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easy white bread recipe
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4.25 from 12 votes

Old-Fashioned Buttermilk Honey White Bread

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American, southern
Keyword african american, bread machine, classic, honey bread, how to make, traditional, white bread recipe
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 1 loaf
Author Divas Can Cook


  • 1 ⅓ cup very warm water divided
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour may need more for kneading
  • 3 tablespoons butter melted


  • Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  • Place oven rack to lowest position.
  • In a glass measuring cup add 1/3 cup very warm water.
  • Stir in yeast and sugar.
  • Let yeast proof until puffy and doubled in size.
  • Pour yeast into a large bowl.
  • Mix in honey, salt, vegetable oil, buttermilk and remaining water.
  • Gradually mix in flour using a sturdy spatula, until dough forms.
  • Turn dough onto a floured surface and need for 15-20 minutes or until dough is soft, supple and stretchy.
  • Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning the dough once so that the top is covered in oil.
  • Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap.
  • Place bowl in the oven with the pilot light turned on. (or in another warm, draft-free location)
  • Let dough rise for 30- 45 minutes or just until doubled in size. (keep an eye on it)
  • Remove from oven and punch dough down to release the air.
  • Place dough on a lightly floured work surface and press firmly to remove the air.
  • Shape dough into a square.
  • Brush lightly with butter.
  • Fold the longest ends of the dough to the center of the dough and pinch to seal. Tuck the ends under.
  • Place in the prepared loaf pan, seam side down. (brush with butter if desired)
  • Cover with plastic wrap and return to oven with pilot light on for another 30-45 minutes or just until doubled in size. (Do not let it get too big)
  • Remove from oven and brush with more butter.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until golden dark and then cover with foil and bake another 12-15 minutes.
  • When bread comes out of the oven, brush with butter.
  • While bread is still hot, remove it from the pan to allow to finish cooling completely on a cooling rack.
  • Slice bread into 1/2 inch slices.
  • Store in a bread container or bread bag for up to 4 days or freeze.



 Here are a few bread making tips I've gathered through many trials and errors. 
The flour amount is ALWAYS an estimate! You'll find on certain days you'll need more or less flour, especially if it's a bit humid in your home.
Be sure to measure the flour correctly. Start by fluffing it up first and then spooning it into your measuring cup and leveling it off.
Knead the dough until it is super supple and stretchy. You should be able to stretch it between your hands until it is a bit see-through without breaking.
DO NOT OVERPROOF! Usually 30-45 minutes each rising time is all you need or else your bread dough will overflow. BIGGER IS NOT BETTER. If the location is a bit cooler, it may require longer proofing time. Check on it at the 30 minutes mark to see if it's doubled in size.
Did your bread turn out dense instead of fluffy and soft? 1. Make sure your yeast doubles in size and gets really foamy before proceeding. 2. Be sure to knead the dough really well. I prefer to do this by hand. It takes some time but my loaves just seem to come out better by hand.
Checking for doneness. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the side of the loaf. It should read at about 170 F. Also the bread should have a nice hollow sound when tapped and a firm, dark golden brown crust.