Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Buttermilk Honey Bread


I'm going to attempt to keep this post super short because I really must be studying for my finals (sewage, pools, soils, environmental assessment, hydrogeology, intro to environmental health). I'm also super behind on my blog reading but will eventually catch up. My finals are scheduled pretty close together so I'm not sure if I'll be updating again before I'm done (on the 10th). So I shall leave you with this supremely delicious buttermilk honey bread which is possibly the best white bread I've ever had. Do you not want to just slide down those beautiful little mounds in the braided loaf?


The thing I love most about this bread is that it's a good solid/dense bread. Not dense in a bad way at all - it's like the pound cake of white bread. Mmmm. And the dough is really easy to work with - I do not enjoy sticky doughs. PLUS you can use up that extra buttermilk in your fridge that you have no idea what to do with. Why don't they sell buttermilk in 500 mL cartons? At least not here. We have to buy 1L and I think I've only once found a use for all 1 L of it.

If this sounds good, you might also like:
Christopsomos - Greek Celebration Bread
Focaccia
Oatmeal Knots
Soft Pretzels

Buttermilk Honey Bread
Adapted from Annie's Eats who adapted it from Rosa's Yummy Yums from The Bread Bible

Yield: 2 loaves (rectangular or free form)
(Ashley note: I made one 8"x4" loaf and one 8" braided wreath.)

3/4 cup warm water (105-115F)
1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, warmed to take off the chill (or brought to room temperature)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp honey, warmed until runny
1 tbsp salt
6 – 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (Ashley note: I used a total of 818 g.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the water, yeast, sugar, buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, and 4 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed just until a dough has formed. Switch to the dough hook. Continue mixing on low speed, adding the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl. Continue kneading on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 60-75 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently punch it down. Grease two loaf pans (if using). Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape as desired. (To shape into a braided wreath, follow the instructions below.) Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

To make a braided loaf (from Annie's Eats): Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (a silicone rolling mat works well), divide it in half, and then divide each half into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18” log. Working with three logs at a time, make a braid, pinching the ends together. Coil the braid into a lightly greased 8” or 9” cake pan, shaping it into a wreath-like circle and pressing the ends together where they meet. Repeat with the remaining logs.

Twenty minutes before you want to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Center a rack in the oven. Just before putting the loaves in the oven, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with topping, if desired. Place the pans on the center rack and bake about 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. If the tops brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Remove the loafs immediately to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.

28 comments:

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

I only just realized I bookmarked this before on Rosa's site. At least I'm consistent about the foods I get excited about. This bread looks great and would be perfect for the scrambled eggs and jalapenos sandwich that is a tradition between my dad and me.

MollyCookie said...

That look great, I love the braiding.

Memória said...

The bread looks amazing!

Good luck on your final exams! My students are taking theirs tomorrow and on the 11th.

itmom said...

OMG this bread looks so good. I'm salivating!! If I'm feeling courageous I may try whipping up a batch myself.

Rose&Thorn said...

I love baking bread with buttermilk. And I have another reason to love South Africa - here you can only buy buttermilk in 500ml bottles!

veggievixen said...

soooo pretty! reminds me of challah a bit. i love making bread.

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Grace said...

mmm...talk of sewage and fluffy bread. what a lovely combo. :)

Hannah said...

Such a beautiful, soft-looking bread!

Best of luck on your finals! I'm starting to get a bit worried about mine, too.

CookiePie said...

Ooooooh - that is gorgeous. I have a jar of Trader Joe's pumpkin butter at my apartment -- meet me there in 20 minutes with that bread! ;)

Wendy said...

OK, I think you've inspired me to make some bread! LOL. So many things to make, so little time.

Patricia Scarpin said...

That is so beautifully braided - and looks so tender! Yum!

Ricki said...

Stunning bread! Good luck on finals, too. :)

PS I received the Epicure package--yayyyyyy!!!! Will post about it as soon as the 2nd half arrives (they're sending the equipment separately). :D

Lu said...

That bread looks absolutely delicious. The texture is amazing. Yummy. I can't wait to make it.

Jacqueline said...

What a gorgeous looking bread, you are a whizz at braiding it. Lovely :)

Deborah said...

That bread looks absolutely perfect! Good luck on finals!

monpetitpechemignon said...

This bread sounds delicious. Annnd it looks super pretty which is also important! ;)

Helene said...

What a delicious looking bread. You did such a great job.

Bunny said...

This bread looks gorgeous!!

forrest said...

I love your blog! Great indexes, and commentary...and recipes! I want to try them all.

Bellini Valli said...

Good luck on your finals and bake more bread!!!!!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I love buttermilk in things - I shall have to try this one!

Usha said...

This bread looks fantasic ! Just perfect....

kimberleyblue said...

I always have leftover buttermilk too - I think it's the curse of all bakers everywhere.

This bread really looks beautiful, and I love the flavour buttermilk tends to give breads.

Good luck with all the exams!

theUngourmet said...

This a a beautiful loaf! Your school subjects sound pretty exciting. What are you studying?

Teanna said...

That bread is amazing! gorgeous job! Good luck on your tests!

Johanna said...

our buttermilk comes in 650ml cartons - I find this a weird amount - would prefer 1 litre

love a dense bread and the flavours sound up my street - will bookmark for when breadmaking grabs my interest again

Chef Fresco said...

I love this! I am definitely marking it. Looks like it turned out perfectly!