DIY Food

The Most Addictive Bread You'll Ever Eat

May 31, 2017

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"Dickinson? Denison? Dawson?"
"No, Davidson."

Shop the Story

This is how the conversation normally starts when I say that I went to Davidson College. Located just north of Charlotte, the quintessential college town of Davidson used to be a well-kept secret—until 2015, that is. In June, former student Stephen Curry won an N.B.A. championship and an M.V.P. title.

But the fame I was more interested in was due to a recipe and a restaurant (sorry, Steph). 

Kindred Restaurant opened in February 2015 on Davidson's Main Street—the only street in town worth knowing. The opening was a warm homecoming for the Davidson-bred owner and chef, Joe Kindred, who started the restaurant with his wife Katy.

The first week it opened, a number of my colleagues at Summit coffee shop visited and each came back regaling the same story, about the same recipe, the same starter, the same bread: Kindred's Milk Bread.

For a whole week, I couldn't stop hearing about how addictive, how salty, how warm this bread was. But the whole time, I was wondering, What's all this fuss about a loaf of bread?


And now, I'm preaching that fuss to you. After a week, I couldn't take it anymore and I decided to try the Milk Bread and the rest of Kindred's menu for myself. I walked the five minutes it took to get there and was seated at a table for four, where I waited for my other friends to arrive (as I, the eager restaurant eater, often do).

Then I saw it: the Milk Bread. The waiter, seeing that I was seated, came and placed it on my empty table. Now, how was I supposed to sit there waiting for my friends to arrive with this bread, the Milk Bread, placed in front of me? I eyed its muffin-like top, bursting with sparkly salt. The spots of sandy-colored dough bunked next to a darker golden shell brainwashed me. How long until they get here? And then, in moments, my friends seated themselves and the four of us tried—and finished—Kindred's Milk Bread

Then we ordered another. And another. You get it—I was on the bandwagon. 

Since then, I've visited Kindred three more times, each time consuming inappropriate amounts of Milk Bread. But given the fact that my love for Kindred's Milk Bread now fringes on addiction and I no longer live in Davidson, I decided that I would have to make the Milk Bread at home.

Within twenty-four hours hours of learning the recipe (I was lucky enough to host Chef Joe Kindred in our office with my Food52 colleagues), I made four loaves. And to my great delight, every one in our office ate their bodyweight in Kindred's Milk Bread that day. And they're still talking about it. 

Now, it's time for you to make it! Not sure what you might use it for? If you don't want to eat Milk Bread plain (but really, is that even a question?), Joe says that you can truly enjoy it at every meal: French toast, sandwich bread, burgers, lobster rolls, doughnuts. Just swap the Milk Bread recipe in and you're one step closer to creating a whole new network of followers. 

Kindred's Milk Bread

Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit

Makes 6 rolls, two 9- by 5-inch loaves, or 12 split-top buns

5 1/3 cups bread flour, divided, plus more for surface (Kindred uses King Arthur)
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup mild honey (such as wildflower or alfalfa)
3 tablespoons nonfat dry milk powder (such as Alba)
2 tablespoons active dry yeast (from about 3 envelopes)
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, at room temperature
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
Flaky sea salt (optional, but shouldn't be)

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here. 

Photos by Bobbi Lin and Blake Pope; video by Mark Weinberg

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Sandy
  • relishyourchef
  • Melissa
  • Nina Beyt
    Nina Beyt
  • Karen
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Sandy November 9, 2023
How much water? I don’t see it.
relishyourchef November 25, 2020
Has anyone ever made this and frozen it after a first or second rise? Wondering how far along I can make it, and then refrigerate or freeze to hold until I would like to bake it.
Melissa November 23, 2020
I made this recipe today and I’m thrilled with it. The dough is so supple and easy to work with. Mine started to brown very quickly and needed a foil tent for the last twenty minutes or so, so I recommend checking in on it while it bakes.

I don’t have two loaf pans, so I baked half in an 8X8 ceramic baking pan. The six balls didn’t quite fill the pan but it turned out just fine. I suspect you could make this recipe work in pretty much whatever pans you have on hand.

To echo Nina’s comment, I’d love to know where to find those individual enamel bowls.
Melissa November 24, 2020
Found the enamelware bowls! They’re barnlight enamelware bowls in jadite with black specks.
Nina B. March 28, 2020
I can’t count the ways Food 52 has enriched our lives but now crave those Enamelware bowls in which Kindred’s Milk Bread is baked. Can you let us know the source?
Karen September 11, 2018
I'm sorry.. but Betty, was your sea salt lecture really necessary ? Every one has the choice to use it or not when they know the medical effects it ( sea salt ) may have ? Just Sayin.
Betty August 7, 2018
For all us cooks who use sea salt, do you realize what you are doing to your bodies? The reason Morton salt has iodine in it is to prevent GOITERS and THYROID operations and also to keep from taking pills before you eat in the morning. My mother had a goiter and I have a enlarged thyroid and I used Sea Salt. Why did I ? I followed. I followed recipes and articles and I kept using it. I even bought some fancy salt. Then I realized that we are following without checking out what we are following..So, ask your computer, teacher, doctor as to why we need the iodine.. Stop following. Be an individual.
Michael O. August 10, 2018
Iodine is available in sources other than salt. Depending on diet, everyone has different requirements.
carol September 15, 2018
Many many foods, vegs and dairy contain iodine. Yes, you can get too much. Getting high levels of iodine can cause some of the same symptoms as iodine deficiency, including goiter (an enlarged thyroid gland). High iodine intakes can also cause thyroid gland inflammation and thyroid cancer. Just saying from a dietitians point of view. There is a balance for everyone and everything.
But bread is yummy!!!
Matt February 15, 2019
have a sushi roll and get over yourself
Miles April 8, 2020
Enlighten us...😂. Sea salt has many trace and micronutrients...furthermore Ms. know it all. Iodine was introduced into salt in the 20’s. When we didn’t have such a selection of goods available to us. 100 years later it is not needed. Furthermore, that chemical shitstorm you liken to iodized salt is toxic to the human body. Furthermore, hashimotos is a very real and prevalent autoimmune condition, and supplementing Synthetic forms iodine as in iodized salt further destroys the thyroid gland. Now this is a good site not a medical site, save your erroneous opinionated rant for your FB page. No ones cares here.
Carol K. May 26, 2020
As I thyroid specialist, I can tell you thyroid problems including goiters secondary to iodine deficiency is extremely rare in the US. That may not be the case in other countries where dietary sources of iodine may not be as abundant as the in the US. If anything, we find many thyroid problems in the US from too much iodine supplementation by people who think they have a thyroid problem and supplement excessively on their own without seeking medical advise.
Susan B. April 11, 2021
I love seesaw I don’t use it that often but when I do I will do that
Mtlong04 June 25, 2018
Has anyone tried braiding this like challah?
Elizabeth S. May 31, 2018
hi! I just made this bread. Tastes great but my dough was much stickier than the dough in the video. Did anyone else add more bread flour? If so, how much? thanks
Melissa November 23, 2020
My dough was very sticky when it came out of the mixer, but it was really supple and perfect after the first rise.
Penny April 20, 2018
Has anyone tried substituting wholewheat flour (partially or totally)?
Greg E. May 14, 2018
It will not work. Whole wheat flour has sharp little points that puncture the walls. Just stop with the whole wheat stuff and enjoy your food.
NC July 8, 2018
Smh. Terrible assumption that someone isn't enjoying their food since ply bc they wanted to make the bread healthier. How rude and childish of you,grow up.
Miles April 8, 2020
Wheat will more than likely weigh it down and make it much denser. Try substituting a little at a time you will have to play with the ratio because of the different gluten content.
Penny November 24, 2020
I appreciate the technical part of your comment. But what's with the judging? I happen to like the nutty taste of whole wheat. Or - dare I say it? - I enjoy it immensely. Call the cops!
WittyBaker March 30, 2021
I love whole wheat too, far more flavor! David Leibovitz has a recipe for whole wheat croissant that is lovely and fairly easy that you can google.
For subbing whole wheat, keep in mind that most WW bread recipes mix 25 - 50% whole wheat with the white flour. Using all WW will greatly reduce the volume and tenderness of the bread. Read this article for more info:
Penny April 1, 2021
Very interesting, thank you so much!
Teresa March 29, 2018
What if I don’t have bread flour? Can I use regular flour? If so what needs to be done different, if anything?
I ask this hoping not to offend anybody or cause a storm of mean responses. It’s a question I have had before but never asked. For some reason I feel compelled to ask today. I am an experienced cook/Baker. Definitely not at a professional level, but I know what I’m doing in the kitchen for the most part. How does a person find out something unless they ask, right? So here it goes.....
Thank you much and I hope you all have a wonderful evening! Take care!
MD March 29, 2018
you can definitely use All Purpose flour (hey, it's for All Purposes, afterall!). Bread flour has, if I'm remembering correctly (my mom is an avid baker and obsessive, frenetic researcher), has a higher amount of gluten, so you get a better elasticity/bounce to the bread. It definitely produces a nicer finished product, but not having it absolutely is *not* a dealbreaker!
Robin S. May 28, 2018
Look up how to make bread flour. It's like 2 tsp. of corn starch to each cup of all purpose flour.
Sherry F. June 15, 2018
I think you are making cake flour this way.
Robin S. June 18, 2018
You are so right, thanks! I looked it up:
Add one teaspoon vital wheat gluten per cup of flour. This converts all-purpose flour to a form that can be used just like bread flour. This ratio scales proportionally. For instance, if your recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups of bread flour, you would add 2 1/2 teaspoons vital wheat gluten to 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour.
mary February 23, 2018
The texture was amazing, it would be fun to add different spices, such as cardamon, or cinnamon etc. I would definitely make it again
Bella95 April 11, 2018
Oooh. Great idea. Cinnamon AND raisins would be SOOO good.
Shari February 21, 2018
So very VERY sad...They closed down the end of the farmer's market summer/fall season 2017. They were the most impressive bread artisans I've ever met in person. Everything was wonderful. I enjoyed them back when they were just a tent in the market. WOW! Irreplaceable...They now live in Morganton NC. No word if they have another location. My only question...Did you get the biscuit recipe? Hate them normally but fell head over heals with their breakfast biscuits!!! It's like they bake with bread fairy magic...LOL.
Raymond G. July 2, 2018
Hey. Who are the bakers you're talking about? What was their business called?
Karlie F. January 13, 2018
This bread also makes the most AMAZING bread and butter pudding. Just sayin'!
Picholine December 30, 2017
There is an inconsistency with the recipe as posted here and the one that says “for the full recipe”the full recipe calls for a lot of salt . The first has none added to Dough . Big difference!
Olga D. December 30, 2017
Way too salty. Dissapointed with mine.
Picholine December 30, 2017
Kosher salt is best used! Has to be your measurements!
Picholine December 30, 2017
After checking , one recipe has salt the other doesn’t so maybe one is written wrong
Teresa D. December 29, 2017
This appears very similar to a brioche recipe I've made before, with adjustments, brioche is addicting, is a bread, not a roll... differences in room temperature, humidity, flour temperature, and various things like altitude can affect a bread in the end. IF a person tries it without success, please find out what was wrong on attempt one and adjust from there. Advice from one pastry chef to others, use your nose, tastebuds, & overall senses when creating food. A roll IS a type of bread, no need to judge one stripe by another. But the difference is merely in the shaping from pan to pan & ingredient content is a very blurred line. Best wishes!
Kirsten M. December 12, 2017
Just deleted all the nonsense about this being a) bread, and b) addictive. It is an overly sweet roll that amazingly is also too salty. It is not bread. Get it? Not bread.
kris November 12, 2017
the reason it's so popular is because it's basically a sweet roll! Cream, butter, eggs, honey...! This is not Bread! Add some cinnamon and frosting on the top--you'll have cinnamon buns. But bread it is not....
Gias A. October 31, 2017
MrSnickers October 26, 2017
I've made about 4 times until I found a Milk Bread with Honey Bread. This is very good however I do not think I would give up at this recipe. There are much grander out there.