Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Buttermilk Braid

I love my Daddy/Daughter time and if I don't have any in a long period of time I crave it. I have quite a case of the winter blues and whenever I am blue a dose of Daddy/Daughter usually cures me for a bit. This past weekend Seth and I went to my dad's house for Sunday dinner. As usual I was in charge of bread and dessert (Daring Bakers teaser!). I saw this recipe on Annie's Eats and thought it looked delectable. I always seem to have just a bit of buttermilk in the fridge, leftover from weekend buttermilk pancakes or Grammy Dill's biscuits.

The making of this dough was extended over time because Seth and I went to Boston to see Fake Problems and I knew I wouldn't have the energy to make bread on Sunday morning. I made it Saturday morning and allowed it to rise in the refrigerator overnight. Sunday morning I just let it come to room temp and then formed it to allow the second rise.

The buttermilk adds a nice tang to the bread. Everyone seemed to really enjoy the bread. I braided one half and make the other half into a loaf for toast. I chose to top both loaves with seasame seeds. It makes a mean piece of toast!!

I can't take credit for the cooking of these scallops, but my dad can! Fresh from Hallowell Seafood, hand battered and fried. They were perfection. My daddy is a good cook!

Buttermilk Honey Bread
Annie's Eats Blog
Yield: 2 loaves

3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temp
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. honey, warmed until runny
1 tbsp. salt
6 - 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk or cream (for egg wash)
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping (optional)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the water, yeast, sugar, buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, and 4 cups of the flour. Mix on low speed just until a dough has formed. Switch to the dough hook. Continue mixing on low speed, adding the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl. Knead by hand until dough is smooth and elastic. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 60-75 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently punch it down. Grease two loaf pans (if using). Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape as desired. Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Twenty minutes before you want to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Center a rack in the oven. Just before putting the loaves in the oven, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with topping, if desired. Place the pans on the center rack and bake about 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through the baking time. If the tops brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil. Remove the loafs immediately to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing.

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