Honey Buttermilk Bread Recipe
This buttermilk bread recipe is one of my all time favorite yeast breads. The buttermilk gives it a tender crumb, the bread flour gives it more rise, and the honey adds a country sweetness that changes depending on the type of honey you use.
This bread isn’t so sweet that it doesn’t make good sandwiches but you can definitely taste the honey in it. I know this shows three loaves but the recipe makes two…I just tend to make six loaves at a time. Recipe first — then chat with me below.
Prep Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Yield: 2 loaves, 24 slices
Tender buttermilk white bread with the delicate flavor of honey. The stronger the honey the better the flavor so use pure raw honey, buckwheat or other strong flavor.
- 1 envelope yeast
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 cup warm water
- pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast)
- 2 cups warm buttermilk
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 6 cups white bread flour
- Mix the ginger, sugar, yeast, and water and set aside for five minutes.
- Mix buttermilk, honey, salt, baking soda in with the yeast mixture.
- Add three cups of flour and mix until smooth. On an electric mixer it is about 5 minutes on low speed.
- Mix in butter until it is totally incorporated into batter.
- Now, begin to add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
- When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a floured surface and knead until elastic and smooth.
- Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, cover and allow to rise for 1 1/2 hours.
- Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and grease tops.
- Cover, and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they brown too fast.
- Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter.
- Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes.
- Turn out and cool completely on a rack. Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.
You almost can’t find real buttermilk anymore. Have you read the ingredients in that stuff? I prefer to make my own, although admittedly you have to start with the commercial buttermilk. Here is the post on how to make buttermilk if you haven’t seen it before. It’s so easy and you’ll be amazed at the difference in your baked goods.
My dad used to drink this stuff. He’d add some salt an pepper and then drink it down. I couldn’t do it back then and I can’t do it now — but I do love what it does for tenderizing meat and making amazing baked stuff. I have been making bread for 40 years. I came to that realization the other day and it sort of freaked me out. I totally do not identify with the idea of what a grandmother should look like, nor do I ever want to. Still 40 years of bread baking is significant I think. My mom didn’t bake. As I recall I was lying on the couch one day, paging through a Seventeen magazine and they had a recipe for bread. I don’t know if they still publish recipes but they used to. I was bored, it seemed like a cool 70's kind of thing to do, and why not? After all, the early 70s were all about artisan and handcrafted things. In a lot of ways it wasn’t so different from how it is now.
When fully risen your finger will leave a dent in the dough and the bowl will feel light when you pick it up.
So I did it. I just followed the directions and there it was. Bread. It was magical. The house smelled great and I had accomplished something I had never seen or done before. I’d never had homemade bread and honestly I’d have to say that it was one of those moments that changed my life. It was an epiphany and would more or less guide my food life from that moment on.
Punching the dough down is exactly that. Drive your fist into the center. No need to be gentle. If more people made bread the world might be less violent.
I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen much but my parents did make an exception for my bread making endeavors. I experimented and by the time I was sixteen I spent my days off from work experimenting with sour dough, rye, wheat, salt rising, oatmeal, and almost any other yeast bread you can imagine.
Properly punched down bread. Give it a couple of minutes to rest and relax before you shape it.