Old-Fashioned Butter Bread

homemade butter bread

Old-fashioned butter bread is a fluffy crumb, soft, white bread recipe made with simple ingredients.  I think the best thing you can bake is a loaf of bread.  Homemade butter bread is just like grandma used to make, it has easy ingredients and the rich taste of butter.  This simple recipe is the perfect country sandwich loaf and you will be hooked on baking bread. 

slices of butter bread

Basic Ingredients you will need:

  • Stand Mixer-  This is just for convenience’s sake, I have both a Bosch and a Kitchen aid to save time on the mixing process.  If you don’t have a mixer you can do this by hand it will just take you a little longer.  
  • Butter- Butter is by far my favorite oil and fat to use.  I love simple ingredients and when choosing what gives the best results butter is my go-to.
  • Buttermilk/ Whole milk- Buttermilk and whole milk add fat and flavor to your butter bread.  I always prefer to use buttermilk because I think it adds to the buttery flavor of the bread but I know it is not as common to have in your fridge as just regular whole milk.  Both work just fine for the recipe, but I do think having some buttermilk on hand at all times is wise for any home baker!
  • Dry Active yeast/ Instant yeast- There is a difference between the two yeasts so always read the label.  Instant yeast rises much faster so you need to keep an eye on it so you do not over-proof whatever you’re making whether it is bread or cinnamon rolls.
  • Honey- Honey is a fantastic choice for a sweetener.  It is all-natural and thick.  I use this over maple syrup just because the texture and consistency of honey is generally universal whereas maple syrup can be runny or thick.  It is also milder when baked so you won’t notice a flavor change.  
  • Egg- Eggs make a great enrichment for bread.  It can help it be more soft and plush.  If you are like me and have chickens and an abundance of eggs you will want to add them into everything possible to use them up.  Bread is perfect so add them in! An egg yolk has so many glorious vitamins and minerals it is a bonus to your homemade bread.  
  • Salt- I love using fine white or grey sea salt in almost all my recipes and this is no different.  I avoid table salt altogether because I don’t enjoy the taste or texture of it.  I think every kitchen needs a high-quality sea salt.   
  • Bread Flour- When baking a sandwich bread always opt for bread flour.  It really can take a piece of dough to the next level.  Bread flour has a high protein content in it.  This works with the yeast mixture to give you the rise you want in bread.  
butter bread rising in bowl

How to make Homemade Butter Bread

  In a small bowl add your active dry yeast and honey in 1/2 cup of warm water.  Let sit for about 10 minutes to bloom and foam.  In a large mixing bowl add warmed buttermilk, melted butter, and yeast mixture. 

YouTube video

  Next, add salt, egg, and melted butter into the bowl.  Mix until combined.  Next, switch to a dough hook and gradually add one cup of flour at a time.  This recipe does call for bread flour and because of its high protein content, it will give you the best results but all-purpose flour works just fine for this recipe as well.  Mix with the dough hook on a low speed for about 5 minutes until the dough is smooth and stretchy.

stretchy butter bread dough

  Place dough in a greased large separate bowl covered with plastic wrap or damp cloth for its first rise.  A greased bowl helps so the dough doesn’t stick when we go to take it out.  You can use cooking oil, olive oil, or softened butter all over the sides of the bowl.  I like to stick it in a warm area to help the bread dough rise.  The first rise takes about 30-45 minutes.  This time frame is really dependent on the flour you use, the temperature of your kitchen, and the yeast.  Once it has doubled in size punch down the dough and remove from bowl onto a lightly floured surface.  Be careful not to add too much flour or it will be difficult to shape.  Divide the dough into two equal pieces.  Shape into loaves and place in greased or parchment paper-lined loaf pans.  

rising dough butter bread double rise

To shape my loaves I take the dough out and divide the dough into equal parts.  With a rolling pin or hands flatten the dough into a rectangle.  This is to remove any air pockets that might have formed while rising.  Roll the dough forward on itself while gently tucking the ends.  Place in a bread loaf pan and leave it to rise a second time.  You can watch my YouTube video to see exactly how it is done!

ready for oven bread glass pans

  The second rise will take about 30 minutes.  While you wait preheat your oven to 375.  The best way to know it is done when it is when the dough has risen just above the rim of the bread pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until the tops are golden brown.  Remove loaves and place them on a wire rack to cool before cutting.  


I always say delicious bread is best the day it is made.  That rains true.  Because this recipe has a lot of fat in it, it stays so nice and soft for a couple of days.  To keep your bread moist you can wrap it in beeswax wrap, plastic wrap, a bread bag, or an airtight container.  If you plan on not eating all the bread in that three-day time frame here is how you can store it.  Once the bread is completely cooled at room temperature you can wrap it in plastic wrap, then a layer of tin foil, and place it in the freezer.  Take it out the night before you want to enjoy it and let it thaw overnight.  

golden butter bread on wire rack

As much as I love my freshly milled grains and relish in their health benefits I am not ignorant that not everyone has a grain mill.  I truly believe in a world of endless options we should all do our best to work within the limitations we have.  Not everyone has a grain mill and not everyone can make a loaf of sourdough every single day.  These quick bread recipes help build our confidence as bakers and even though it’s not the best option health-wise we still reap so many benefits.  One of those is no preservatives, no chemicals, and better taste.  


Can I make this dairy-free? Yes! you can swap the buttermilk for warm water or lactose-free milk instead of the milk and lactose-free butter or margarine.  It won’t be the same but it will still work. 

Can I make this with freshly milled grains? Yes! I have tried this recipe by swapping 50% of flour with spelt and kamut.  It was a denser loaf but the flavour was amazing.  

Can I make this in a bread machine? Yes, but you will need to adjust the amounts for your particular bread machine.  Most bread machines are suited for 1-2 lb bread loaves.  When using your bread machine you can always look at the recipes that came with it and use comparable ingredients and measurements for that specific bread machine. 

Do I need a stand mixer? No, you can knead by hand in a bowl.  I use a Bosch mixer or Kitchen Aid because I am a busy momma! if you enjoy kneading bread you can go for it.

Can I make this with whole wheat flour from the store? If you have access to an all-purpose whole wheat or ancient grain such as an all-purpose white kamut flour you can use 100% of that flour but if you are adding in a stone ground flour or plain whole wheat you can go 50% (3.5 cups) that flour and 50% (3.5 cups) bread flour.

Can I swap the buttermilk for sour cream? No.  Sour cream is very thick and will not work as a swap for the buttermilk.  If you only have milk on hand you can even add half a tablespoon of white vinegar and let it sit for 5 mins to make your buttermilk!  If you are out of any milk at all just opt for water.  Your butter bread loaf will be not the exact same but it will still taste amazing! 

Do you need some ideas to pair with your Butter Bread?

The possibilities of what to pair and add to bread are endless.  Butter bread is not as boring or basic when you can dress it up a million ways.  Here are a few ideas for you to try out!

  • Peanut Butter Bread- This is for all the mommas out there.  It’s so basic and simple but I know your kiddos will love this one.
  • Garlic Bread- Slice up your bread thick, melt some butter in a bowl, and sprinkle granulated garlic and cheese on top.  If you’re feeling fancy you can even add some fresh parsley chopped on top.  Broil in the oven on a baking sheet for 1-2 minutes and you have the perfect side for spaghetti night! 
  • Apple Butter Bread- Come fall when apple season is in full swing you will find me baking up butter bread to go with some homemade apple butter.  You can also find it usually in the organic section of your grocery store.
  • Mozzarella cheese and Italian seasoning-  This is another play on garlic bread.  You can even add a slice of tomato to make a quick lunch!
  • Of course, BUTTER! Nothing will trump the classic joy that is a warm slice of butter bread smothered in melted butter.  
golden butter bread on wire rack

Old-Fashioned Butter Bread

Fluffy soft white sandwich bread.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Course Bread
Cuisine American


  • 1/2 cup Water Warm
  • 4.5 tsp Dry Active Yeast
  • 4 tbsp Honey
  • 2 cups Buttermilk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 7 1/4 cups Bread Flour


  • In a small bowl mix warm water, honey and yeast. Set aside and allow to bloom and foam.
  • Once the yeast mixture is ready, pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, and salt. Mix until combined.
  • Using a dough hook, knead in the flour slowly adding one cup of flour at a time. The dough should be slightly sticky.
  • In your mixer or on a lightly floured surface knead dough for 5-10 mins until it becomes stretchy.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Allow to rise for 1-2 hours and double in size.
  • Preheat oven to 375 and punch down dough. Divide the dough into two equal parts and shape into loaves. Place in a greased loaf tin and allow to rise again to just above the rim of the pan.
  • Bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes.
Keyword Bread, Bread Recipe

Happy Baking Friends.

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