Saturday, 9 October 2010

Poppy Seed Bread

I feel I should start off this post with a massive apology for not updating for a long while, truth be told I haven't been cooking anything inspiring lately and life's not too bright at the moment, what with a bike crash accident and a lack of supporting job. On the good side though, I've had time to dance more and read more cookbooks. One book I find myself referring to time and again is the Cornucopia at Home cookbook from Dublin's wholefoods vegetarian restaurant. We came across this tiny treasure cove a few years back, and it's heartening to know that the restaurant is doing so well, it's expanding into the building next door.  Rarely, does one find a cookbook and cook through it's contents eagerly, but I have progressively gone through most of the recipes in this book and I can confirm that most of the recipes work beautifully with surprisingly little hassle ending in a homey and delicious meal at the end of my enjoyable labour.

I finally decided to delve into the bread section of the book recently and tried out their poppyseed load which I have to say was delicious and entertaining seeing poppy seeds make a break for it as I kneaded the dough into a ball of smooth, elastic dough.  I really do not see the point in buying a bread machine when this part of the bread making process is just so soothing.  Upon saying this though, waking up to the smell of bread is lovely and can only be achieved by hand by a dedicated early riser... which I am not. I tend to find myself baking at night so I go to bed to the smell of fresh bread instead which is equally good as I have the anticipation of fresh bread in the morning.

This bread was lovely with blackberry & ginger chutney and goat's cheese, as well as dunked into thick and creamy soups or simply spread with jam for breakfast.  With that I leave you with a recipe and hopefully an incentive to buy this wonderful cookbook.

Poppy seed Bread
(Makes a 2Lb loaf)


Ingredients:

  • 250g wholemeal/Brown flour
  • 250g plain flour
  • 70g poppy seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • 70ml vegetable oil
  • 1.5tsp active dried yeast
  • 280ml warm water
  • 0.5tsp honey

Method:

  • Stir the yeast and honey gently into the warm water and leave to foam for about 10-15 minutes
  • Combine the flours, poppy seeds and salt into one bowl - I used a whisk to mix the dry ingredients together well.   
  • Add the oil and mix well using your fingers to rub the oil into most of the flour.  Just like rubbing butter into flour for pastry.
  • Make a well in the centre of the bowl and pour in the yeast and water mixture.  Mix with your hands until you get a soft ball of dough.
    NB: if sticky, sprinkle more flour and conversely, if too dry, add water a drop at a time to the right consistency.
  • Roll out onto a clean surface (I didn't bother with dusting with flour and it was fine) and knead for about 10 minutes.  Oil the bowl (which should be clean of dough), turn the dough to coat it in the oil and cover with a damp tea towel or clingfilm.  Leave to rise for 1-1.5 hours in a warm place or until doubled in bulk.
  • Knock back/punch the dough to its original size and either put into a 2Lb tin or shape into a loaf shape.  
  • Leave to rise for another 30 minutes - in the last 15 minutes, pre-heat your oven to 180C/350F/GM 4.
  • Slash (do not tear) across the top of your loaf 3-4 times with a sharp knife and place in the oven for 50-60 minutes (tin) or 40-50 minutes if free-form loaf.
  • The bread is ready when it sound hollow when tapped at the base and lightly golden.
  • Leave to cool on a wire rack.  Cover with a tea towel of you want a soft crust. 
adapted from Cornucopia at home by Eleanor Heffernan

    3 comments:

    1. Thank you very much, I assure you it really is!

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    2. I'm so sorry to hear about your biking accident and your job. There is nothing worse than being injured/sick and not having the support you need to get through the rough time. This poppy seed bread looks beautiful though! I've never thought of making a yeasted poppy seed bread, but now I'm eager to try it. Thank you for sharing!

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