Although I’m not entirely sure where this bread got its name from, perhaps it was baked in Shakespearian times. The only reference I can find for Elsinore is from the city in Denmark where Hamlet is set. What I do know is that it’s a relatively easy bread to make and that it taste gorgeous. It also costs about 45p to make that’s about 82 U.S. cents or 68 euro cents, 1.17 Australian dollars or 1.30 New Zealand dollars. In other words, much cheaper than any herb bread you can buy in a health food shop.
- 110 grams (4oz, half a cup) Cottage Cheese, warm
- 125ml (quarter of a pint, five eighths of a cup) water, lukewarm
- half a tablespoon dried yeast or 14grams (0.5 oz ) fresh yeast
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of melted butter
- 1 tablespoon dill seed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 330grams (12 oz or roughly 18 tablespoons) Flour
- 1 medium sized egg
- quarter of a teaspoon baking powder
Dissolve the yeast in yeast in 4 tablespoons of the warm water, and leave to stand for 20 mins, I placed a tea towel over the top to keep the warmth in and stop any passing flies from doing the backstroke in my nice dough. Melt some butter in a pan and whilst doing this put your cottage cheese in a dish and put it in the oven on a low heat, I put it on at 100°C (gas mark ¼ or 225°F).
Now mash the warm cottage cheese in with the melted butter and the egg. Add the yeast mixture, (should be frothy by now) stir very well and add the rest of the water, continuously stirring the mixture. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until you get a good stiff dough. At this point I found that I was adding a bit more flour as I have no scales, don’t panic if the same happens to you, a rule of thumb is if it is too sticky add more flour.
Turn the mixture onto a floured board and knead for about 5 mins. Grease a good sized bowl, put in the kneaded mixture Leave to rise for up to 1.5 hours, or until it has doubled in bulk. I put a tea towel over it at this point too. Gently knead the dough again, for 5 mins.
Put into a good sized, well oiled, bread tin and leave to rise for one hour. It should double in volume. Pre-heat the oven to 240°C (gas mark 9 or 475°F) Bake in the oven for 10 mins before lowering the temperature to 220°C (gas mark 7 or 425°F) and bake for a further 25 mins or until brown.
I found that although this is a very easy bread to make I need the whole afternoon in which to do it. I did not have the whole afternoon, so where I have said leave it for an hour to rise, this was in fact about 4 hours. It did not seem to affect the final result so I would say that it can be done in 3-4 hours but if you don’t have time then spread it out over a whole day.