This sweet, yeasted buttermilk dough doesn’t require any special equipment to make, takes around three hours from start to finish, and uses an entire pint of buttermilk in one go. Now’s a good time to use a Pullman loaf pan if you have one, but you can also bake it in a standard loaf pan—just be aware that it will rise and may look comically cartoon-like. Unlike loaves from the bakery, the bread will stay soft and squishy on your countertop for days, but it also takes well to the freezer—preferably in slices, so you can toast them at will.
- To make rolls, shape into 1-oz balls and nestle together in a greased 9×13 baking pan. Start checking for doneness after 20 minutes.
- To make hamburger buns, shape into 1.5-oz balls and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave an inch of space between each roll. Start checking for doneness after 20 minutes.
- To make cinnamon rolls, add 1/4 cup sugar to the flour-and-salt mixture. After the first proof, roll out into a rectangle (approximately 12×16 inches and 1/4 inch thick) and cover with softened butter, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Roll the dough into a log and use a serrated knife to slice into 12 pieces. Start checking for doneness after 25 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Beth Kirby.
- Mix the yeast and sugar with warm water and let it proof for about 10 minutes.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together 600 grams (5 cups) of the flour and the kosher salt.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the buttermilk and stir gently until it is warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in maple syrup and yeast mixture.
- Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour and, using a spoon or your hands, stir to form a shaggy dough. It will be very sticky.
- Once it is cohesive, scrape it out onto a work surface dusted with flour and knead in 30 grams (¼ cup) of flour at a time. Continue kneading until it becomes smooth, elastic, and bounces back when poked. (Note: You may not need to use the entire 90 grams of flour.)
- Form into a ball and transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp towel (or plastic wrap), and let it rise until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.
- Gently punch the dough down, gather and shape into a loaf (or balls, if you are making dinner rolls or burger buns), and place in an oiled loaf pan. Cover with the towel and let it rise until it has doubled in volume, about an hour. Toward the end of the rising time, place a rack in the middle of your oven and preheat it to 375°F.
- When the second rise is complete, brush the top with the egg and sprinkle with flaky salt.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 30–45 minutes, until golden brown and hollow-sounding when knocked on the bottom (190°F).
- Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Allow loaf to fully cool before slicing.
Kaitlin Bray is the director of Audience Development at TASTE and PUNCH. She has a masters degree in Food Studies from NYU, where she researched sustainable food systems. You can find her previous work on Food52.