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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Poppy Seed Bread



I almost bought a loaf of sourdough poppy seed bread for some grilled cheese sandwiches the other day until I saw the $4 price tag and thought "why am I buying a $4 loaf of bread when I only need 6 slices?"

Instead, I bought a bag of poppy seeds and came home and made some Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes bread and added them to it. I think my home made bread probably cost about 50 cents, if that and I hate to admit it but we probably wouldn't have finished that other loaf of bread anyway.

It will probably be no surprise to anyone by now to know that I messed up the dough a bit. I was halving the recipe and I put a whole cup of whole wheat flour into the dough, instead of 1/2 a cup but i just added water and used wet hands to mix it together at the very end and it turned out okay. I would NOT suggest you try it though because I am sure it would be even better had I not made that mistake. Do as I say, not as I do.


Poppy Seed Bread
adapted from the Light Whole Wheat Bread from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

1.5 cups of warm water
8 ml of granulated yeast
8 ml of kosher salt
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
2 tlbs of poppy seeds

Mix the warm water, salt and the yeast in the bowl of your stand mixer. Add in all of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed with the dough hook until just combined. DON'T KNEAD. If you have to, wet your hands to mix in any flour that didn't mix in using the stand mixer.

Cover lightly and let it sit at room temperature for about 2 hours. Either use it after that or put it in the fridge, lightly covered but not airtight. This dough will last for two weeks but you will eat it before that time is up.

If you are cooking it before refrigerating, ignore this step: sprinkle a bit of flour over the surface of the dough grab half of it. Shape it into a rough ball but pulling the surface of the dough underneath so the top is smooth. Set it down on a cornmeal covered pizza peel and push it into a more oval shape. Let it rest for at least 40 minutes.

Twenty minutes before you are going to bake it, preheat your oven to 450F with a baking stone on the middle rack (use an empty tray of some sort on the rack underneath - I use a tinfoil pan) and let the oven get really hot.

Right before you put the bread in the oven, dust it with flour and slash the top in a scallop pattern. Slide the loaf right onto the hot baking stone and quickly pour a cup of hot water into the pan beneath it. Shut the door quickly and bake for about 35 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack until you need it.