Oh my! Living in the Midwest at this time of year is a one of a kind experience. One day, it’s hot, muggy, the humidity level is so high one can barely breathe, the next day is cool, crisp and fall-like, just inviting you to be outside savoring the fresh air and sunshine. Today, we’re blessed with rain. The storms moved in yesterday afternoon and drenched our parched earth, the crunchy grass with a blessed drink of liquid that it all so desperately needed. It’s still cloudy and cool outside, so being the farm wife that I am, it’s a good day to bake bread and finish canning the tomatoes and peaches.
I want to share with you a recipe that I’ve used for quite awhile.The original recipe came from http:www.restlesschpotle.com and I’ve used it for the last couple of years. About the only change I made from her recipe is that we leave the ginger out and added or tweaked a couple of the other ingredients to suit our personal taste. It’s wonderful, light, and has a delicious taste of honey and buttermilk. I’d advise using raw honey if you have it available. The stronger the honey flavor, the better the taste of the bread.
Honey Buttermilk Bread
- 2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast granules (1 packet)
- 1-2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 cups buttermilk heated gently to lukewarm
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup natural raw honey
- 1/4 cup melted butter or margerine
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- approximately 6 cups white bread flour. Plain (not self rising) flour may be used, but the end product is not as tasty and light, nor does it have quite the same texture.
- Dissolve yeast in warm water, then add sugar. Set aside until you see bubbles forming.
- After the first mixture bubbles, add buttermilk, honey, salt, and baking soda.
- To the liquid, add about three cups of flour and mix until smooth and elastic feeling. This can be done by hand or with the dough hook on an electric mixer.
- Add butter to this mixture, making sure that it is completely incorporated into the batter.
- If you are using an electric mixer, when dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove the dough a floured surface and add enough flour to make a pliable mound of dough. Knead this dough until it is elastic and smooth.
- After kneading, place it into a greased bowl and allow it to rise until it is at least doubled in size. (About 60-90 minutes)
- Punch down, cut in half, and roll each half into a rectangle, about 1 inch thick. Then by hand, roll each rectangle, starting from the short end into a “log roll”. Pinch seal the long side. With your hands, gently mash the short sides down, tuck under the loaf and place in greased loaf pans. Allow loaves to rise until doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top and hollow sounding when tapped with the fingertips.
- Remove loaves from oven
- Allow to cool in pans for 5-10 minutes. Brush tops of loaves with melted butter or margarine.
- Turn out onto wire racks and allow to cool completely before cutting or tearing bread.