Real buttermilk yeast bread is not found in any store or bakery. There is no way to get the full, delicate flavor and the incredible texture except by making it yourself and trying not to eat the entire loaf before it is cool. This bread has a delicate sweetness and a slight tang, and is fantastic toasted, slathered with butter, and spread with homemade jam….or honey…or…
It is just as good toasted and spread with mayo, and then topped with a couple of crisp pieces of bacon, a really ripe tomato, and some lettuce. But you can also just tear it apart and eat it caveman style…totally up to you. I have partaken of it in each of those ways and none is better than the other.
There is not much to it, as far as a yeast bread goes. It is a great yeast bread recipe for the first time baker, or someone inexperienced. Just do the stuff in order, and you will be fine. The only caution is about adding too much flour. It will make this light, airy bread heavy and dense.
A note about yeast. I hate instant yeast. I don’t think the flavor develops well, and I don’t think the texture of the resulting bread is as good. You can use it if you like but I do not recommend it.
Buttermilk Yeast Bread
1 envelope yeast
1/4 c lukewarm water
pinch of ginger (helps activate the yeast)
Stir together in a bowl and set aside for five minutes.
2 c warm buttermilk (not low fat!)
1/3 c sugar
1/4 c melted butter, lukewarm not hot
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
6 c organic white flour
Mix buttermilk, sugar, 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. Brush tops with egg yolk mixed with a teaspoon of water to make it glossy.
Preheat oven to 400F. Bake for 30 minutes, covering tops with foil if they brown too fast.
Remove loaves from oven and allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Turn out and cool completely on a rack. Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.