15 February 2010

my first yeast bread!

Well, besides the cinnamon rolls, haha. But those were sweet (and awesome) and covered in sweet cream cheesy goodness (drool). Sweet breads are an entirely different ball game in my opinion - they're desserts, special occasion events. This... this is real I could eat this every day bread!

Hmm I'm noticing a bread theme lately. Guess that's what happens when you get almost 5 work days (plus the weekend) off due historic amounts of snow -- plenty of free time to let this rise, braid, and then let it rise again. The baking was the shortest part of the process, I think. I also could have looked around for my dough hook for my mixer to make this go quicker, too, but since I had the time, I opted for the hand kneading method. Best way to get a feel for this. And there's something SO satisfying about working with your hands.
So this recipe for buttermilk honey bread makes 2 loaves of white bread. You can make it in loaf pans, but I opted for the prettier version: It's just a simple 3-braid coiled into a bun. (By simple, I should say that I watched this video several times to get an idea of how to do it.) I should have watched my oven a bit closer because I toasted the top more than I'd have liked, but it wasn't enough to burn it. Next time - and yes there'll definitely be a next time where I'll probably add a touch more honey because I like things sweet (like me, HA!) - I may even try a 6-braid loaf. Daring :)
prebaked, eggwashed loaves:

Buttermilk Honey Bread

from Rosa's Yummy Yums

3/4 C warm water
1 package active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 C buttermilk, room temp
2 Tbsp butter, melted
3 Tbsp honey, heated a bit so it's runny
1 Tbsp kosher salt
6 C flour
egg + 2 tbsp milk, beaten together for egg wash

Pour warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar on it. Let it sit until it foams - about 10-15 min.

In a really big bowl, combine buttermilk, butter, honey, and yeast mixture. Add salt and 2 cups of the flour. Using a wooden spoon, beat hard to combine. Add 1/2 C flour at a time, beating hard until shaggy dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until soft and smooth and not overly sticky.

Spray a glass bowl with cooking spray and place dough into it, Turn dough over so oiled side is up. Cover with a cloth towel and leave in a warm (like cozy room temp) place to rise until double in size - about 2 hours.

Turn dough out onto slightly floured surface and genlty press down with fist. Split into 2 pieces. Split each piece into 3 pieces and roll out into long ropes. Braid, then coil. Repeat with other piece. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise for another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place loaves far enough apart to allow for some rising while baking. Brush tops with egg wash. Bake approximately 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown.

Other than fresh with butter and jam, this is really great sliced, toasted, and topped the same way, too.

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