Bread Baking: Buttery Bread Machine Loaf


[Photograph: Donna Currie]

Got a bread machine? Tired of the few recipes that came with the book? Want to try something new?

This recipe is one of the best that has come from my bread machine. The butter adds its own butteryness and the buttermilk adds the tang that's missing from short-fermented breads. Sure, it's a bit of a cheat to add a flavor that normally comes from long, slow, cold rising, but some days you just want to get the job done and move along.

Of course, you don't have to use this formula in a bread machine; these ingredients would happily combine into a standard dough, kneaded by hand or by machine. But if you have a bread machine, throw these ingredients in and walk away.

The downside to any bread machine loaf is that the loaf itself is never pretty. It's usually a little lumpy here or there or crooked or uneven. This isn't a loaf you present at the table and people say "wow." But once you slice it, that pretty shape doesn't matter any more.

The two tablespoons of rye flour are just for flavor. If you don't have rye flour on hand, don't worry about it. Omit the rye and carry on.