This bread took me a few tries to make and it may be because I tweaked the recipe. (Doubled the buttermilk and halved the water.) The first loaf was a bit small and squished looking compared to the Brioche I had made earlier, which I found rather perplexing because the Brioche both looked and tasted amazing.
And so I took the remaining dough (the equivalent of three loaves) and put it into the same bread pan I’d used to make the Brioche. I let it rise while Sis made cupcakes and tuna casserole.
While Sis was pouring cupcake batter into tins, I heard her yell, Your bread is overflowing. Sure enough, it was pouring out of the bread pan and spilling onto the stove. Drat. So I cleaned off the stove where the dough had dripped and pooled, and I punched the dough back down in order to let it rise one more time. This time the bread successfully raised. Phew!
Because of the problems I had when making it, I’m listing the recipe as is in Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, AKA my bread recipe bible.
- 2 c. lukewarm water
- 1 c. buttermilk
- 1 1/2 T. instant yeast
- 1 1/2 T. Kosher salt
- 1 1/2 T. sugar
- 6 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
- Butter for greasing the pan
- Mix the yeast, salt, sugar, water and buttermilk in a mixing bowl.
- Mix in flour with a spoon, food processor or heavy-duty stand mixer.
- Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature until the dough rises and collapses (or flattens on top), approximately two hours.
- The dough can be used immediately after the initial rise or refrigerated in a lidded container and used within 7 days.
- When you’re ready to bake, dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a hunk of dough approximately the size of large orange or grapefruit. Dust the chunk of dough with flour and quickly shape the dough into a ball. Stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the dough a quarter of a turn. Drop into the prepared loaf pan, you want the pan to be more than half full, allowing to rest and rise for one hour and 40 minutes.
- Place an empty broiling pan on the rack below the stone. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Set the loaf pan on a rack near the center of the oven and quickly pour 1 cup of hot tap water into the broiling pan beneath the stone. Close the oven door as quick as possible. Bake for about 45 minutes, until deeply golden brown.
- Remove from the pan. Cool before cutting or eating.
This bread is perfect for a grilled cheese sandwich or tuna melt.
For me, this recipe made one and a half loaves of bread, though it’s supposed to make four! I doubled the buttermilk in the recipe and was afraid that move would mess with taste of the bread, but it wasn’t the least bit pungent in taste. I would definitely make this bread recipe again.