I always wonder why grocery stores never sell buttermilk in smaller containers?! So many recipes use only 1/2 cup or a few tablespoons of buttermilk. So I usually end up buying the large carton, use a little bit, and throwing out most of it. Yet, buttermilk is an irreplaceable ingredient and buttermilk substitutes are just not the same. The acidity in buttermilk helps to keep baked goods moist and tender by breaking down tough strands of gluten. And I just love the tang that it adds to baked goods.
I feel super guilty about wasting buttermilk. So guilty sometimes I just leave it in the fridge and tell myself I’ll eventually use it. A few weeks/months later when I actually need to use it, it’s become gross and chunky so I throw it out and buy a new one. Then the vicious cycle of wasting buttermilk continues.
So last week I bought a carton of this buttermilk to make buttermilk pie crusts. I am left with almost a full carton again. I am so glad I stumbled upon this honey buttermilk bread recipe on Pintrest. I was so happy when I saw that this recipe uses a full TWO CUPS of buttermilk! Woot! Now I will feel less guilty about throwing out the tiny bit of leftover buttermilk!
This bread is delightful. The crust is soft. It has a slightly sweeter taste due to the honey. It might be a bit sweet to use for sandwiches for some people but I think the combination of sweet delicate bread with salty sandwich meat will be quite good. I am also sure it will be amazing for french toasts of every kind. Too bad I made this at the end of the weekend. Maybe I’ll do a weekday brunch for dinner (brunner?) if the boyfriend does not object ;).
Room for improvements? Yes! I am not a frequent bread baker, so there’s still a lot for me to learn and I am enjoying this learning process. This bread did not rise as much as I would’ve liked. It might be because I didn’t use as much yeast (my 1 package was a bit less than 1 tablespoon) or my ingredients were too cold. Next time, I will measure my yeast more accurately!
HONEY BUTTERMILK BREAD (Recipe from Wishes and Dishes)
1 envelope yeast (1 tablespoon)
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup warm water
pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast)
2 cups warm buttermilk
⅓ cup honey
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
6 cups white bread flour
Mix the ginger, sugar, yeast, and water together in a bowl and set aside for about five minutes.
Add in the buttermilk, honey, salt, baking soda into the bowl with the yeast mixture.
Add just three cups of the flour and mix that in until smooth. If you use an electric mixer it will take about 5 minutes on low speed.
Add the butter and mix until completely incorporated into batter.
Start to add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed as you do this.
When dough starts to pull from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, move it around to grease the all sides, cover and allow to rise for 1½ hours.
Punch the dough down and form into two loaves.
Place into two greased loaf pans and grease tops.
Cover the pans and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400F. Bake loaves for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they start to brown too fast.
Remove loaves from oven once baked through and brush tops with melted butter.
Allow to cool in pans for 10-15 minutes to make removing them easier.
Turn out and cool completely on wire rack.
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