Hands down, this has been my favorite sandwich bread so far. This was such a great loaf of bread. The crust was soft yet flavorful and not dry. The crumb of the bread made for delicious sandwiches and toast. It was also a fairly low maintenance loaf of bread with only a few ingredients. It was not a fussy dough to work with at all. I will definitely be making this again. If I could get my act together to always have homemade bread and not have to buy it, I would...but alas, I'm not that organized. Maybe someday, though...maybe someday. :)
Buttermilk Sandwich Bread
from America's Test Kitchen
1 cup buttermilk, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/3 cup water, warm (around 110 degrees)
1/2 stick (4 tbsp.) unsalted butter - melted, cooled, & divided
3 tbsp. honey
3 3/4 cups bread flour
2 1/4 tsp. instant or rapid rise yeast
2 tsp. salt
1. Mix the milk, water, 3 tbsp. butter, and honey in a medium sized bowl.
2. Mix 3 1/2 cups of flour, the yeast and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. On low speed, add the milk mixtures and mix until dough forms, around 1 minute.
3. Knead the dough on medium low speed until it is smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. If dough is not clearing the sides of the bowl after 5 minutes, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour.)
4. On a flour surface, turn the dough out and knead by hand until a smooth, round ball forms, about 1 minute.
5. Lightly oil a bowl and place dough inside. Wrap with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
6. After the dough has doubled in size, on a lightly floured work surface, carefully form dough into a 9 inch square.
7. Roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch the seam closed. Place seam sound down in a 9 inch loaf pan. Wrap in plastic wrap, place in a warm place, and allow to rise until about double in size. Dough should spring back slowly when pressed with a finger. This should take 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
8. Heat over to 350 degrees. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil. Brush the loaf with remaining tablespoon of butter and let rise until puffy again, about 20 minutes.
9. Place loaf pan in oven. Fill a separate loaf pan half full with the boiling water and place the loaf pan with water in it next to bread dough in the oven.
10. Bake until loaf is golden and the center reads 200 degrees on an instant read thermometer, 40-50 minutes.
11. Let cool for 5 minutes then run a pairing knife around the edge of pan to loosen and flip out onto a wire rack. Let cool for about 2 hours before slicing. Bread should be room temperature when slicing.