Buttermilk Loaf*

This is my favorite “white/milk bread” formula. I think it makes a great substitute for Challah or Brioche.

It has a buttery and a slightly crispy crust that surrounds a soft moist inner crumb. The formula can also be used to make tasty dinner rolls and over-the-top hamburger or hot dog buns. The buttermilk can be replaced with water or any other type of milk. Just keep in mind that it will affect the texture and flavor slightly. This bread depends more on the ingredients than the use of time or the additional step of a pre-ferment to improve its flavor, making it an easier bread to master.

It’s great for sandwiches, toast, French toast, and bread pudding.

I’ll be uploading a formula for bread pudding as well. So if you really want to make someone a very special breakfast or dessert, make this bread to use in the bread pudding.

I’m telling you this bread is so good that, as my wife was savoring a bite that had just cooled enough to taste, asked me why I was wasting it on the bread pudding? I simply replied, “If you think its good now, just wait until you taste the bread pudding.”

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. I have to go. It’s almost done and the smell is intoxicating.

Formula

Method: Straight dough

Mixing Time and Speed: 6 to 8 minutes at speed 2

Fermentation: until doubled in size-1 ½ to 2 hours depending on room temperature

Quantity: Two - 1 pound loaves, 18 diner rolls, 12 burger or hot dog rolls

Oven Temperature: 350ºF for loaves 400ºF for rolls or buns

Equipment

Scale or measuring cups and spoons

Timer

Mixing bowl with a dough hook

Proofing bowl

Plastic wrap

Lame or razor blade to score loafs

2 loaf pans 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pans) or

2 parchment lined baking sheets for rolls or buns

Ingredients U.S. Volume

Buttermilk 12 oz. 1 ½ cups

Instant Yeast 22 oz. 2 tsp.

Bread Flour 19 oz. 4 ¼ cups

Sugar 1.5 oz. 3 tbsp.

Salt .38 oz. 1 ½ tsp.

Egg (slightly beaten) 1.65 oz. 1

Butter (room temp.) 2 oz. ¼ stick

Procedure:

  1. Add all the ingredients except the butter to a mixing bowl in the order listed above.

  2. Mix the ingredients until they come together.

  3. Add the butter and mix until it is incorporated into the dough. Mix for an additional 6 to 8 minutes until the dough clears the side of the bowl and just sticks to the bottom slightly. Adjust by adding water or flour if needed.

  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and round it.

  5. Place it in a greased bowl and cover it tightly covered with plastic wrap. Let it ferment for 1 ½ to 2 hours until it has doubled in size. Half way through the proofing turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and stretch it into a rectangle. Try not to deflate the dough. Fold the top half down to the middle of the rectangle. Fold the bottom half over the first fold. Then fold over the left side to the middle of the dough. Fold the right side over the third fold and place back into the greased bowl seem side down to finish the fermentation process.

  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down. Round it and cover it with the greased bowl and bench rest it for 15 minutes.

  7. After it has rested, divide the dough into equal desired pieces.

  8. 2 for loaves

  9. 18 - 2 oz. pieces for dinner rolls

  10. 12 - 3 oz. pieces for burger rolls

  11. Shape the dough into boules for loaves or tight rounds for rolls or buns. Place the boules into the lightly greased loaf pans. Cover them with plastic wrap and a towel. Let them rise until the dough is even with the top of pan, 60 to 90 minutes.

  12. (For dinner rolls, place the rounds onto parchment lined sheet pans. For buns, press down slightly to desired shape. Place them on the parchment lined sheet pans. Lightly cover them with plastic wrap and a towel and let rise until doubles in size. For hot dog buns, press down the dough to flatten, fold the sides in to square it off and roll into a cylindrical boule shape. Place them on the parchment lined sheet pans. Cover and let rise until doubles in size.)

  13. Uncover the loaves and score them down the middle. I like to add a few pieces of butter in the cut before baking them. (Rolls and buns can be egg washed and topped with sesame or poppy seeds before baking.)

  14. Bake loves at 350ºF for 35 to 45 minutes until golden brown rotating the pans 180° halfway through the baking process so they bake evenly.

  15. When the bread is ready to come out of the oven, remove them from the pans and cool them on their sides for at least 1 hour before serving.

*Peter Reinhart: The Bread Baker’s Apprentice (2001, 304p)

ISBN: 9781580082686

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