I knew if there was one thing we just had to have made from scratch this holiday it was a loaf of bread. I had a container of buttermilk for making my gingerbread pancakes and did not want any of it to go to waste.
I looked for a recipe for white buttermilk bread and found this one in the cookbook Fast Breads: 50 Recipes for Easy, Delicious BreadElinor Klivans, published by Chronicle Books. It turned out perfectly!
Mix together 1 1/2 cup of flour, 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tbsp wheat bran, 1 tsp kosher salt and 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast (1 whole package). With paddle attachment (or a whisk), stir to combine.
Now the recipe says to heat 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk with 2 tbsp of unsalted butter in a saucepan until it is 130F but I am pretty good at recognizing the correct temperature so I just heated it up in the microwave. The butter needs to be melted.
By the way, make sure to add the wet ingredients to the dry using a spouted cup. This ended up being kind of messy!
When smoothly combined, add 1 large egg and beat for a minute.
Then add 1 3/4 cups of flour on low until combined. I switched from a paddle attachment to the dough hook at this point and let the machine knead for 5 minutes. If you have the strength, you can always do this by hand!
“The dough will be sticky and will not come away from the sides of the bowl.” Um… as usual, my dough was much drier than the recipe said it would be. So frustrating!
You are supposed to “scrape” it out of the bowl, put it in a greased loaf pan and brush with some melted butter.
Even though this is a fast bread it still requires rising time (25 minutes) so really, how is this fast other than you don’t have the let the yeast proof?
I covered the loaf with some parchment paper and put it in my microwave oven with a big glass of hot water. Our house was chilly that day and I was worried the dough would not rise. Thankfully for my microwave oven, it did!
Put in a preheated 375F oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown. I took mine out a little early because my oven tends to run a little hot. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove and cool completely.
I must admit, this is a beautiful bread. Not since my breadmaker died have I enjoyed a loaf so much. It was moist and light. I used it for grilled cheese sandwiches, Nutella-suffed French toast….
… And slathered it with homemade strawberry-rhubarb jam (post coming tomorrow). Delicious! Next time I will add less flour and I bet it will be even more moist. I love that there is some wheat bran in there to help us feel less guilty about indulging in white bread!
I give this recipe four out of five wooden spoons and was right, homemade bread on staycation is a definite must!