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Blue-Ribbon Buttermilk Bread Machine Recipe

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.

unsliced baked bread machine buttermilk bread

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.

Comparison of crumb: bread baked in a bread machine and bread mixed in a bread machine but baked in the oven
One-button bread on the left has a dark-colored (and rather tough) crust compared to the bread on the right. Also, compare the internal texture. The bread on the left is dense at the bottom and light and airy with larger holes at the top. The bread on the right is more even throughout.
comparing crust of bread baked in bread machine to one baked in the oven
You can’t get away from the paddle hole(s) in bread-machine-baked bread. But you can reduce the size by catching the bread at just the right time. Remove the paddles before the last rise and subsequent bake. Again, compare the thickness, texture, and crust color on each loaf.
Tear test for bread baked in bread machine to one baked in the oven.
The texture of one-button bread is always going to lean towards crumbly. The machine can’t form and shape the dough properly with paddles.
I tore each of the slices above by hand. You can see that the bread on the left tore unevenly. The bread on the right came apart along the original fold lines I made when shaping it.

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.
ingredients needed for this bread maker recipe

FAQ about Buttermilk Bread:

What does buttermilk do for this bread recipe?

The lactic acid in buttermilk makes bread tender and gives it a tangy flavor.

Should I heat the buttermilk?

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.

What can I do with leftover buttermilk?

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.

Can I use regular milk or non-dairy milk instead of buttermilk?

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.

Can I use a stand mixer or make this recipe by hand?

Yes, you may do either. See the notes at the end of the recipe for details.

How to make this Buttermilk Bread Machine recipe

combining buttermilk with the remaining ingredients in a bread maker pan
Add all ingredients in the order listed to the bread machine or bread maker pan.
The dough should look like this when the machine stops kneading.
Select the DOUGH cycle. The dough should stick to the side, then pull away cleanly as it approaches the end of the kneading cycle. Check it around 15-18 minutes after starting the machine. You may need to add more liquid or flour to make it right. See specifics in the recipe.
Pulling the dough out of the pan onto a floury surface.
When the DOUGH cycle ends, pull the dough out of the machine onto a lightly floured surface. I like to use a silicone baking mat because it’s easy to pick up and wash or throw into the dishwasher.
Rolling the dough into a rectangle
Shape the dough into a rectangle.
Ensuring there no large bubbles before rolling up the dough.
Be sure to squash or pinch out any obvious bubbles on the sides like you see here. They can leave a small hole or tunnel in your bread after it bakes.
Using hands to make a cylinder- shaped bread.
Starting from the short end closest to you, roll the dough into the shape of a cylinder. Roll the dough tightly without stretching it.
Pinching the seams together with fingers.
Pinch the seams together.
Shaping the ends of the loaf
Pull each end from the bottom toward the seam and pinch closed.
Dropping dough into a pan.
Flip bread over so the smooth side is up and drop into a lightly greased loaf pan.
Covering the pan before the second rise in a loaf pan.
Cover the pan. Let the dough rise until it’s peeking over the side (no more than an inch).
Slashing the top.
If desired, brush loaf with melted butter. Make a straight slash down the middle of the loaf about 1/4 to 1/2-inch deep. Bake at 350˚F for 30-40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 200˚F.
Allow the loaf to cool for 5 minutes before removing it from the pan. Cool on a rack for 30 minutes before cutting to avoid squashing.
Sliced Bread Machine Buttermilk Bread
Sliced Bread Machine Buttermilk Bread
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Want more bread machine tips and recipes?

This Buttermilk Bread Machine Bread recipe makes a soft white sandwich loaf. Skip the hassle of kneading and let your bread machine do the job instead. Shape the dough by hand and bake in your oven for a blue-ribbon loaf.

If you enjoyed this recipe, it would help others and me if you gave it a five-star rating inside the recipe card below. 🤩 No comment required. Thank you.

Hope to see you again soon!

p.s. Questions or suggestions? Please email me: Paula at

Yield: 1 loaf

Buttermilk Bread Machine Bread Recipe

sliced buttermilk bread

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.

Prep Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours


  • 7/8 cup (210 gr) lukewarm buttermilk
  • 1 large (50 gr) egg
  • 2 tablespoons (28 gr) granulated sugar
  • 1¼ teaspoon (5 gr) table or sea salt
  • 1½ tablespoon (21 gr) soft butter
  • 3 cups + 2 tablespoons (375 gr) all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon (4 gr) bread machine or instant yeast


Mixing, Kneading, and First Rise:

  1. Combine all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order listed above.
  2. Select the DOUGH cycle and press START. Open the lid or take a peek in the first five minutes. Be sure paddles are engaged and dough is coming together into a soft mass.
  3. Check on the consistency of the dough after about 15 minutes. The dough should stick to the side of the bread machine pan, then pull away cleanly. If the dough is too wet and won't pull away, add another tablespoon of flour. If the dough is too dry and won't stick at all, add 1 tablespoon of liquid. Wait for whatever you added to incorporate into the dough and reassess the situation before adding more.
  4. When the DOUGH cycle has finished, check the dough to be sure it has risen to double the original size. If so, remove the dough to a lightly-floured surface for shaping. If your kitchen is cold and the dough has not doubled in size, leave it in the pan until it does. Then remove it for shaping. If your kitchen is warm, check the size of the dough before the DOUGH cycle completes. The dough may need to be removed and shaped early to avoid overproofing.

Shaping and Second Rise:

  1. Shape dough with your hands or a rolling pin into a rectangle roughly 14 x 10 inches. If dough is too elastic to shape, cover with a tea towel and let it rest for 10 minutes before trying again.
  2. Be sure there are no large visible bubbles, especially on the sides of the rectangle. Press them out or pinch them with your fingers to avoid tunnels in your bread. Also, brush off any excess flour as you go.
  3. Starting from the short side nearest you, roll the dough into a cylinder. Try not to stretch the dough, but neither should it be too loose. Pinch the seam shut and pull up the ends toward the seam and pinch them closed.
  4. Turn the cylinder of dough over so you can see the smooth top. Drop it into a lightly greased 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan or a 9 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman pan. Gently smoosh the dough with your palms to make it level throughout the pan.
  5. Cover with a cheap shower cap or a tea towel. Let rise until peaking over the edge of the pan.


  1. About 15 minutes before you think your bread will be ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚F.
  2. Brush the top of the loaf with melted butter. Make one slash down the middle with a sharp knife or a razor blade. Pop into the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature is 200˚F.
  3. Let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaf from the pan and cool on a wire rack. To avoid squashing the loaf, let it cool at least 30 minutes before cutting.


Alternate Mixing Instructions:

Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand: 

  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic. This will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 100Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 107mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Saturday 31st of July 2021

Thank you, thank you... thank you for putting the ingredients by weight! Delightful recipe!


Saturday 31st of July 2021

You're welcome, Steven. Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Hope you come back for more.

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