Buttermilk Honey Bread


Earlier this week I got together with a couple great friends who share my love of cooking and baking, and we had an all-day baking extravaganza!  My friend Christy generously volunteered her amazing kitchen with double ovens and tons of counter space as the location for our fun.  Sarah and I brought over lunch since Christy donated the space.  Sarah made a fantastic soup and salad, and I contributed this bread.  It was a great meal in the midst of a fun and busy day.  (More on the baking day later – we made lots of goodies, but I think Sarah’s apple turnovers put everything else to shame.  Wow!)

This bread was wonderful.  The interior is very soft and flavorful, and it has a nice crust.  The hearty texture makes it ideal for dunking in a bowl of soup.  The recipe yields two loaves so I made one normal rectangular loaf and one braided wreath loaf.  My only complaint is that my regular loaf did not achieve the height I was hoping for – decent, but not great.  I probably should have made sure it was in a warmer location for the rise.  When I went to take these loaves out of the oven, I got preoccupied with eating dessert (haha – so like me 🙂 ) and they baked a few minutes longer than they should have, but I don’t think it made too much of a difference.  I will definitely make this again, and it is a great way to use up buttermilk if you have some on hand without a purpose!

Buttermilk Honey Bread
Yield: 2 loaves (rectangular or free form)

3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
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
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk or cream (for egg wash)
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping (optional)

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 in this post.)  Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

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.

Source: adapted from Rosa’s Yummy Yums

18 Responses

  1. I have been looking for a recipe to use up some nearly expired buttermilk in my fridge. This looks perfect! I love the idea of making the bread into a braided loaf, so pretty!

  2. What a delicious looking bread – it reminds me of pretzel bread!

  3. Annie, this is SERIOUSLY one of the most BEAUTIFUL loaves of bread! I’m totally starring it. Thank you!

  4. Mmmmm…. I have a free afternoon and buttermilk in the fridge. This recipe might be dangerously close to being made in my house!

  5. Your bread looks perfectly golden! Just gorgeous! And what a day baking in a double oven with friends! Now that’s living!

  6. That looks so pretty! It’d make awesome French toast.

  7. It looks beautiful! What a great shape! I’m glad you liked this recipe…

    Yes, maybe it should have risen in a warmer place. Mine doubled in size easily…



  8. Your bread is beautiful! I’ve bookmarked this recipe to try… hopefully sometime soon. Sounds great!

  9. You make the most delicious breads! I am so jealous. I always come here first to look for bread recipes.

  10. can i freeze some of the dough for one month plus?

  11. […] by just folding straight honey into our loaves.  And then  I saw this recipe on a blog I follow-Annie’s Eats-and I knew I had to try it.  And it was everything I wanted it to be-light, fluffy, and slightly […]

  12. […] Source: Annie’s Eats […]

  13. […] Source: Annie’s Eats […]

  14. I just made this last night and love it!! So easy to make, such a wonderful dough to work with, and yummy! I love how it’s dense but really soft. Thanks for sharing this recipe. =)

  15. would it be okay to roll balls of the bread up and put them in a greased bundt pan to make a pull apart-y, monkey bread type thing?

  16. also–
    how long can i let dough rise for?
    if a recipe says 90 minutes and i let it rise for the night,will it have an adverse effect on the texture or taste?
    perhaps putting it in the fridge for the night will be better?

    • Joyce,
      If it says to rise about 90 minutes, that’s how long it needs to rise. After that you can pop it in the freezer to stop the rise but the refrigerator will not do the job. You’ll end up with a monster loaf and the texture will be off. Then you need to thaw in the fridge for a day or so, and bake.

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