If you've been reading here for long, you know that I love to make bread! There is just something so satisfying about it. The smell of fresh bread makes the whole atmosphere in my house cozy and welcoming. Mike even commented the other day that he lives in a bakery! :)
This bread is one of my favorites. The wheat germ gives it extra nutrition and the honey makes it a beautiful color.
2 Tablespoons dry yeast
3/4 cup warm water (110 to 115 degrees)
3 cups warm 1% buttermilk (it will look curdled when it's warm)
3/4 cup butter or stick margarine, melted and cooled
1/4 cup honey
3 teaspoons salt
1/2teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
9 to 10 cups all purpose flour
In a large mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen Aid), dissolve yeast in warm water. Add buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, baking soda, wheat germ and 4 cups flour; mix well. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn onto a heavily floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6 to 8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. turn onto a floured surface; divide into thirds. Divide each portion into thirds; shape each into a 12 inch rope. Braid three ropes; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Place in a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan onto wire racks. Makes 3 loaves.