Buttermilk Molasses Bread

Sliced Buttermilk Bread on Grandma's cutting board and antique chest
This is what I consider a real, old-fashioned loaf of bread with very traditional farm-house ingredients; buttermilk, molasses and bacon fat!  I happened to have some saved from baking bacon from Don’s homestead hog, so I used it.  The dough worked up and rose nicely.   The bread was golden, fine grained and tasty.  I made it again yesterday, and it was just as good.  We’ll toast it for breakfast and use it for sandwiches. 
                             Buttermilk Bread
  5 ½ -6 ½  cups bread flour (I used about 1# 10 oz.)
  1 ½    teaspoons salt
  2        teaspoons instant yeast (1 package)*
     ¼    cup warm water
  2        tablespoons molasses (sorghum or honey would work well too)
  2        cups buttermilk
  2        tablespoons bacon fat (or lard, shortening or butter)
  2        tablespoons butter -- melted for crust
  1. Combine dry ingredients in mixer bowl, (except 1 cup flour).  Heat water, molasses, buttermilk and bacon fat to 120-125°.  Pour over dry ingredients in bowl, blend with paddle attachment.  Add the last of the flour until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.  Scrape down the bowl, turning dough over.  Change to dough hook and knead for 6 minutes.
  2. Cover the bowl and let dough rest 10 minutes.
  3. Shape into loaves, place in two 8 x 4" loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until 1" over sides of pan, or just about doubled, 25-30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425°.  Bake loaves for 10 minutes, lower heat to 350°, bake another 25-30 minutes.
  5.  Brush tops of loaves with warm butter.  Cool on a rack before slicing. 
  "2 loaves"
2011 Cost: 98¢ per loaf
  "Cooking from Quilt Country p130"
Per Serving: 116 Calories; 2g Fat; 4g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; trace Dietary Fiber; 3mg Cholesterol; 129mg Sodium.  Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grains (Starch); 0 Non-Fat Milk; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates.
*Use Fleishmann’s Instant yeast, SAF instant yeast or Bread Machine Yeast.

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