Our Favorite Bread Recipe

favorite bread recipe
I need to start this post with a disclaimer. You see, I, like yourself, try very hard to extol the virtues of whole wheat living on my family (peppered with the occasional “do as I say, not as I do”, because, well, I’ve been waiting my whole life to say that!). I do like it, and my kids come around to it in fits and spurts, which I can live with.

favorite bread recipe
I have those days (and my kids most definitely have them too) where nothings going to be better than white bread and butter. Nothing else will do, honestly…nothing. It will immediately take me back to being a kid, when biscuits were made with every meal. Biscuits aside (we’ve discussed those here before), we recently got a new bread machine after being without one for over 2 years. I will hold the final verdict on whether or not this machine is a winner. Bread loaf #1 was a too dense, undercooked, flattened pancake. Bleh… I knew I had to change up a few things for loaf #2. I needed to buy new yeast…and I needed to pull out our favorite bread recipe. No more of this let’s follow the one in the instruction book business.
favorite bread recipe
I put the ingredients in the machine, made a few adjustments to the settings, pushed go, and left to pick up the kids. “If we’re lucky, when we walk in the house its going to smell like fresh bread. If we’re lucky.”
We were lucky all right. The house smelled heavenly (actual sighs from us when we walked in). The loaf came out beautifully. Light, fluffy, perfect color and texture. I’m now fully convinced that I can’t go wrong with this recipe, ever. I’ve made it for years and the only complaint I had using it in my old machine is that the loaf size was too big. Its a old James Beard recipe, given to me by my friend Sarah, who has no idea how much we love this bread.
Our recipe is for a bread machine, loaf size is a little over 2 lb.
favorite bread recipe

Buttermilk White Bread

recipe from James Beard
3 Tbsp. melted butter
1-1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup warm water
3 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 packages dry yeast
(add all to the bread machine in the order it is written, set for Basic mode).
Standby with butter or homemade jam, ready to grab it when its ready.

  • Michelle

    May 20, 2009 at 8:25 pm

    Mouth-watering goodness! I can’t wait to try this recipe with the kiddos!!
    Thanks for sharing 🙂
    PS I really love your blog; been reading for a while, but I think this is the first time I’m leaving a comment (usually have a squirmy baby on my lap 🙂

  • Lauren

    May 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    mmmm I need some of that in my life! yum!

  • rustandroses

    May 20, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    Aahhh, nothing like fresh, hot, homemade bread. Add some homemade butter and jam, and call it a day!

  • melissa

    May 20, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    yum. I just watched michael clayton. The scene with Arthur and the armload of baguettes made me swoon. I never make white bread.

  • britt

    May 21, 2009 at 4:40 am

    heh, just so you know. you mentioned that you like biscuits and the white bread is a reminder. you can make whole wheat biscuits. and they are equally as yummy. i just take a biscuit recipe that i like and substitute whole wheat flour for about 80% of the flour required and then the rest regular white flour. it works out great, is better for you and still has a good light flavor.

  • Kendall Micayla

    May 21, 2009 at 4:45 am

    nothing is better than buttermilk bread, my mom makes it whenever we have time (not that much) and it smells, tastes, and bakes really well!
    your pictures have put me in the mood for some… im going to find our recipe and see what is different in ours and yours. 🙂

  • Sarah

    May 21, 2009 at 5:41 am

    My mom makes homemade bread all the time. So yummy!

  • Rid

    May 21, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    “Bread and butter” is a alternative fashion week in Barcelona…Isn’t it funny!?????
    It looks yummy!

  • Laura

    May 21, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    There is nothing quite like white bread, butter and jam. Sooths the pain of a difficult day!

  • julie

    May 21, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Thank you for this recipe. I lost the instructions for my lonely old bread machine and…um…never used it. Now, I will have to make your wonderful bread. …I can almost smell it. Wow. That would be some good bread if you could smell it on the inter-webs.

  • Maribeth Pomerantz

    May 22, 2009 at 8:51 am

    All you need now is some nice homemade jam. Ahh.

  • kate

    May 22, 2009 at 11:05 am

    oh, there is nothing better than homemade bread. we’ve been making 2 loaves a week and shaking up our own butter in jars. and it’s . . . heavenly!

  • TatusWelle

    May 28, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Yum. My dad used to bake when I was growing up. Then we had an actual bakery in our backyard..fresh bread [white :)] & butter every day!

  • Steph

    May 31, 2009 at 1:58 am

    Thanks for sharing, we;ve been on the hunt for a decent recipe since we got our breadmaker

  • Erin O.

    May 31, 2009 at 11:23 am

    That looks amazing! I’m a bit confused by the buttermilk amount – is it 1 and 1/4 cup or just 1/4 cup?

  • blair/wisecraft

    May 31, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Thanks Erin, its the full 1 1/4 cup of buttermilk.

  • cline

    June 2, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Just curious what kind of bread machine you have..i’m in the market for one, and have always wondered if its worth it being that it’s the #1 item you see at a garage sale!

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 2, 2009 at 6:00 pm

    For us, its totally worth it! I would not bake bread otherwise, and we enjoy
    experimenting with different types of breads. I’ve tried making it by hand
    and know I prefer the ease of a bread machine. The only reason I could think
    of them for sale at yard sales so often is because bread isn’t in fashion in
    our low carb culture, but who knows?

  • Eugeniagina

    June 4, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Blair, I don’t have a bread machine, is it possible to make it manually? I’m drooling already.. 🙂

  • blair/wisecraft

    June 4, 2009 at 11:07 am

    Absolutely! You could easily make this by hand, but the only think I
    wouldn’t be sure about is the resting/rising times, but I would guess they
    are standard if you have experience with baking bread.
    Its totally yummy!!!

  • spiraling

    July 1, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Would you mind telling me how much a package of yeast weighs? I’d love to try this bread but we get our yeast in a big jar (we bake a lot!) and I’m not familiar with American yeast portions.
    Thanks! The receipe looks great, you can’t go wrong with buttermilk.

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