Buttermilk Bread

Buttermilk Bread

This is as close to a pastry you are allowed to get and still call it bread.  This really should be called Buttermilk Brioche, but that would be an offence to the true Brioche. 

Anyway... this is a light, soft and delicious bread, almost a brioche,  it is well suited to making into baguettes or rolls.  It does take a few hours to make, however it is well worth it and they make a fantastic addition to a dinner party table as they are so cute and light.

 

200mls buttermilk

3 cups 00 bakers flour

2 tablespoons of yeast

1 teaspoon honey

60 grams butter, melted

½ teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

Additional melted butter for brushing

 

Dissolve the honey in the buttermilk, and add the yeast.  Allow the yeast to bloom for about 30 minutes.

Add half the butter and salt to the buttermilk and combine with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

Knead the dough together for about 10 minutes, until it feels warm, silky and soft.

Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap, leave to rise for at least an hour, until doubled in size.  Once risen, knead briefly in the bowl, punching down the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, spread it flat so that it is about a 1cm thick and brush over the remaining melted butter.  Fold the dough over on itself without kneading – fold it like a large bed sheet, over and over on itself without pressing down the layers.

Leave the dough to rise for a further 30 minutes – it should look like a large book with thick golden pages.

Cut the dough into quarters or eights if you wish for individual loaves – little square golden beauties perfect for dinner parties.  Brush generously with additional butter.

Lay the little loaves on a large baking tray and cover with foil, leave to rise for a third time for an hour.

 

Pre-heat oven to 220°C

 

Remove foil, brush with additional butter and bake the bread for 20 minutes in a hot oven, or until golden and flaky. The layers should rise up similar to puff pastry when cooked.

Allow to cool completely before eating.

This bread does not keep that well, so you will just have  to eat all of it the day you bake it.