Buttermilk Bread

While most people think about biscuits when referring to buttermilk breads, a loaf is also a nice way to go. I like this recipe when I’m camping because it is a hearty bread that holds up well away from the bread box. I sometimes make this as a twisted braid because it breaks into bite size pieces and then I don’t have to carry a bread knife into the field. I have also made this as an artisan loaf in a skillet, and that’s a nice option as well. However, if you’re set in your ways and need a slice of bread with your meal, like my Dad, then baking this bread in a pan gives you a nicely textured loaf that has a rich buttery taste and is a great way to use up the left over buttermilk you have from making cheese or batter for your walleye.


  • 485 g Bread flour (3.5 cups)
  • 335 g Buttermilk (12 oz)
  • 32 g Butter – melted (2 TBL)
  • 26 g Sugar – (2 TBL)
  • 9 g Yeast (1 TBL)
  • 7 g Kosher salt (1 tsp)


  1. Mise en Place – measure and prepare your ingredients prior to starting.
  2. Measure buttermilk and butter and set aside to reach room temp.
  3. Mix the buttermilk, butter and sugar together.
  4. In your stand mixer, add flour. On one side of the bowl add the yeast and on the opposite side, add the salt.
  5. Mix on speed 1 for two mins to get the salt and yeast mixed well.
  6. Add the buttermilk mixture and continue to mix for 4 mins at speed 1.
    • You want the dough to be moist but not runny. Adjust by adding more buttermilk if necessary.
  7. Kneading is very important with this bread to get the flour’s gluten activated so the bread holds together well after baking. A good knead also contributes to a more consistent texture.
    • Knead for 5 mins at speed #4.
  8. 1st Proof
    1. Put dough in bowl and cover with film.
    2. Proof 1 hour.
  9. 2nd Proof
    1. Place dough on floured counter and roll out
    2. For Loaf: roll to length of your bread pan and twice the width. Fold the dough twice along length, turn over so seam on down and proof in the loaf pan.
    3. For Braid: roll to length of your baking pan (or ~18″) long. Roll width to ~1/4″ thickness. Fold bread twice along length. Using a pizza cutter, cut the loaf into two long pieces and braid together. Place on a baking tray and cover with towel.
    4. For Artisan bread: Punch dough down and shape into a ball. Place back in bowl and cover with towel.
    5. Proof for 45 mins. A long second proof does three things for you, 1) it lets the bread rise again, 2) it ferments off the yeast, giving your bread a more mature taste with less notice of yeast. 3) It helps the baked bread last longer before developing mold. I can add days to the shelf life without the use of harmful preservatives.
  10. Bake Bread
    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. For Loaf: bake 30-35 mins (20 mins fan) or until golden brown on top.
    3. For Braided: bake ~25 mins (17 mins fan), or until golden brown top and sides.
    4. For Artisan: Put skillet and cover (cast iron preferably), in oven as it heats. Place dough in skillet and cut an X slit in the top to allow for steam to escape and for expansion. Cover the pot with the lid to trap the steam and bake 20 mins. Remove lid and bake until top is golden brown (~10 mins).
  11. Cool Bread
    1. Remove bread from pan/tray/skillet and place on a cooling rack for at least 15 mins. Slicing bread too soon will cause it dry out quickly. After 15 mins it will slice easier and still be warm enough to melt butter and jam.