Makes 2 loaves
Tip: This recipe makes more of a heavy batter than a standard bread dough. You will scrape it from the mixing bowl into the prepared bread pans. The recipe moves quickly and has a fairly quick rise, so have your ingredients ready, your oven preheated and your attention focused. The result is worth it and you’ll love the smell in your house!
2 packages or 4½ tsp (from jar) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
½ cup warm water (120° to 130°)
5 cups bread flour, divided (optional: sub in ½ cup of whole wheat flour)
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 cups warm buttermilk (120° to 130°)
Vegetable shortening to grease the bread pans
Cornmeal to dust the pans and the top of bread dough
Grease two 8″ x 4″ x 3½” loaf pans. Sprinkle pans with cornmeal, covering all sides to the top edge of the pan. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl (I use a KitchenAid stand mixer but you could mix this recipe by hand if preferred), combine 2 cups flour, salt and baking soda. Stir to combine.
In a 4-cup bowl (the yeast will grow), combine yeast, sugar and 1/2 c warm water. Set aside until the mixture has heavy foam covering the surface. Once the yeast is foaming, add it to the flour mixture along with the warmed buttermilk. Beat on low-speed until just combined, scraping the bowl to incorporate all of the flour mixture. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes.
Stir in remaining flour until incorporated (the batter will be stiff and sticky and there may be lumps…this is fine). Do not knead. Spoon batter into the pans and sprinkle cornmeal on top. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until the dough comes to the top edge of the pans, about 30-40 minutes.
Bake in preheated oven for 35 – 45 minutes, or until dark-golden brown. Remove from pans immediately and cool completely on a wire rack. To serve, slice, toast and spread with butter, your favorite jam or nut butter. Try to eat just one slice. 😉