Buttermilk Bread with Lavender (for the bread machine)

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I would describe this bread as lovely and surprisingly scrumptious. Making it was a very aromatic and pleasant experience, and my little girl played a large roll (Ha! Get it?) in making it in her very own bread machine instead of my machine. Yes, my daughter asked for her own bread machine for Christmas. Yes, she got one.

We made this one afternoon while my husband was out processing chickens. We had friends over to help. One of my friends was with my daughter and me inside the house prepping for a day full of food. The recipe we based ours off of was actually from a bread machine cookbook my friend purchased at a garage sale with my daughter in mind.

We tweaked it a bit so we could use what we already had on hand from our farm. I’ll mention both what the recipe calls for and what we used instead.

When making this in a bread machine always add the ingredients as listed by the owner manual’s instructions. I’m not sure how different the machines are from one another considering both my machine and my daughter’s calls for liquids before all solids. Always do what is recommended by the owner manual though. It skips a lot of future troubleshooting you’ll end up doing if your bread comes out incorrectly.

I’m going to go in the order my daughter’s machine calls for and what seems to work best. If your bread machine has a different order in which ingredients are added, just skip to the ingredient list. Or read on and enjoy!

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For our machines, I do liquids first, followed by ingredients that are that in-between consistency–like eggs or mashed fruit–then solids. I generally like to add my flour last, just before the yeast. I have a few recipes out there where this rule doesn’t work. I have no idea why. In those cases, I still add the liquids first then I add the flour before other seasoning.

So, we added our 1/2 cup of water and I am kicking myself for doing it! It turned out great, but I had leftover whey from making an easy quick cheddar cheese that I think would have been a wonderful substitute. Maybe next time.

The buttermilk. I don’t have buttermilk. I wasn’t going to the store for buttermilk. Nope. I HATE the grocery store. I cannot eliminate it from my life entirely, but most of our meats, produce, and dairy products either come from our farm or elsewhere locally. Every once in a while I do want some potato chips. They’re awful. I know. But that’s basically what we use the grocery store for–junk. And occasionally cleaning supplies. Anyways, I didn’t have buttermilk, but we do have a consistent run of milk kefir. If you don’t know what this magnificent beast is, click here. It’s worth the read, even if only for education of the probiotic world in the dairy realm. I substituted milk kefir in for the buttermilk. I do this quite often with fantastic results. So, we added 7/8 cup (14 tablespoons) of milk kefir (thicker than water) to the bread machine.

The next ingredient is 1/4 cup of olive oil. I do have olive oil. We used coconut oil instead. Poured that into the bread machine.

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Next, we added finely chopped lavender leaves and buds. 3 tablespoons of the leaves and 1 1/4 teaspoons of the buds. The leaves came fresh from our garden and are just as aromatic as the flowers. Our lavender is not in bloom, but I had some leftover dried buds we used as a replacement. We used our Ninja to chop it all up.

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The recipe called for the zest of one lemon. Our lemon tree has a plethora of blooms–but no actual fruit. Our blood orange tree however, is quite plentiful. We used the zest of one of our oranges instead.

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The recipe calles for 2 teaspoons of salt. We used pink Himalayan.

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Then we added 4 cups of bread flour, poked a hole in the flour, and added 2 3/4 teaspoons of bread machine yeast. We picked the basic bread cycle machine on the bread machine and let it roll.

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The result was a gorgeous, fragrant, mouth-watering, EASY loaf of bread.

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And cute pictures!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup water (can substitute whey)
  • 1/8 cup buttermilk (can substitute milk kefir)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (can substitute coconut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh lavender leaves
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh lavender flowers (used dried buds)
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon (used an orange)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons bread machine yeast

Instructions

  • Add ingredients in the order indicated in bread machine manual.
  • Use basic bread setting with dark crust.

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