Whole Wheat Buttermilk Bread

I found this interesting bread recipe while browsing through my Mom’s recipe notebooks. I had a carton of buttermilk in the fridge that needed to be used and I had exactly three cups of whole wheat flour, the white whole wheat variety from King Arthur Flour.


I gather up my ingredients and get to work. Reading through the recipe finds that there are three rising times for this bread and that it makes three loaves.

  • 2 packages active dry yeast (I use instant yeast at 1 3/4 teaspoons per active yeast packet for a total of 3 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water (right from the tap)
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup butter (one stick, unsalted)
  • 4 tablespoons sugar or 1/2 cup honey (I use the honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt (I use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups whole wheat flour or cracked wheat flour, or combination (I use KAF White Whole Wheat Flour)
  • all-purpose flour to make a soft workable dough, about 5 cups
  • melted butter (optional, as I forgot to brush the tops with this as the loaves came out of the oven!)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. I do this even though instant yeast does not need to be activated. Pour the buttermilk in a saucepot, add the butter and heat until butter melts. Don’t mind if this curdles, it will not affect the final product.


wholewheatbuttermilk bread 007Meanwhile in large bowl mix the honey, baking soda, salt and eggs. The yeast mixture and the buttermilk mixture are to be added to this and stirred well. I find that this mixture gets quite hot and I need to let it cool down before proceeding.


Slowly add the whole wheat flour. The recipe clipping says to mix with a fork but I always use my Kitchenaid with the bread hook. After the wheatflour is added, add enough all-purpose flour to until you must use your hands to mix it in to make it soft and satiny. Here again I guesstimate this because I add  5 cups of the white flour and it is shiny and sticky. I knead this for 10 minutes with the bread hook and add one or two more handfuls of flour but it is still sticky. Supposedly one is supposed to have been able to turn this out on a floured board and knead it for about ten minutes. I did not want to keep adding flour and have a dry bread.

After this first kneading place in greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel, let rise for an hour to double in bulk. This rose nicely. Then punch dough down, knead lightly (it is still a bit sticky!) and then let rise again. This second rise time is not specified. I assume it is for another hour and that is what I allow. I had to flour the board quite a bit for the light kneading because the dough was sticky.

After second rising, turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Let rest for ten minutes. Meanwhile grease three loaf pans. I chose two loaf pans and one round pan to make rolls out of the third portion.Divide dough into three equal parts. Roll each part into a rectangle and roll up pinching edges and place in prepared pans. Let rise another 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 F and bake loaves for 35-40 minutes.  And then there is bread!

wholewheatbuttermilk bread 021

The clipping notes “the bread smells fantastic while baking” and “this whole wheat bread melts in your mouth.” We concur!



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