Buttermilk Bread

From Taste of Home website (Michele Surgeon, Medford, Oregon)
Ingredients
ONE LOAF:
2 t. yeast
¼ cup warm water
1 cup warm buttermilk
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 ½ T. honey
1 t. salt
¼ t. baking soda
¼ cup toasted wheat germ
3 – 3 ½ cups flour

THREE LOAVES:
• 6 teaspoons active dry yeast
• 3/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
• 3 cups warm buttermilk (110° to 115°)
• 3/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
• 1/4 cup honey
• 3 teaspoons salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 cup toasted wheat germ
• 9 to 10 cups all-purpose flour
Directions
• In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the buttermilk, butter, honey, salt, baking soda, wheat germ and half the flour. Beat until smooth. Gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.
• Turn onto a heavily floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
• Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface; divide into thirds. (If making more than one loaf, separate dough and continue with next step)
• Shape each into a 12-in. rope. Braid three ropes; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Place in a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
• Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans to wire racks. Yield: 3 loaves (12 slices each).
Editor’s Note: Warmed buttermilk will appear curdled.

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