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A beautifully soft homemade white sandwich bread, with a touch of extra flavor from buttermilk. This bread is fantastic for sandwiches, toasting, or right out of the oven. With an added ingredient to make it stay fresh longer!
Is there ANYTHING quite like homemade bread? If you ask my younger son, C – the answer is no. C has discerning tastes when it comes to his sandwiches, and prefers his daily peanut butter with strawberry jam to be made on a homemade sandwich bread. Spoiled much?
Ever since moving to the US, I’ve always disliked commercially made sandwich bread – not because I’m picky, but because it’s SO sweet. I honestly thought it was like eating a donut when I first moved here!
I’ve adapted to many things (refrigerating eggs, calling fresh coriander “cilantro”, and I almost don’t notice the cheese in a can on grocery shelves now) in the 10 years since my move – but bread, well… I’m still not sold. Thankfully, I can make it myself. And I do, often.
I love having my own bread available for whenever I need some vegemite on toast (much more often than you’d think), and I like to bake this bread, and freeze slices for whenever I need them.
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Adding ginger to bread?
The “problem” with homemade breads is they don’t seem to stay fresh long. To combat that, I’ve added a little powdered ginger to this dough – and I get a good 5 days of freshness out of my loaves. You can’t taste the ginger, but because it has astringent properties it also helps keep the bread fresher longer and it deters mold and bacterial growth.
I add the baking soda to make the bread less tangy (from the buttermilk) – but you can leave it out, easily.
I make this using a bread machine – but be fully warned – you need a 2lb loaf capacity bread machine to make this dough. Or, simply halve the recipe to suit your needs.
This recipe as written makes 2 full loaves (using the bread machine to mix, knead and through the first rise), then shaping, and another rise before baking in tins. I also included instructions for those of you who use a stand mixer for bread making!
Tip for success with this recipe:
- Don’t forget to butter your tin!
- Before baking, cover the loaves with tinfoil – the tops may burn before your bread bakes fully.
- Don’t sub milk for buttermilk – the buttermilk is what helps the bread to be so soft and squishy and yummy!
- Make sure there is no rack above your bread – this is a tall bread, and it will touch the top! Put these loaves in the middle of the oven.
- For a soft crust, brush melted butter over the loaves shortly after they come out of the oven.
Want more bread? Of course you do!
- Extra butter for brushing on baked loaves
- Add the yeast, ginger, sugar and water to the bowl of your bread machine.
- Combine the buttermilk, honey, salt and baking soda together and add to the bread machine.
- Add 3 cups of the flour, and put the machine on the “dough” cycle”
- Add the melted butter and the remaining flour.
- Let the machine complete the cycle.
- Remove dough from machine, punch down and divide into 2.
- Shape into loaves, and add to 2 buttered bread tins (or glass pans).
- Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave somewhere warm for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Cover the loaves loosely with tinfoil to prevent browning too fast, and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the loaves from the oven and brush with the extra butter (if using)
- Allow to cool completely on a wire rack (covered with a kitchen towel)
- In your mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the yeast, ginger, sugar, and warm water.
- Allow to get puffed up and foamy (about 5 minutes).
- Combine the buttermilk, honey, salt and baking soda together, then add it to the yeast mixture.
- Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until smooth.
- With the mixer on low, add the melted butter and remaining flour.
- Knead on low until the dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
- Remove from mixer, and turn out onto a floured surface.
- Grease a large bowl, and add the dough to the bowl.
- Cover, and rise for 1.5 hours (it needs to double in size)
Punch down and divide into 2.
Shape into loaves, and add to 2 buttered bread tins (or glass pans).
Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave somewhere warm for about 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Cover the loaves loosely with tinfoil to prevent browning too fast, and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the loaves from the oven and brush with the extra butter (if using)
Allow to cool completely on a wire rack (covered with a kitchen towel)