!!! My website has moved: please update your bookmarks to debunix.net !!!

Buttermilk Bread

My favorite WW sandwich bread (also quite functional for cinnamon rolls, sandwich rolls, or dinner rolls) starts from the Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book recipe for Buttermilk Bread--a great recipe (and the book is well worth the small effort to track it down used online, and not too expensive either).  I don't generally use the precise recipe anymore, I usually add an egg per loaf, and I play with the quantities of honey, egg, and butter freely, but the base recipe is quite sturdy and tolerates the extras well.

500 grams hard wheat flour

(about 1lb plus 1-2 ounces; if you don't have a scale, that's probably about 3 1/2 cups of fluffed bagged flour)
(I do this with fresh milled hard white wheat berries, and have done it in the past with a 50:50 mix of durum and soft white wheat, or 100% hard red wheat, but the hard white is my current favorite)

1 teaspoon instant dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
(Optional:  up to 2 tablespoons of gluten flour if you're making this for someone who is afraid of anything but balloonbread; makes for an exceptionally light version that my mother won't complain about, but I don't otherwise use it)

2/3 cup of buttermilk 
or juice of 1 lemon plus milk to make 2/3 cup; or follow directions on box if you want to use buttermilk powder or powdered milk; doesn't matter if this is whole, skim, or lowfat)
1-2 tablespoons honey
(use the larger amount for sweet rolls if desired)

1 egg or 1 egg white (optional)
water to total about 1 1/2 cups

1-2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
(again, use a larger amount for a special guest or for extra rich rolls; can be omitted entirely or substitute olive or canola or a mix of sesame and canola oils or other oil of your choice)

extra flour, up to 1/2 cup, as needed for kneading; unbleached all purpose flour works well here

Whisk the flour, yeast and salt together.

Whisk the buttermilk, honey, egg, until the honey and egg are well blended.  Whisk in water to give a total of 1 1/2 cups.  For the food processor, all should be cold; for the mixer or hand mixing that won't heat the dough as much, use hot water and if needed, gently warm the mix to lukewarm (gently to avoid cooking the egg prematurely).

In the food processor (the way I do it), add the flour, yeast and salt (can whirl them together directly in the bowl, no need to whisk).  With the metal cutting blade in place, pour in all the (cold) liquid at once.  Mix until it comes together and then stop and let it rest/hydrate for about 10-15 minutes.  Check the texture--you may need a bit more water. If so, add it by the tablespoon or so with brief mixing, if needed opening the lid and breaking up harder/drier chunks.  Add the butter chunks and then mix until smoothly kneaded--should take about 45 seconds to a minute.

In the mixer or by hand, add the flour/yeast/salt mixture, and pour in the lukewarm liquids at once, and mix & knead as you normally do.  Add the butter near the end of the kneading time.

Turn out onto floured surface, knead briefly to be sure its smooth and shape in to a ball, and let rise x 2, shape, proof, slash and bake as you prefer.  It is happy with a nice warm rising place, and also has tolerated up to 5 days in the refrigerator as the first rise, before direct shaping and baking (and tasted good even when the dough smelled rather alcoholic).  For a single sandwich loaf (this fills my regular 8x4 loaf pans generously, and if you use the gluten flour, it may be happier in a 9x5 pan), bake 45-55 minutes at 350 degrees.

Return to Recipe Index

Return to Diane's Food Page

Return to Diane's Home Page