This homemade honey buttermilk bread recipe is so easy that even a beginner can do it! It has a velvety crumb with a slightly sweet flavor from the honey. This honey buttermilk bread loaf rises high and light so it’s perfect for kids (and adults) who only want the soft commercial kind! Images will help you every step of the way and if you have a question be sure to ask on the Restless Chipotle Facebook page.
For this recipe you’ll need: yeast, powdered ginger, sugar, buttermilk, honey, salt, baking soda, bread flour, unsalted butter
If you are in a hurry click here to go straight to the recipe. (But you’ll miss out on a lot of helpful information!)
This honey buttermilk bread is so unbelievably light that it doesn’t seem like a loaf of homemade bread. It’s sweet but not too sweet – it makes a great sandwich no matter what the filling is. You can taste the honey but it’s not overpowering at all. The image shows three loaves but the recipe is for just two — I tend to make six loaves at a time because they go so fast around here!
Real buttermilk is a thing of the past. It used to be the liquid that was left after churning butter but now it is a combination of skim milk and other ingredients with a culture added — something like yogurt. The ingredient list is generally pretty long and has a lot of stuff in it that is either unpronounceable or just icky. I like making my own. You can buy the starter online or you can use a little of the commercial buttermilk to start it. Yes, you’ll still get some of those icky ingredients but the amount is comparatively minute. Here is the post on how to make buttermilk if you haven’t seen it before. It’s so easy and you’ll be amazed at the difference in your baked goods. .
My dad used to drink this stuff. He’d add some salt an pepper and then drink it down. I couldn’t do it back then and I can’t do it now — but I do love what it does for tenderizing meat and making amazing baked stuff.
I have been making bread for 40 years. I came to that realization the other day and it sort of freaked me out. I totally do not identify with the idea of what a grandmother should look like, nor do I ever want to. Still, 40 years of bread baking is significant I think. My mom didn’t bake. As I recall I was lying on the couch one day, paging through a Seventeen magazine and they had a recipe for bread. I don’t know if they still publish recipes but they used to. I was bored, it seemed like a cool 70’s kind of thing to do, and why not? After all, the early 70s were all about artisan and handcrafted things.
In a lot of ways it wasn’t so different from how it is now. In fact, neither am I — there’s just more of me.
So I did it. I just followed the directions and there it was.
It was magical. The house smelled great and I had accomplished something I had never seen or done before. I’d never had homemade bread and honestly I’d have to say that it was one of those moments that changed my life. It was an epiphany and would more or less guide my food life from that moment on. It took me forever to bake but the result was delicious — I was hooked.
I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen much but my parents did make an exception for my bread making endeavors. I experimented and by the time I was sixteen I spent my days off from work experimenting with sour dough, rye, wheat, salt rising, oatmeal, and almost any other yeast bread you can imagine.
Homemade buttermilk bread has always been one of my favorites because of the texture, flavor, and lightness.
It’s kind of funny that I never baked a cake or cookies until after I was married, though. Talk about putting the cart before the horse, right?
You may want to take a look at this series on Yeast Bread Baking Tips and troubleshooting before you get started.
Frequently Asked Questions
Bread Machine Baking
Many of you have asked about making this in a bread machine. One reader, Debbie, did so and she left this comment. I thought it might help.
Wonderful flavor, love this recipe…I wanted to let others know that I use my bread maker
I have cuisinart brand and I put all of the ingredients in on Dough cycle…when it
is finished I punch it down divide the dough in half roll the halves into a long oval
shape put in greased bread pans cover and let rise for 1-2 hours and bake at 400 degrees for 30 min. I have nerve damage in my hands and this allows me to have this wonderful bread. I do not by store bought bread ! I did not alter the recipe.
Thank You for sharing!
High Altitude Baking
King Arthur Flour has some great tips for high altitude baking. The information about bread and yeast is at the bottom of the page.
What is your favorite kind of bread? Leave a comment and let me know — maybe I’ll feature the recipe. And if you are looking for more bread baking help and inspiration follow my Homemade Bread Pinterest board! There are over 300 recipes for all kinds of yeast breads.
The following links are affiliate links. I’ve added them because I think you may find the products helpful in your bread baking. If you click through and buy I will get a small commission that I use to keep the blog up and running. Thank you so much for being a part of Restless Chipotle!
I like to buy a large quantity of yeast at one time. It’s much cheaper that way and it will last in a tightly sealed jar in the refrigerator for a long time. You may not think you’ll go through that much but trust me… you will!
If you want to make buttermilk from scratch without using commercial buttermilk as a starter you’ll need this product to do it. Buttermilk C21 – 5 Packets
Some of you have asked about the bread pans I use. Mine are the Pyrex 9x5x4 inch loaf pans. You can find them on Amazon –
Just a quick note… If you’ve wanted to learn to bake bread but it never comes out quite the way you think it should… you might like my new book, Bread BootCamp. It’s gotten great reviews! Not only does it contain this honey buttermilk bread recipe, there are recipes for batter breads, cinnamon rolls, whole wheat bread, and many more!
Learning to bake bread can seem very intimidating and many would-be bakers quit in frustration. My eBook, Bread Boot Camp teaches you to create tall, fluffy loaves of bread using an incremental approach – learning the techniques step by step so that by the end of the book you’ve mastered it. More importantly, you’ve had fun doing it! Plus, get 10% off the eBook with coupon code YR83Y
You can also get the paperback version on Amazon –Bread Bootcamp: It’s Not a Cookbook…It’s an Adventure
- 1 envelope yeast (I usually use 1 tablespoon because I buy in bulk.)
- Pinch of powdered ginger
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup warm water (105F)
- 2 cups warm buttermilk (105F)
- ⅓ cup honey
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 6 cups white bread flour, divided use
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled so that it is warm to the touch but not hot.
- In a medium sized bowl mix the yeast, ginger, sugar, and warm water.
- Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy.
- Whisk the buttermilk, honey, salt, and baking soda together and add it to the yeast mixture.
- Add three cups of flour and mix until smooth, about 3 to 5 minutes on low of a stand mixer.
- Pour in the butter until it is totally mixed into the batter.
- Add the rest of the flour, one cup at a time, keeping mixer on low speed.
- When dough pulls from the sides of the bowl remove it from the mixer to a lightly floured surface. Knead until elastic and smooth.
- You can also knead in your mixer according to manufacturer's directions.
- Place in greased bowl, turn to grease the top, and cover with a clean tea towel.
- Allow the dough to rise for 1½ hours, or until double.
- Punch down and form into two loaves. Place in greased loaf pans and grease tops.
- Cover, and allow to rise for 45 minutes, or until it is just about the tops of the bread pans.
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Bake for 30 minutes. You can cover the tops with foil if they brown too fast.
- Remove loaves from oven and brush with melted butter.
- Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes.
- Gently run a knife around the edge between the bread and the pan to loosen it.
- Turn out and cool completely on a rack.
- Cover the loaves if you want soft crusts.
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