Buttermilk Honey Bread

Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients:

1/4 cup water, (warmed, 110f)
1 packet active dry yeast (rapid rise is fine, too)
1 tsp sugar
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/3 cup honey
1 tsp salt
4 cups + 1/2 cup flour
1 egg yolk
kosher salt

Instructions:

1) Place 1/4 up warm water in medium glass measuring cup (to get 110°f water, think bathwater, not tea water.)
2) Mix 1 packet active dry yeast and 1 tsp sugar in the warm water. Let it proof for about 10-15 minutes, until very foamy.
3) Meanwhile, in large bowl whisk together 4 cups flour and 1 tsp salt.
4) In a medium saucepan, melt 3 tbsp butter over low heat. Add 1 1/2 cups buttermilk and warm gently, stirring. (Don’t let it get too hot or it will separate it just need to be warm). Remove from heat and stir in 1/3 cup honey and yeast mixture.
5) Add the buttermilk/yeast mixture into the flour, and stir into a shaggy dough.
6) Dust remaining 1/2 cup flour onto work surface and knead 10-12 times until it forms a smooth, elastic dough.(Until you stick your finger in the dough and it bounces back).
7) Form dough into ball and place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl (i just use olive oil). Sprinkle the top with flour and cover with a damp (not wet) towel. Let the bread rise in a warm spot until doubled in bulk, about two hours.
8) Punch the dough down, form in a loaf, and place in an oiled loaf pan.
9) Cover with the towel again and allow to rise another hour.
10) Preheat oven to 375°f.
11) When the second rise is complete, brush the top of your loaf with the egg yolk, and then sprinkle it with a bit of kosher or other flaky salt.
12) Bake at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes until golden. (A thermometer should read about 190°f). If the top seems to be getting too brown after 20 min, cover with foil for the rest of the bake time.
13) Brush tops with butter and allow to cool in the pan for about 5-10 minutes. remove and allow to cool for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing or it will fall apart.

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