Recipe Buttermilk Bread

TastyReuben

Nosh 'n' Splosh
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BUTTERMILK BREAD
Makes 2 small loaves

Ingredients
1 package (2 1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2 TB honey
2 cups buttermilk
2 TB bacon fat
1 1/2 tsp salt
5 1/2-6 1/2 cups AP flour (see note)
2 TB butter, melted (for brushing the tops after baking)


Directions
1. Dissolve the yeast in warm water with 1 TB of the honey. Set aside in a warm place to proof for 5 minutes, until the mixture becomes frothy.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the buttermilk, bacon fat, remaining honey, and salt. Heat until lukewarm.
3. Place 3 cups of flour in a large mixer bowl. Beat in the buttermilk mixture until smooth, then mix in the yeast. Add most of the remaining flour (reserving 1 cup to use on the board during kneading), 1 cup at a time, until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, using the reserved flour, and knead 10-12 minutes. Add flour as necessary to prevent dough from sticking. The finished dough should be smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a warm, butter (or oiled) bowl, turn once, and cover with a tea towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
4. Oil two 8-inch X 4-inch loaf pans. Punch dough down, divide in half, form into 2 loaves, and place loaves in pans, smooth side up. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 425F. Bake loaves for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350F, and bake for another 25-30 minutes. If loaves begin to get too brown for your taste, cover lightly with a piece of foil. The finished bread should sound hollow when tapped with your knuckles. Remove loaves from the pans immediately. Brush tops of loaves with the melted butter. Let cool before slicing.


Recipe courtesy of Cooking From Quilt Country by Marcia Adams

NOTE: The precise amount of flour will vary, depending on the brand of flour, relative moisture, and kneading method. Use your judgment.

This is my preferred recipe for everyday, fairly soft, sandwich bread. You can also use molasses, sorghum, or any number of other sweeteners in place of the honey. I do the kneading, for an equal amount of time as shown above, in my stand mixer.

 
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