- 1 cup water, room temperature
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup water, room temperature
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 cup buttermilk or 1 cup water and 4 tbsp buttermilk powder
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 6 cups bread flour
- In small saucepan, heat 1 cup water and 3 tbsp butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool until warm.
- In small bowl, add 1/2 cup warm water and the dry yeast. Stir yeast until it is dissolved. Set bowl aside and continue with the next step.
- In large bowl, mix buttermilk, honey, sugar, salt, and vinegar. When the butter water is warm to the touch, pour into large bowl. Add yeast water.
- Begin adding bread flour one cup at a time. When the dough is too stiff to mix with the wooden spoon, about 5 cups, turn out onto a floured board.
- Knead in the remaining flour until the dough is firm and smooth. Put dough in a buttered bowl and flip dough so that the top of it is lightly buttered. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- Punch down dough and turn out onto floured board. Knead bubbles out of dough. Divide dough into to equal halves.
- Preheat oven 375 degrees F. Form dough into two loaves. Place in buttered bread pans. Cover and let rise until double in size, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Melt 1 tbsp of butter. Brush butter on to bread tops. Using a sharp knife, make three light slashes across the bread tops. Place in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans and let cool on a rack or dishtowel.
Bread Baking Tips
It is not hard to learn how to braid bread dough.
Use bottled spring water instead of tap water to make your breads. Water softeners and chlorinated public water can sometimes kill the yeast needed to make your bread dough rise.
Don't have buttermilk? Use this buttermilk substitute recipe instead.
Brush loaves with butter immediately after baking to produce a soft crust.
Brush loaves with milk before baking to produce a dark, shiny crust.
Brush loaves with egg white before baking to produce a shiny crust.
Spraying loaves with water while they bake will produce a crispy crust.
When honey is added to bread dough, it helps protect the baked bread's moisture.