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Ranch Loaves are a favorite at our house. They are incredibly tasty and a perfect fit for chicken, beef, or pork dinners. Even sliced with a piece of cheese or slathered with butter makes a great snack.
A Favorite Memory:
I’ll always remember when our oldest daughter brought her new boyfriend (and now husband) to our home for the first time. It was a Saturday morning, and I was busy in the kitchen making this bread to have for our supper. Family and a few friends were crowded around our kitchen table visiting. Hungry people.
We were trying to decide what to make for lunch, and then my first batch of bread came out of the oven. Now, you have to understand how wonderful this bread smells. Homemade bread from the oven in any normal circumstance is pretty magical, but there is something about this bread that just makes a person drool.
So, I thought to myself, “Okay, it makes 4. I’ll go ahead and give them some now.” They devoured the first loaf within minutes. I’ll never forget the pleased look on Dave’s face when I placed a second loaf on the table.
I admit that I derive an insane amount of pleasure when the men in my family enjoy my food. And this is where it begins. Eyes that glitter and shine in anticipation. Long story short, I sacrificed a third loaf when it came out of the oven. I’m not even sure what I made for supper that night, but I’ll always remember serving that bread to Dave for his first visit to our house. I think he even made special requests for it from then on. I’m sure that I obliged. That’s how I am; just ask our two newest sons-in-laws.
Oh, and long ago, our middle daughter took this recipe to the county fair and received a purple ribbon. So, it’s award-winning! But we already figured that out, right?
- In large mixing bowl, combine the warm buttermilk, sugar, butter, eggs, ranch dressing mix, instant yeast, salt, and 4 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a 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 down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into fourths. Roll each portion into a 14-in x 12-in rectangle. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side. Pinch seams to seal and tuck ends under. Place seam side down on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. With a sharp knife or lame, make five shallow slashes across the top of each loaf. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 30 minutes.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Brush with melted butter. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool. Makes 4 loaves. May wrap and freeze if desired.
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