Golden on the outside and tender on the inside, these lovely loaves get a fun flavor boost from ranch dressing. One slice always prompts a second helping or more, so this bread never lasts long.—Cherri Schmidt, Grand Island, Nebraska
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 2 cups warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 to 2 envelopes original ranch salad dressing mix
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 8 to 9 cups all-purpose flour
- Additional butter, melted
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the buttermilk, butter, sugar, eggs, ranch dressing mix, salt and 4 cups flour; beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a 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 lightly floured surface; divide into fourths. Roll each portion into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under. Place seam side down on two greased baking sheets. With a sharp knife, make five shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Yield: 4 loaves (14 slices each).
Originally published as Ranch French Bread in Taste of Home April/May 2002, p33
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