Preview: This Buttermilk Bread Machine recipe makes a soft white sandwich loaf. Skip the hassle of kneading. Let your bread machine do the job instead. Shape the dough by hand and bake in your oven for a blue-ribbon loaf.
Have you tried the basic white-bread recipe in your bread machine manual? If you weren’t in love with it, I have a better idea. Try this buttermilk white-bread loaf and rest assured your efforts will reap mouth-watering rewards.
My two grandsons pronounced it the “best bread I ever made.” Serving it alongside a big jar of Nutella didn’t hurt.
No worries if you don’t have a bread machine or bread maker. See the recipe notes for how to make this recipe by hand or with a stand mixer.
Can I make this recipe from beginning to end in a bread machine?
Yes. I call it “one-button” bread. If you are a new bread machine owner, you may be thinking that was the reason you bought a bread machine.
Maybe all you need is bread to toast for breakfast or make jelly sandwiches for the kids. In that case, the one-button-loaf might be good enough.
If you appreciate excellent bread or want to give your bread away, consider using the DOUGH cycle to mix the dough. Bake in your conventional oven for a much nicer crust and crumb texture. Keep reading for more details.
Why I prefer to make bread with the DOUGH cycle:
Check out the comparison pictures below. The buttermilk bread baked in a bread machine is on the left. The bread on the right was mixed in a bread machine but shaped by hand and baked in a conventional oven.
Avoid dense loaves, crater-tops, uneven browning, and cardboard crusts! Use a bread maker for mixing and kneading only. You do the shaping and baking for superior results.
Ingredients and substitutions:
- BUTTERMILK: Buttermilk is the secret sauce in this recipe. It contributes tanginess, tenderness, and moisture. No buttermilk in the house? Use powdered buttermilk.
Another great substitute: yogurt whey + 3 tablespoons of dried milk powder. Or, try sour cream or yogurt thinned with some milk until it’s the consistency of buttermilk.
Not a fan of buttermilk? Make this recipe with dairy milk or non-dairy milk such as almond or coconut milk. Your bread will still be fabulous although you should probably change the name. 😜
- SUGAR: The sugar in this recipe is negotiable. You need some for the yeast to snack on, but feel free to cut back to 1 tablespoon. If your sweet tooth is aching, add an extra tablespoon of sugar. Know that adding more sugar can slow down the rising process.
You can substitute honey for sugar.
- SALT: This recipe calls for table salt or sea salt. If you want to use Kosher salt, add at least another ¼ teaspoon. It’s OK to experiment with reducing the salt, but cutting it out completely may result in unexpected consequences.
- BUTTER: A little fat goes a long way in making the crust tender and the crumb moist. Substitute vegetable oil if you prefer.
- EGG: Adding an egg adds a touch of richness to any bread recipe. Use a large egg at room temperature. If you prefer to skip the egg, add more buttermilk to make up for it.
- FLOUR: Use white all-purpose flour or bread flour. White flour will produce a softer bread. Bread flour will make a sturdier and chewier product that will rise a bit higher.
Note that bread flour absorbs more liquid than all-purpose flour. You MAY need to add more liquid. Always check your dough while it’s kneading in the bread machine to see if you need to add more liquid or flour to make the dough stick to the side and pull away cleanly.
I have not experimented with whole grain flours in this recipe. If you do, be aware that it will make the bread heavier depending on the ratio of wheat flour to white flour.
- YEAST: I always specify bread machine or instant yeast in my bread machine recipes. It’s easier and doesn’t need to be “bloomed” or dissolved first.
Active dry yeast is a viable substitute for instant yeast. It’s no longer crucial that you dissolve it in liquid first like we used to. But it will help the yeast activate more quickly.
FAQ about Buttermilk Bread:
The lactic acid in buttermilk makes bread tender and gives it a tangy flavor.
Yes, if you intend to make this bread from beginning to end with a bread machine. No, if you plan to use the DOUGH cycle to mix it. The rise time takes longer when the liquid starts out cold. Here’s a secret: The longer your dough takes to rise, the better you finished bread will taste.
Portion leftover buttermilk for future recipes. Store each portion in a small plastic bag and freeze it.
The frozen buttermilk will likely curdle when thawed. Don’t worry. It is OK to use in a baked product like muffins, pancakes, or this bread.
In this recipe, yes. No other ingredients such as baking soda are necessary when using milk. You can even use water instead of buttermilk, but it won’t be as flavorful or rich.
Yes, you may do either. See the notes at the end of the recipe for details.
How to make this Buttermilk Bread Machine recipe
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Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. Questions or suggestions? Email me: paula at saladinajar.com.