Make the dough: In a medium bowl, sprinkle the yeast over 1/2 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F) and gently shake the bowl to help the yeast mix with the water. Set aside until dissolved, about 10 minutes.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the bread flour with the shallots, fresh dill, dill seeds, fennel seeds, sesame seeds, honey, molasses, wheat germ, salt and pepper. Mix on medium-low speed to blend. Mix in the cottage cheese and egg.
Add the yeast mixture and mix to incorporate. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl. Cover with a towel and put in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours.
Grease an 8-inch loaf pan with butter. Gently push the air out of the dough. Put the dough squarely in the pan and cover it with the towel again. Leave in a warm place to rise for 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Bake the bread: Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Bake the loaf until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean or the internal temperature of the bread reaches 200 degrees F, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and unmold. Let the bread rest on a rack for at least 30 minutes before cutting. (Or, if you're like me, tear off the end and nibble on it immediately as you wait for the rest of the loaf to cool! The crust is addictive.)
Photograph by Johnny Miller
Courtesy of Food Network Magazine