Buttermilk Loaves

I think buttermilk is a super ingredient; I regularly use it in scones and cakes. Here it helps create a wonderfully light, soft and fluffy loaf.

Serves: Makes two medium loaves (12 – 13 slices from each)

Time: 20 – 25 minutes hands-on”. About 1hr 20 mins waiting time (or “doing-something-else” time). 30 minutes baking.

Level: Easy

Need: 2 x 1kg loaf tins, lined


  • 500g (1lb 2oz) strong white flour
  • 7g (slightly less than ¼ oz) salt
  • 50g (1¾oz) caster sugar
  • 60g (2oz) butter, softened
  • 7g (slightly less than ¼ oz)  instant yeast
  • 150ml (5½fl oz) buttermilk
  • 150ml (5½fl oz) milk + a little in reserve in case the dough is very dry

If you have no buttermilk you could still make the loaves by doubling the amount of milk. Or, you can replicate the buttermilk by mixing 2 tsp of lemon juice into 150ml milk. Let it stand for five minutes then use it like buttermilk.


Prep: Line two loaf tins with baking parchment, leaving enough to lift out the loaves if necessary.

1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. (I used my stand mixer bowl)

2. Make a well in the centre and pour in all the liquids. Mix everything together and leave to stand for 30 minutes.

3. Knead until a smooth, malleable dough has formed. (Maybe 15 minutes by hand, 7 – 10 using the dough hook.) Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and leave until doubled in size. (About an hour)

4. Turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knock back then form into two “sausage shapes”. Use cupped hands to drag the outer surface over and under each piece to make the outer surface taut. Place them in the prepared loaf tins with the smooth surface uppermost. Put the tins inside a large plastic bag such as a bin liner for a second proofing. After about 15 minutes, turn the oven on to 220°C / Fan 200°C / 425°F / Gas 7. Place a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven to heat up.

5. Cut two or three diagonal slashes in each loaf, sprinkle with water then place in the oven and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes. Check after 20; if they are getting too dark, cover with foil and turn the oven down by 20°. (NB You can see from the photos below that mine were a bit too dark; obviously I need to listen to my own advice. Nevertheless, they were OK and still tasted good.)

I wish you every success with your bread making. I hope you have a go at this one and enjoy making and eating a lovely loaf – or two. If you want to see more of my bread recipes click This link.

Here are a few that I hope you try:

Cheese and Onion Soda Bread

Rye & Wholemeal Apricot English Muffins

Cream Cheese and Chive Bread

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