It’s been a while since I made this bread, but I’ve been backed up with other goodies to post that I’ve neglected this one. We hosted Easter dinner for some of our friends this year, and along with Strawberry Mirror Cake and Pineapple Casserole, I wanted to make a bread. Even though I don’t eat much bread these days, I feel that it’s an important part of celebratory meals, so I wanted to make some type of bread. I love braided breads because they look so much more special, but they really don’t require that much extra effort.
This bread was easy to make, which was a plus because I was so busy with preparations for dinner. It was extremely easy to work with. The dough was so soft, but sturdy enough to handle. Everyone seemed to really like it. David said that it had a nice, sweet honey flavor and a great texture. Next time I will watch the baking time because I think I slightly overbaked it. I made two braided loaves with this recipe, and it was a great addition to the meal!
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. Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
To make a braided loaf:
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (a silicone rolling mat works well), divide it in half, and then divide each half into three equal pieces. Roll each piece into an 18″ log. Working with three logs at a time, make a braid, pinching the ends together. Coil the braid into a lightly greased 8″ or 9″ cake pan, shaping it into a wreath-like circle and pressing the ends together where they meet. Repeat with the remaining logs.
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: Annie’s Eats
Filed under: Yeast Bread