After returning from an all-too-short cabin trip over the 4th of July, we had a big bag of cabin chives to use. I’ve written about our cabin chives before—they come from the most prolific chive plant I’ve ever seen, and it’s situated smack dab in front of the cabin. The Lake Superior air must be good for it.
You can cut chives from this plant almost any time of the year. We’ve even dug through the snow to find fresh chives in winter. Seriously!
A couple years ago after bringing a bag of chives home, I got to thinking about chives and buttermilk pairing so well together and wondered how that would translate into bread. I found a recipe online, tweaked it some, including incorporating whole wheat flour and doubling the chives (hey, when you’ve got good chives, flaunt ’em!), and the rest is history. It’s become a staple in our house whenever we bring home chives. Perfect for either sandwiches or toasted and spread with good butter, it’s got a pleasant tang from the buttermilk and an oniony hint that lots of chives bring. I see sandwiches in your future! Enjoy!
By the way, if you’re lucky enough to have the chive flowers, in addition to being pretty, they add a delicious delicate flavor to whatever you add them. We love the on salads!
Buttermilk Chive Bread
4 cups bread flour, divided
2 cups whole wheat flour
4 teaspoons instant yeast (if using active dry yeast instead, double rising times)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
¼ cup neutral oil (grapeseed, avocado, canola) or melted butter
1 ¼ cup warm water, about 110 degrees F.
1 cup warm buttermilk (I use low-fat), about 110 degrees F.
½ cup chopped chives
2 tablespoons butter, melted, for brushing on cooked loaves (optional)
Grease two 4 ½ x 8 ½ inch loaf pans. Set aside.
Place three cups of the bread flour, the whole wheat flour, yeast, sugar, and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix until combined (if you don’t have a stand mixer, use a whisk).
With mixer on low speed, add the oil/butter, water, and buttermilk. Gradually add the remaining cup of bread flour and mix until dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Turn speed up slightly and mix for about two minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer, mix all ingredients together using a wooden spoon.
Add chives and change to the dough hook, and, at low speed, knead about five minutes (if you don’t have a stand mixer, knead by hand on a lightly floured surface for about 5 minutes). Cover bowl and let rest in a warm place for about 10 minutes. Turn dough out of bowl onto a floured surface and divide in half. Form into loaves and place in prepared pans. Loosely cover the pans with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.
While dough is rising, preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes. Remove loaves from pans onto a cooling rack. Brush tops with melted butter. Slice and eat either warm or room temp. Loaves freeze well. Makes two loaves.