April 22, 2014

Buttermilk Honey Bread

Homemade bread is a staple in our house, so much so that cheap storebought bread becomes the treat. (There's something about the nostalgia of a pb&j with the flimsy bread.) This recipe from Local Milk caught my eye over the weekend, and it was on our dinner table the following Monday.

This is a sweeter bread than I normally would prefer, but it is oh so soft with a crunch to the crust. Delicious toasted and slathered with butter.

Buttermilk Honey Bread
1/4 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
1 heaping tsp. yeast
1 1/2 buttermilk, warmed
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. salt
4 1/2 cups flour

Heat the water to 110°, and mix the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, until foamy.

In a large stand mixing bowl, whisk together 4 cups of flour and the salt.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the buttermilk and warm gently, stirring. Remove from heat, and stir in the honey as well as the yeast mixture.

Add the yeast mixture into the flour, and knead on low. Add more flour as needed until the dough comes together into a smooth, elastic dough. The dough will still be sticky due to the honey but shouldn't stick to the sides of the bowl.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with a towel, and let it rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.

Punch the dough down, form in a loaf, place into two oiled loaf pans, cover with the towel again, and let it rise until doubled again, about another hour. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 375°F.

Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30 to 45 minutes until golden and hollow sounding when knocked on the bottom. If the top seems to be getting toodark , cover with foil for the rest of the bake time.

Allow to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove, and allow to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing. Makes 2 8 x 4 loaves.

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