbs to just dill and swapped out the butter for ranch dressing.
Bread With Dill and Ranch Dressing
- 3 cups flour (I like to use a combination of 2 cups white and 1 cup wheat)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons bread machine yeast or instant yeast
- 2/3 cup chopped fresh dill.
- 1 teaspoon dried dill (this is optional, but I like the extra kick of dill flavor it gives)
Add the ingredients in the order recommended for your bread machine and set it to the basic cycle. My machine signals me during the cycle to let me know it’s time to add in additional ingredients – I added the dill at that point. If your machine doesn’t have this option, you can add the dill at the start.
Keep an eye on the dough while it goes through the first mixing cycle. Using ranch dressing in this version of the recipe made the dough a bit more wet. If the dough appears too wet, sprinkle on some flour, one teaspoon at a time, as the machine is kneading the dough. I found that two extra teaspoons was enough to do the trick for me.
If you wish to make the recipe without the bread machine, combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then make a well and add in the wet ingredients. Mix well until the dough forms. Allow the dough to rise two times in the bowl, punching it down in between risings and then form a loaf and put it into a greased bread pan and let is rise a third time before baking in a 350 degree oven. Allow it to bake for about 30 minutes before checking to see if it is done. Bread that is done should be golden brown and have a hollow sound when you tap on the bottom of the loaf.
We really enjoyed how this one turned out. The flavor of the dill came through clearly without being overpowering and the use of the ranch dressing in the recipe helped to give the bread a very nice soft texture.
After we enjoyed some of the bread warm right from the oven, I decided I would use some of it to make crostini for a dinner appetizer later that night. Crostini is simple to make, tastes great and has a nice crunch. It works well with just about any kind of fresh bread or as a way to breathe new life into day old bread. They are great served with cheese or dipped in dressing, hummus or olive oil just to name a few.
To make crostini, cut the bread into pieces and place them on a baking sheet. Brush each piece of bread with olive oil and then sprinkle with coarsely ground sea salt and black pepper if desired – since my bread had dill in it, I opted just to use salt to to focus on the dill flavor rather than pepper. Place the baking sheet in an oven preheated to 425 degrees and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, adding an additional minute or two if needed. The crostini should be golden brown and have a nice crunch when finished.
If you decide to try this recipe, I’d love to hear you thoughts. Have a great weekend!