This Buttermilk Bread recipe comes straight out of my FAVORITE BOOK, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. For my friends who own the book, go read page 207 and have fun making the next two recipes, Judy's Board of Director's Cinnamon-Raisin Bread on page 209 and my own, Pigs In An Artisan Blanket.
If you don't own a copy of Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, then I highly recommend you it. Pick up a copy for yourself from this Amazon link: Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoë Francóis. A small portion of the book sale goes to support SimpleDailyRecipes.com. Now, let's get back to the bread.
Buttermilk Bread makes a very nice sandwich bread for starters. It has a soft crust and crumb with great flavor. It's the buttermilk that makes it so tender.
This recipe makes three 1 1/2 pound loaves. It can be doubled or halved.
- 2 cups lukewarm water
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
- 6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- butter or neutral-tasting oil for greasing the loaf pan
- Mixing and storing the dough: Mix the yeast, salt, and sugar with water and buttermilk in a 5-quart bowl, or a lidded (not airtight) food container.
- Mix in the flour without kneading, using a strong handled spoon, a 14-cup capacity food processor (with dough attachment), or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with dough hook). If you're not using a machine, you may need to use wet hands to incorporate the last bit of flour..
- Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top); approximately 2 hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise, though it is MUCH easier to handle when cold. Refrigerate in a lidded (not airtight) container and use over the next 7 days.
- On baking day, lightly grease a 9 x 4 x 3-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the refrigerated dough with flour and cut off a 1 1/2 pound (canteloupe-size) piece. Dust the piece with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Elongate the ball into an oval.
- Drop the loaf into the prepared pan. You want to fill the pan slightly more than half-full.
- Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Flour the top of the loaf and slash, using the tip of a serrated bread knife. Brush the top with melted butter.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the pan. Allow to cool completely before slicing or it will be nearly impossible to achieve reasonable sandwich slices.
You should know. I don't make & bake bread dough all in the same day. That's too much work. I usually figure out when we need the bread then make up the dough one or two days before that time. Once the dough makes that initial rise, I throw it in the frig until I'm ready. Sometimes, I don't wait for the rise. If I know that I'll be 2 or more days out from baking, then I'll mix the dough and immediately refrigerate it. It will still rise in the frig, just at a slower rate.