Friday, November 26, 2010

New favorite bread

For a few years I have been making buttermilk rolls for holiday dinners from a recipe in my trusty 1972 Joy of Cooking. A comment from Emily made me think I should make the recipe into loaves of bread. A test loaf has worked very nicely - tasty, good crumb, works well with leftover turkey.

I make the rolls with all purpose flour, as per the JoC, but I tried the loaf with bread flour and it seems to work fine.

Buttermilk bread

preheat over to 375 F

6 cups bread flour, sift before measuring
3 cups buttermilk
2 pkgs yeast
3/8 tsp baking soda
1 TSB salt
3/8 cup sugar
3 TSB melted butter

Warm buttermilk to 85 - 90 degrees F
Stir yeast into warm buttermilk and let the mixture rest for 5 minutes
Stir together the dry ingredients - flour, soda, salt, sugar
Add melted butter and stir briefly
Add buttermilk/yeast mixture and mix - the dough will be very wet

Set the dough in a greased pan, cover and allow to rise to double its volume in a warm place (about 1-1/2 - 2 hours)

When risen, punch down the dough and turn it out on a floured surface. The dough will be wet and you may incorporate as much as a cup of flour into it as you are kneading the bread.

Knead the bread for 7 - 10 minutes.
Use butter or cooking spray on two loaf pans. Divide dough into two parts - one for each loaf pan.

Allow the dough to rise to about double its volume - about an hour in a warm spot.

Bake in the 375 F oven for about 40 - 50 minutes. When done, the loaf will be a deep brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool on a rack before slicing

I may keep experimenting with this recipe - if I make any important changes, I will mention them here.

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