Buttermilk Bread is the perfect foil for a BLT, a turkey club, a PB&J, or a Bombay Sandwich. It’s also great for toast or just spread with a bit of butter, jam, or Quince Jelly. Or even just eaten all by itself. What I’m saying is, Buttermilk Bread is about to become your new best friend.
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I did not grow up in a house where bread was baked. In fact, despite being an amazing cook, my mother is afraid of bread. No, she’s not a low-carb dieter or even a gluten-free devotee. It’s not actually eating bread that scares
Bear in mind that I’m talking about a professional foodie—once a restaurant critic and food writer—who routinely makes desserts with names that include words like “soufflé” and “brulée.” A woman who once called cassoulet “a simple one-pot meal.”
In the kitchen, there are, in fact, only two things that intimidate my mother: The impending arrival of guests (see my previous post, Roasted Red Pepper Soup) and baking bread.
“That whole yeast thing just scares me,” she shrugs. “And all that kneading and rising? I’m sure I’d do it wrong and, oh, I don’t know…” her voice trails off and suddenly she’s busily whisking a roux or butterflying a pork loin.
Homemade Bread Is Easier than You Think
My mom is not alone in her bread-o-phobia. A lot of people dismiss any fleeting urges they might have to bake bread. They think it’s too difficult, time-consuming, or technically challenging.
But here’s a delicious secret: Freshly baked homemade bread is a cheap trick that never fails to impress precisely because most people never bother to try it.
The truth is, the simplest kitchen science leads to awe-inspiring results. Use the right flour and give your dough ample time to rise. In other words, just find a good recipe and follow the instructions. You will be pleasantly surprised and delighted by the fragrant, tasty, soul-satisfying loaves that issue forth from your own oven.
Our Magical Asiago Fig Bread, which you’ll find the recipe for in The Lazy Gourmet, is a perfect example of this: A no-knead bread that only requires lots of rising time.
Buttermilk Bread Is Super Easy To Make
This quick and easy Buttermilk Bread recipe is shockingly easy to make, and the whole thing can be done in an afternoon. Plus, it’s a great way to use up that quart of buttermilk you bought for a recipe that required only a few tablespoons—this one uses a whole cup and a quarter.
What’s the Difference Between All-Purpose and Bread Flour?
The most important thing I’ve learned in my bread-baking experiments over the years is that the flour you choose matters. What’s the difference between bread flour and all-purpose flour, you might ask? Bread flour has a higher protein content, and protein is what gives bread its loft.
You’re Going to Love this All-Purpose Sandwich Bread
This fluffy, slightly sweet, slightly tangy bread is the perfect foil for melty butter, peanut butter, jam, honey, or any other spread. It’s great for sandwiches and makes a fantastic bread pudding, too.
Oh, and did I mention that it is really easy to make and basically foolproof? I’m planning to bake up a loaf for my mom the next time she visits and really
Need ideas for using up leftover buttermilk? Try these recipes
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 3 1/4 cups (390 grams) bread flour, divided
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/4 teaspoons (a 1/4-ounce packet) instant or quick-rise yeast
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk (any fat content)
- 1 large egg
- Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan, using about 1 tablespoon of the butter.
- In a large mixing bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer, if you have one), combine 1 ½ cups (180 grams) of the flour with the sugar, salt, and yeast.
- In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk and 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat until the butter is melted and the mixture reaches about 130 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer (Don't worry if you don't have an instant-read thermometer. The mixture should be warm, but not hot to the touch).
- Remove from the heat.
- Using the stand mixer fitted with the flat beater or a hand-held electric mixer, add the warm buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and combine well.
- Add the egg and beat 1 minute more.
- Add the remaining 1 3/4 cups (210 grams) flour and continue mixing for 5 minutes. If you are using a hand-held mixer, you’ll need to scrape the dough off the beaters several times.
- After a few minutes, scrape it onto a board, wet your hands and, without drying them, knead the dough another minute or two. To be honest, the dough will be quite sticky and floppy at this point, so it's more flopping it on top of itself a few times than it is actually kneading. You may need to re-wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking too much.
- Transfer the dough into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out to the corners.
- Cover loosely with a clean dishtowel and place the pan in a warm place (like a sunny windowsill, provided the day is not too hot, or in the oven with the light turned on if your house is chilly) and let rise about 1 hour, until the dough rises above the top edge of the pan.
- While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- When dough has risen sufficiently, make a shallow cut lengthwise down the center of the loaf (this keeps it from pulling away from the sides of the pan as it bakes).
- Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and brush it over the loaf.
- Bake in the center of the preheated oven for about 35 minutes, until the top is firm and lightly browned.
- Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool 10 minutes.
- Remove bread from pan and cool completely on the rack before slicing.
Amount Per Serving Calories 231Total Fat 6gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 32mgSodium 279mgCarbohydrates 36gFiber 2gSugar 3gProtein 8g