Honey Buttermilk Bread

I’m a baker, as you may know. That means I’m picky about my baked goods. I won’t complain but I won’t rave about something unless I truly think it’s exceptional.

You should make this bread. I like bread. I like fresh bread but I’m not gaga over bread. In a restaurant, I’ll avoid it unless I know it’s particularly good. Focaccia at The Farm in Brooklyn. Sweet potato bread at Spring Street Natural in Manhattan. Cake from Baked in Red Hook. I have a short list. This bread is on that list. It tempts everyone. Fresh out of the oven it is worthy of murmurs and sweet nothings. A little butter, a little honey, a cup of tea – heaven.

Tender buttermilk white bread with the delicate flavor of honey. The stronger the honey the better the flavor so use pure raw honey, buckwheat or other strong flavor.

2 hr, 30Prep Time

30 minCook Time

3 hrTotal Time

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope yeast (I usually use 1 tablespoon because I buy in bulk.)
  • Pinch of powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup warm water (105F)
  • 2 cups warm buttermilk (105F)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 6 cups white bread flour, divided use
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl mix the yeast, ginger, sugar, and warm water.
  2. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.
  3. Whisk the buttermilk, honey, salt, and baking soda together and add it to the yeast mixture.
  4. Add three cups of flour and mix until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes on low of a stand mixer.
  5. Pour in the butter until it is totally mixed into the batter.
  6. Add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
  7. When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a lightly floured surface. Knead until elastic and smooth.
  8. You can also knead in your mixer according to manufacturer’s directions.
  9. Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, and cover with a clean tea towel.
  10. Allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours, or until double.
  11. Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and grease tops.
  12. Cover, and allow to rise for 45 minutes, or until it is just about the tops of the bread pans.
  13. Preheat oven to 400F.
  14. Bake for 30 minutes. You can cover the tops with foil if they brown too fast.
  15. Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter.
  16. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes.
  17. Gently run a knife around the edge between the bread and the pan to loosen it.
  18. Turn out and cool completely on a rack.
  19. Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.

I use a mixer with a dough hook because it’s easy and it is. The first thing I do is take out the buttermilk and leave 2 cups at room temp for 30 mins or so. I melt the butter and do the same. Then I start in with the yeast/sugar/ginger/warm water. I add the honey, salt, baking soda straight to the warm buttermilk, stir with a small whisk, pour it into the foamy yeast (I said “foamy yeast”), and proceed. I always rub butter on the top as they’re steaming hot from the oven.

I was bread-shy before this recipe. I thought I couldn’t do it. I was wrong. Don’t hang back. It’s heavy, tender, moist, cakey, and it toasts very well.

I bake two loaves, we eat one that I wrap in foil and keep on the counter until it’s gone. The other, I slice and freeze in a freezer bag, and use for toast in the mornings. Delicious.

I bake it at 400F for exactly 27 minutes. 25 is too wet, 30 is too dry. That’s a baker for you. Enjoy!

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This entry was published on August 5, 2016 at 3:28 pm. It’s filed under baking, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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