Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Buttermilk Bread

Sweet, smooth, soft and sturdy. That's how I like my homemade bread. I do love incredibly soft homemade breads, but sometimes I like to have one that can be sturdy enough to hold up a stuffed sandwich. Justin has been all about this certain buttermilk bread we buy at the store, so when we ran out I decided I would see if I could make something similar that he would love. This hit the spot! It has such interesting ingredients also: buttermilk, mashed potatoes and honey. I love things that are out of the box! Well it really made a difference here. It rose perfectly and baked up good and soft. If you're looking for a twist on your regular homemade bread routine, try this one!
1 cup warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 cup warm buttermilk*
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T salt
1/2 cup mashed potatoes**
6 cups flour

Dissolve yeast in very warm water. Combine all ingredients besides flour. Add flour and knead til smooth and springy, 5-10 minutes by hand, adding a little flour only if necessary, dough will be slightly sticky (I did this all in my Kitchenaid with the dough hook attachment and let it knead itself until it completely cleaned all of the sides of the mixing bowl.) Place in greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and then a dish towel. Let rise til doubled. I usually turn my oven on to 100 degrees and turn it off and then place my covered dough in the warm oven for about 2 hours. Gently deflate dough, divide into two equal halves and place into 2 greased loaf pans. Punch them down into the pans. Place back in a warm oven covered with a dishtowel. Leave until dough has topped the pan but not over-proofed, about 45 minutes. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until well-browned and sounds hollow when thumped. Remove from pans to cool and brush tops with melted butter. Immediately enjoy a thick slice smothered with butter and homemade strawberry jam...or maybe that's just what I do:)

*If you're like me and go through spurts when you use buttermilk, but don't constantly keep it on hand, I would recommend buying powdered buttermilk. I buy SaCo Cultured Buttermilk Blend and it works great and lasts a lot longer than fresh buttermilk.

**If you don't have any leftover mashed potatoes, I use instant. I actually use Augason Farms Potato Gems food storage potatoes. They are wonderful and super quick!

*Adapted from The Fresh Loaf

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