I made a turkey pasta soup with leftover turkey and needed a nice hearty bread to go with it. This bread recipe isn’t hard. It just takes a bit of time is all. It’s worth the time and effort.
6 Cups Unbleached Bread Flour or Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 Package Active Dry Yeast
2 1/4 Cups Buttermilk or Sour Milk
2 Tablespoons Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt
In a large size bowl combine 2 1/2 cups flour and the package of yeast. Set aside. In a medium size saucepan combine the buttermilk, sugar, salt and butter. Heat just until it the buttermilk mixture gets warm and the butter almost melts. You will want the buttermilk mixture to be in the 120º to 130º F. range. Slowly add the milk mixture to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can. Don’t worry if you cannot get all of the flour mixed in. Stir until the dough looks ropey and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a stiff dough, but is smooth and elastic. Again, don’t worry if you don’t use all of the flour. Knead for six minutes by pushing the dough with the heel of your hand. Turn the dough over and do push with the heel of your hand. Shape the dough into a large ball and place into a lightly grease d bowl. Turn the dough to grease both sides of the dough. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise for 1 hour in a draft free place. After 1 hour punch the dough down. You will know when the dough is ready to punch down when after poking your fingers into the dough the indentations stay. To punch the dough you just punch your fist into the center of the dough. Now turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Cover the dough the dough and let it sit for 10 minutes. Grease two loaf pans (8×4 inches). After sitting for 10 minutes shape each dough half and place into the prepared loaf pans. Place the two loaf pans in the same warm, draft free place and cover with the same clean kitchen towel. Let rise again for 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350º F. Bake for 40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when lightly tapped. Remember that not all ovens are created equal and heat differently from the next so set your timer for 35 minutes to check for doneness. Remove from the oven and immediately remove from the loaf pans. Cool completely on wire racks and serve. Makes 2 loaves.