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Favorite Buttermilk Bread

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With variations for bread sticks, pan rolls, swirl loaves, and more

A versatile dough that can be shaped in multiple ways to form Traditional Pan Loaves, Bosom Loaves, Victorian Loaves, Big Soft Bread Twists, Cinnamon Sugar Wands, Cinnamon Swirl Loaves, Caramel Crown, and Home-Style Buttermilk Pan Rolls.  I’ve also adapted the recipe based on pan size.  It is important to put the correct amount of dough into a loaf pan.  If you aren’t sure what size your loaf pans are, measure them. I submitted an early incarnation of this recipe to Taste of Home magazine; it was featured on the cover in 2002.

 In 2010 I entered Favorite Buttermilk Bread in several forms:  Bosom Loaves, Big Soft Bread Twists, and Cinnamon Sugar Wands in the Jackson County Fair.  All were blue ribbon or Champion winners and this helped me win the title ‘Queen of the Kitchen’ that year.  For three 8″ x 4″ loaves (or two 9″ x 5″ loaves) 2 cups low-fat buttermilk 1 cup warm water 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted 1/4 cup honey 2 cups *white whole wheat flour 4 tsp instant yeast 5 1/2 – 6 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp baking soda 2 tsp sea salt {If you are using all of the dough for sweets add 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract} For three 9″ x 5″ loaves 3 cups low-fat buttermilk 1 1/2 cups warm water 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted 6 Tbs honey 3 cups white whole wheat flour 5 1/2 tsp instant yeast 8 cups bread flour or unbleached all-purpose flour 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 Tbs sea salt {If you are using all of the dough for sweets add 2 tsp vanilla extract} 1.  Heat buttermilk in a small saucepan (or in the microwave) until lukewarm.  Curdling of milk will not hurt, but if you overheat it you will need to set it aside to cool. 2.  Pour buttermilk into a large mixing bowl.  Add warm water, melted butter, and honey.  Stir with a wooden soon or heavy duty electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to combine.  Add the white wheat flour and sprinkle the yeast in.  Stir slowly until well combined; then add 3 cups of the bread flour, the baking soda, and salt.  Stir thoroughly to combine, then beat for 2 minutes.  Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time and stir to make soft workable dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  If dough is too sticky, add a tablespoon or two of additional flour as needed; if dough is too stiff add a tablespoon or two of water as needed to achieve proper consistency.

Fold dough toward you, then push down and away with the heel of your hand; I often knead with both hands.

3.  Lightly grease and then lightly sprinkle with all-purpose flour a clean work surface such as countertop or kitchen table.  Turn dough out onto prepared surface, butter your palms, and knead 10 minutes, occasionally renewing the butter and flour as needed on your hands and/or work surface, until dough is smooth and resilient.  Bread dough made with whole grain flour will retain a certain amount of stickiness.  This is okay and does not need to be eliminated.

Bowl should be large enough to allow dough to double in volume – and then some.  

4.  Place dough in a large greased bowl, turning to coat the top.  Cover with a bread cloth, cotton (not terry cloth) dish towel, or plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a protected spot until doubled, about 1 hour.

It’s a good idea to remove jewelry when working with bread dough!
Dough is fully fermented when indentation remains.

5.  Gently deflate and lightly knead dough in the bowl, turning to present smooth side up, then cover again and let rise a second time, about 45 minutes. 6.  Scrape work surface clean , and lightly grease once more.  Also grease your loaf pans and a bench knife of chef’s knife.  Turn dough out and divide neatly into 3 portions with greased knife.  Shape as desired** and place smooth side up in prepared pans.  Cover and let rise until nicely curved over tops of pans, about 35 minutes. 7.  Bake in a preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven 35 – 40 minutes.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. *  One-fourth whole wheat to three-fourths bread flour is a good place to begin (in any bread recipe).  As you and your family’s tastes adapt to appreciate the nutty flavor of whole grains, you may increase the proportion incrementally until you reach your nutritional goal.  You’ll find that you need to slightly increase the amount of water as you increase the ratio of whole grain flour as the bran is quite absorbent. **  Shaping options include: (Type the name into the search bar for directions)

Traditional Pan Loaves

Bosom Loaves

Victorian Loaves

Cinnamon Swirl Loaves

Home-style Buttermilk Pan Rolls

Caramel Crown

Big Soft Bread Twists

Cinnamon Sugar Wands

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