J’s Bread recipe (bread machine required)

Ingredient options are listed in order of preference:

For each loaf:
  • 1 cup 1% buttermilk, or regular milk (have extra ready)
  • 1/2 stick butter, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons honey or sugar
  • 3 cups unsifted flour (any combination of whole wheat and white works with at least 1 cup white flour)
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoon yeast (quick-rise works best)
  • pam with flour

You will also need at least one small batter bowl (or something equivalent), and one more bread pan than the number of loaves you plan to make (the extra one is used as a shaping pan).

  1. Combine milk, butter and honey, heat in microwave 30 seconds. Let sit in microwave for a few moments, then nuke it another 30 seconds. The small batter bowl from pampered chef is fantastic for this. Put into bread machine.
  2. Add half the flour, the salt, the rest of the flour, and the yeast.
  3. Start bread machine on the dough setting, wait for initial ingredient combination. It should be lumpy from too much flour.
  4. SLOWLY drizzle more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough both has a smooth gluten coating AND sticks to and pulls away from the side of the bread machine. Wait at least one minute between the last two teaspoons of milk. Don’t wait if the dough is banging around the inside way above the mixing beater.
  5. On my machine, the initial (intermittent) stirring takes two minutes of the 20-minute kneading process. I try to be done drizzling in milk by the time 8 minutes are left before the first rise.

  6. Spray all bread pans with pam with flour
Single loaf instructions
  1. Check on the first rise after 30 minutes. It may need to be punched down by hand (usually if the weather is warm) to prevent overflow!
  2. When the machine’s punch-down is complete, immediately transfer the dough to bread pan, and punch it flat to the shape of the pan.
  3. Put the other pan over the top, and flip them both over so that the shaped loaf is now smooth top and bottom.
  4. Run a knife down the length of the dough, through to the bottom.
  5. Pre-heat oven to 350°F to 375° F
  6. Let the dough rise until the highest point just passes the top of the bread pan.
  7. Bake for 35-50 minutes, at least until browned and tapping on the bread makes a hollow sound.
  8. Immediately remove loaf from pan and put on a cooling rack, unless you want a soggy crust.
  9. Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.
Multiple loaf differences
  1. When the 20-minute mixing finishes, let the dough rise in a pampered chef classic batter bowl. Spray the bowl with pam with flour to make your life easier.
  2. While measuring the wet ingredients, measure out several copies into more small batter bowls. Do the same for the dry ingredients.
  3. You can re-use the same shaping pan — it rarely needs to be re-sprayed with pam.

You want a real treat? Take two slices immediately after slicing the still-warm loaf; toast them until just barely crisp on the outside. Butter and salt. Try not to do that for two more slices.