This is the best loaf bread I have ever made; it goes great with everything. It also makes the best grilled cheese you've ever had.
Blue Ribbon Recipe
There's nothing better than the smell of fresh-baked bread. This bread is tender and moist but has plenty of texture to slice. There's a subtle sweetness. It's perfect for a sandwich or to serve on the side of any dish. Using a dough hook makes kneading a cinch. It could also be done the old-fashioned way by hand if you don't have a stand mixer. Serve warm with a pat of butter for a mid-afternoon treat.
Combine 1/2 cup of warm water, yeast, and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl. Stir to dissolve yeast, and let sit for approx. 10 minutes or until foamy.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining warm water, buttermilk, melted butter, honey, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and stir until combined.
Add 2 cups of flour and mix well. Continue to beat the mixture for 2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
Add additional flour in 1/2 cup increments, stirring well after each addition, until the dough holds together and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Switch from paddle attachment to the dough hook. Knead in the remaining flour adding a few tablespoons at a time, until smooth and the dough no longer sticks to your finger when touched. Continue to knead for approximately 5 minutes.
Lightly grease a large bowl. Place the dough in the bowl, turning to coat.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap or towel. Let the dough rise at room temp until doubled, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
Turn dough out onto a work surface and divide in half.
Grease 2 loaf pans (9x5) with butter and set aside. Form loaves, I usually roll them out on a floured surface, and roll tightly. Place each loaf seam side down in the pans.
Cover loosely with plastic wrap or a towel.
Allow to rise at room temp until doubled again; about 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 40-45 minutes or until loaves look deep golden brown.
Cool slightly and remove from pans. Cool on a wire rack.
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