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The Practical Baker
Wednesday, August 12, 2009 • Posted August 12, 2009

Buttermilk Breads

I don’t want anyone out there rushing to the conclusion that I sit around the house and drink buttermilk by the gallon. Buttermilk and I don’t get along too well as a drink; it tastes nasty and the condition it leaves the glass in is just disgusting. However, it works beautifully when added to recipes. A few weeks ago, Sheila bought some to make a chocolate sheet birthday cake. The recipe called for about a cup of buttermilk, so the rest of the half gallon just sat in the refrigerator for a couple of days before I decided to look up some bread recipes that I could use it in. Sure enough, I found a couple of real winners that I’ll share with you all this month; biscuits and a loaf of bread made in the bread machine.

Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

1 ¼ Cup Cake Flour! (cake flour makes for lighter biscuits)

¾ Cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ Cup butter, cut into small chunks

¾ Cup buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees

2. Prepare ingredients: Cut butter into small chunks, place in a bowl and return to fridge to stay cold. Measure out the buttermilk and set aside. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and have extra flour ready for your hands and biscuit cutter. Have a biscuit cutter and an ungreased baking sheet handy.

3. Mix dough: In a medium-large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt until well blended. Add butter and cut into flour using a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Pour in buttermilk and stir lightly until dough comes together in a ball.

4. Knead dough and cut biscuits: Dump the dough mixture out onto the floured work surface. With floured hands, lightly knead the dough a few minutes until it is fairly well blended. Pat out into a circle about ¾ inch thick. Dip cutter into flour and cut biscuits without twisting the cutter. Form the dough scraps into an extra biscuit-like shape (don’t roll them). Place biscuits on a baking sheet, sides touching. Brush with melted butter if desired.

5. Place baking sheet in preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before digging in!

Buttermilk and Honey Bread

From the CD Kitchen

Ingredients:

½ Cup water

¼ Cup honey

¾ Cup buttermilk

2 Tablespoons butter

3 Cups white bread flour

1 ½ teaspoon salt

2 ½ teaspoons instant yeast

Place ingredients in the bread machine’s mixing pan in the order given (or as recommended by the machine’s manufacturer) and set the machine to a large loaf and light crust.

Turn on the machine and in about 4 hours, you’ll have one of the best tasting loaves of bread you’ve ever tasted. I’ve tried literally dozens of bread machine bread recipes over the years, and this is the absolute best of the batch, so far!

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