Quick…Quick

I’m gonna do this post in a hurry.  It is really black out there and probably going to have a pretty good storm hit pretty soon.

Working in the garden today.  DeeJaye got the garden spot mowed and the kids and I got the trees trimmed and all the shoots trimmed off.

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So now we are just hoping that it dries out enough to plow and the rest of it.  Did manage to get some bread baked today.  Another one from Erin on Dinner and Dessert.  Last one for awhile….I promise.

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BUTTERMILK HONEY BREAD

3/4 cup warm water (105-115 degrees F)
1 tbsp. instant yeast
1 tsp. sugar
1 1/2 cups buttermilk, warmed to take off the chill (or brought to room temperature)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 tbsp. honey, warmed until runny
1 tbsp. salt
6 – 6 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp. milk or cream (for egg wash)
Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the water, yeast, sugar, buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, and 4 cups of the flour.  Mix on low speed just until a dough has formed.  Switch to the dough hook.  Continue mixing on low speed, adding the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a smooth dough is formed that clears the sides of the bowl.  Continue kneading on low speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 4-5 minutes.  Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, turning once to coat, and cover the bowl with plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 60-75 minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and gently punch it down.  Grease two loaf pans (if using).  Divide the dough into two equal pieces and shape as desired.  Cover the loaves lightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and let rise until fully doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

To make a braided loaf:

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface (a silicone rolling mat works well), divide it in half, and then divide each half into three equal pieces.  Roll each piece into an 18″ log.  Working with three logs at a time, make a braid, pinching the ends together.  Coil the braid into a lightly greased 8″ or 9″ cake pan, shaping it into a wreath-like circle and pressing the ends together where they meet.  Repeat with the remaining logs.

Twenty minutes before you want to bake the bread, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Center a rack in the oven.  Just before putting the loaves in the oven, brush the tops with the egg wash and sprinkle with topping, if desired.  Place the pans on the center rack and bake about 45 minutes, rotating 180 degrees halfway through the baking time.  If the tops brown too quickly, cover loosely with aluminum foil.  Remove the loaves immediately to a cooling rack.  Let cool completely before slicing.

It’s starting to rain and I can hear thunder boomers in the distance.  Going to turn off computer for awhile.  Hope the dog doesn’t get stuck under the bed again.

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