Yum Peaceful Cooking: Buttermilk Bread

Monday, February 14, 2011

Buttermilk Bread

Things are not always as they seem.

Don't judge a book by it's cover.

Not just another pretty face....

Yes, these are some of the cliche's that come to mind when I see this particular loaf of bread.

Not everything comes out the way you plan. Sometimes things beyond your imagination occur. I like to think of them as food bloopers. Some are disastrous. Not even edible (those are the worst).

Some are just ugly. But the flavor isn't affected. That happens to be the case with this loaf of bread.

Yes, I know. Other than the instant read thermometer hole, this appears to be a lovely loaf of bread. But I guarantee that if it were in the window of a bakery. It would not sell. Based on looks alone. But first...let me give you the recipe. Tell you how it's made. And hopefully when you make it yourself, you're results will be a whole heck of a lot prettier than mine.

Buttermilk Bread
from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Printable Version

6 1/2 cups a.p. flour
1 1/2 tablespoons yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 cups lukewarm water
1 cup buttermilk

In a large container, whisk together the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Add the water and buttermilk and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Do not knead.

Did I mention that this is a no-knead bread?

Cover the container loosely, and allow to rest on the counter for about 2 hours. If you go over 2 hours...don't worry. It's not going to ruin anything.

Place in the fridge for a bit. Over night would be good. Up to 7 days is fine. The dough is easier to handle once it's been chilled.

Lightly dust the top of the dough and grab a big handful, about 1 pound, and shape it into a nice tight ball by rotating the dough in your hands and 'pulling' the dough down and under. This should only take a few seconds.

Dust a pizza peel with corn meal or flour, or use a sheet of parchment paper and set the ball of dough on it and let it rise, covered loosely with a piece of plastic wrap.

The rise time is dependent upon the temperature of the surroundings. The book says 1 hour and 40 minutes. But if it's a bit on the cool side in your kitchen, it may take a bit longer. What I try to do is test the dough. I poke it with two fingers. If it springs back instantly...I know it's not done resting. The yeast hasn't completed its job. If the indent stays and bounces back very slowly....it's a good guess that it's ready to bake.

After about an hour or so of rising time....preheat the oven to 350' F for about 30 minutes if you're using a baking stone. If you're going to bake the bread on a cookie sheet (with the parchment paper), it only needs to preheat for about 10 minutes.

Once the dough is done rising, dust the surface with a bit of flour and slice it about 1/4 deep a couple of times. Bake for 45 minutes or until the inside temperature reads about 205' F (that's where the instant read thermometer comes in handy). If you're using parchment paper, remove the paper after about 15 - 20 minutes.

Allow to cool completely before slicing.

I knoooooow. It smells so good! You just want a nice warm slice with melting butter on it. But trust me. YOU HAVE TO WAIT!!

Why? (I could soooo be mom right now and just say "because I said so") The reason is....the needs to cool so that it won't be (for lack of a better word) doughy inside. You want a nice dry crumb, right?

Ok...so I did all this. As usual. But I might not have allowed my dough to fully rise. I'm not sure. Maybe there was a time issue on my part and I got impatient (bad girl). But let me know how it went....

It looks beautiful from this view, don't you think?

Then you rotate the bread 45' and you see this.....

What???? Good lord....

So you turn it around another 45' to get a full view of what's going on.....(if you are not into horror of any sort, you may want to close your eyes)

OMG!! It's giving BIRTH!!!! To a whooole nother loaf of bread!!!

WHAT have I created? I feel like Dr. Frankenstein! "It's ALIVE!!!"

But being the true foodie that I am....I had to slice it. Taste it....get an grasp the full experience of this...this....creature...

And it was GOOD! Even though the exterior was not for the faint of heart....the essence spoke for itself. A delicious loaf of homemade bread totally worth eating.

And now....If I may....I have a favor to ask for you. Now that I've bared my soul and (near failure)...If you could take a moment of your time and vote.

I have entered the Pom Wonderful Cupcake Contest with a delightful little cupcake that I've named Pom-Berry Kiss that looks like this...

It's a Pomegranate Raspberry cupcake with a milk chocolate flavored icing. Talk about moist! You can also find the recipe when you vote :). (please disregard the christmas cupcake liner...it was all I had and time was of the essence with no time to run to the store just for liners).

There's a badge at the top of my blog that will also lead you to the voting area.

Thank you!!!
  This is my entry for the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop!


  1. The crumb looks awesome! would make a great sandwich! Will try this soon as I have run out of bread! Hopping over to vote:)

  2. Well, at least the interior looks gorgeous :) I wonder why it morphed like that? I haven't tried this recipe yet but other than the strange exterior, it looks delicious.

  3. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! OMG, you've got me rollin' ;) Actually, I think it's pretty all the way around...giving birth is a wonderful thing...tee hee. Sounds tasty, too. Thanks for sharing it w/ the hearth and soul hop, Dani...off to vote!

  4. I don't care what the outside looks like, the inside is beautiful! Bookmarking this one for sure- yum!

  5. The inside looks great and it doesn't make any difference what the outside looks like. This proves that yeast has a mind of its own!

  6. Hahaha! So funny :)

    Good luck on the contest!

  7. Birthing throes and all, its still a great bread. :)
    This is one of my favourite breads from ABin5. Its also a great carrier for other ingredients and flavours as I have found out.

  8. Oh My! What a sight! And it looks so very good to eat. Happy Baking! M

  9. Well, looks can be deceiving. :) But I think your bread looks great, front and back. Thanks for the laugh.

  10. Thanks for being brave to share your "other side" of the bread. Gosh, Glad to I am not the only one with stuff happening like this....

    Just LOVE your cupcake! So cute, I'll go vote! Good luck.

  11. I voted! I LOVE your photo series on your "interesting" bread. It does look scrumptious, though. Thank you for sharing this!

  12. I have made that buttermilk bread many times, and what I remember is how wet and sticky the dough is. I have always made mine in a loaf pan, so I've missed out on it's birthing abilities! I enjoyed your different views, very funny post! It is still a beautiful loaf, though, with such character.

  13. Great post. Wasn't there a movie called The Blob, with a similar theme? And it IS artisan bread after all.

  14. If your bread making abilities don't work out you've certainly got talent as a writer....Great post and I'd eat every bite!

    Thanks for sharing at the hearth and soul hop.

  15. Oh my goodness! You had me in stitches. I love your bread! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to have to make this one now. :)

  16. I've had that happened before...the exploding bread out of the side. Sort of like a volcanic lava flow.

    I know what I did but let me know if maybe this is what happened to you.

    For the second rise my bread not risen quite enough but I could not wait any longer, so I brushed it with the egg wash and popped it in the oven.

    Well apparently the egg wash sort of seals the bread and an over all rise is not possible so the dough breaks through where it can to finish rising.

    Is this what happened?

    Otherwise, it ia gorgeous loaf and the crumb looks wonderful.

  17. Truly, ugly foods on the outside are usually the best on the inside . . . and that's what counts the most! Gorgeous bread and recipe! thanks, Roz

  18. omg this made me laugh! XD the bread looked amazing even with it kinda oozing out. so i decided to go and make this recipe. i varied it a little, i mixed the warm water and sugar ( brown sugar) together and let it sit for 10 minutes. then added the buttermilk into the yeast mix and made the dough. (and kneaded it for 5 minutes) its rising as i type. ill let you know tomorrow how it comes out. :)

  19. Yarny Girl...I can't wait to hear about it!

  20. BREAD IS AMAZING!! it tastes like sourdough without having to wait days for the starter to be done. made an amazing sandwich bread.:)

  21. I'm so glad you like it! It's one of my favorite breads. Although...now that I've been playing with my sourdough starter....I'm kinda hooked :)

  22. I tried this bread today... I'm wondering if anyone found this bread salty? I think I may have to half the salt content or increase the sugar? Any ideas? Otherwise the bread had a nice crust and lovely texture.

    1. I haven't heard of anyone thinking it was salty...but I don't see any harm in adjusting it. I'd reduce it to just 1 TB or maybe 2 1/2 tsp and see what you think.

    2. I wonder if it's an altitude thing? I find I always have to decrease the salt content in my bread.. or increase the sugar quite a bit. I will try again and see :)

  23. Ok, so I am very close to sea level, I decreased the salt by half and it made a big difference.. I believe this was probably why my first attempt was so salty :( as I said before great recipe!!

    1. I'm so glad you got it to work! I'm not at all familiar with altitude cooking adjustments. Glad you like it :) It is one of my favorite breads.


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