Bread is one item that I purchase on a weekly basis during my grocery shopping trips. We usually buy whole-wheat or sourdough loaves depending on what we are having for the week. It's a wonderful staple food and madly addicting if you love bread like my husband and I. We love dinner rolls to accompany a hearty steak dinner, or crusty sourdough bread to dip soup in, and lately I've been in love with naan to eat with almost everything that I can think of. Bread can get expensive week after week, and sometimes we don't always finish it either.
Yet, bread is so inexpensive to make at home. It's got three essential ingredients - yeast, flour, and water and then a couple occasional fancy pantry ingredients like sugar or honey. It's really not that difficult to bake bread at home and smell of freshly baking bread is heavenly in the kitchen. Whenever we get lucky to have the cooler weather, I really love baking a batch of Whole Grain artisan loaf - it's a perfect bread batch for the week. I made this bread starter recipe to use up the leftover buttermilk that I had in the fridge and for the sweeter bread options, too. This would be a great stuffing bread with Thanksgiving around the corner or it is a great sandwich bread if you are in the mood for a panini or grilled cheese. Enjoy!
Adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Yield: 4 loaves of bread
2 cups lukewarm water (about 100 to 110 degrees)
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
6 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Butter or neutral-tasting oil for greasing the pan
In a 5-quart food container, add the yeast, salt and sugar with the water and buttermilk - mix to combine.
In the bowl of the KA mixer, add the flour and yeast mixture. Knead for about 5 to 7 minutes or if you are not using a mixer, knead until completely combined and feels like an elastic band.
Add the dough back into the food container, and allow to rest at room temperature for about 2 hours until the dough rises. Cover with the lid but not airtight.
Dough can be used immediately but it is best handled when cold. Place in refrigerator until ready to bake over the next 7 days.
When ready to bake, lightly grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan. On a floured surface, cut off a 1 1/2 pound (cantaloupe-sized) piece. Add more flour if needed, and roll into a ball of dough. Carefully roll the dough around using bottom of your hands and stretching it out to an oval circle.
Add the dough into the greased pan.
Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour and 40 minutes (or 40 minutes if you are using fresh, unrefrigerated dough). Dust the top with flour and slash the top with a serrated knife. Brush the top with melted butter.
Twenty minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from pan and let it cool before slicing. Enjoy!
Cinnamon-Raisin bread. Let's just say...it was awesome and soooo tasty. It was like a cinnamon roll and best bread all mixed into one. The buttermilk bread is very delicious as well, but a great starter for other possibilities. Making homemade bread has never been easier!