"Crusty on the outside and tender on the inside, this bread is my family's all-time favorite," reports Michele Surgeon of Medford, Oregon. "Honey helps the crust bake up golden brown, wheat germ adds extra nutrition and the wonderful flavor will likely make it your family's standard for homemade bread, too."
- 6 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 3 cups warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
- 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
- 9 to 10 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, baking soda, wheat germ and 4 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
- Turn onto a heavily floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
- Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into thirds. Divide each portion into thirds; shape each into a 12-in. rope. Braid three ropes; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Place in a greased 9x5-in. loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Bake 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 3 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Favorite Buttermilk Bread in Taste of Home October/November 2001, p16
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