I am finding it hard to type this entry because at this moment I am experiencing the most incredible high (and maybe a bit of an upset stomach) from having just gobbled down two thick slices of this warm bread slathered with butter. Like Dale Evan's horse Buttermilk, this bread is creamy and white. Trust me, this recipe from Fleischmann's is not difficult and what makes it that much easier is that it does not require a second rising. The one thing you do need to have is a good thermometer to test the temperature of the buttermilk mixture before adding it to the dry ingredients. The recipe makes two loaves so once again I lit a full chimney of coals and baked one loaf in my 12 inch regular oven and the other in my 12 inch deep model. I placed 10 coals around the base of both ovens and covered the regular oven with 24 coals and the deep oven with 26 coals. After 15 minutes, without peeking, I moved the coals from the center of the regular oven to the outside of the lid. I did not do the same for the deeper oven, subsequently that loaf did have a hot spot in the center, next time I'll know better. After 30 minutes I checked the loaves and lo and behold they were cooked to perfection. I never knew until I started dutch oven cooking just how gratifying baking bread from scratch can be. It takes a little work but when you bite into the crisp crust and soft center of this wonderful bread you will feel well rewarded for all your efforts.
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Bread
5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tblsp sugar
2 envelopes Fleischmann's Rapid Rise Yeast
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup water
1/3 cup (2/3 stick) butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
In large bowl, combine 3 cups flour, sugar, undissolved yeast, salt and baking soda.
Heat buttermilk, water and butter until very warm (120 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit). Butter does not need to melt; mixture will appear curdled.
Stir into dry ingredients.
Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
Lightly oil or spray dutch ovens.
Divide dough in half; roll each to 12 by 7 inch rectangle.
Beginning at short end, roll up tightly; pinch seam and ends to seal.
Place each loaf, seam side down, in prepared dutch ovens.
Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 30-45 minutes.
Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.
Remove from dutch ovens; cool on wire rack.
|After mixing dough let it rest for 10 minutes