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Buttermilk Dill Bread

Buttermilk Dill Bread

There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread just out of the oven! Our recipe uses dill, but you can substitute oregano, thyme, or rosemary. If you are looking for a crisp crust and a moist interior, this is the recipe that will make it happen. If you’re less picky about your crust, you can eliminate the pan of boiling water from this process.

Adapted from a Recipe by American Test Kitchen

Yield: 1 loaf

 INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup warm buttermilk (110 degrees)
  • 1/3 cup warm water (110 degrees)
  • 3 TBS honey
  • 2 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill (about 1 medium sized bunch)
  • 3 ½ cups bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 2 ¼ tsp instant or rapid-rise yeast
  • 2 tsp salt

 DIRECTIONS:

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Once oven temperature reaches 200 degrees, maintain heat for 10 minutes and then turn off oven.

Whisk buttermilk, water, honey, melted butter and fresh dill together in 4-cup liquid measuring cup or a pitcher. Use stand mixer fitted with dough hook, combine flour, yeast and salt on low speed. Slowly pour in the buttermilk mixture and let dough come together, about 2 minutes. Increase speed to medium and knead until dough is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes, scraping down dough from bowl and hook as needed. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 15 seconds. Place dough in large, lightly greased bowl; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise in warm oven until doubled in size, 50 to 60 minutes.

Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan. Transfer dough to lightly floured counter and press into rectangle about 1 inch thick and no longer than 9 inches, with long side facing you. Roll dough toward you into firm cylinder, keeping roll taut by tucking it under itself as you go. Turn loaf seam side up and pinch it closed. Place loaf seam side down in prepared pan, pressing gently into corners. Cover loaf loosely with greased plastic and let rise at room temperature until nearly doubled in size, 20 to 30 minutes. Dough should barely spring back when poked.

One hour before baking, place baking stone (or an overturned rimmed baking sheet) on lowest rack, place an empty heatproof pan on baking stone, and heat oven to 350 degrees. When you’re ready to bake, bring 2 cups water to boil on stovetop. Working quickly, pour boiling water into the empty pan in the oven – this water will turn into a steam that moistens and crisps the crust of your bread. Set the loaf pan (with the dough in it) onto the baking stone. Bake until crust is golden brown and the loaf registers 195 degrees, 40 to 50 minutes. Transfer the loaf pan to wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove loaf from pan, return it to rack, and let cool to room temperature for about 2 hours, before slicing and serving.

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