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
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.