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I'm a 30-something wife and mom. My boys are my pride and joy. Together, we are navigating being a forever family post international adoption.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Poppy Seed Bread

One of Buddy's favorite treats is poppy seed bread. I had never baked it before we adopted him, but in the last year I have given it a try a few of times and it has turned out well and been very tasty. I like to go off this recipe from Ukrainian Classic Kitchen. This recipe makes 2 loaves.

What you will need:

1/2 cup of warm water
1 teaspoon sugar (for yeast mixture)
1 package yeast (1 tablespoon)
3 2/3 cups all purpose or unbleached flour
1/2 cup of sugar
6 tablespoons soft butter
1 beaten egg
Grated peel of 1 lemon
2/3 cup warm milk

3 cups poppy seeds (ground*)
1 cup boiling hot milk
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring
1 beaten egg
1/3 cup fine bread crumbs
Optional: Honey to taste, 3/4 cup raisins or chopped prunes, 2/3 cup chopped almonds, pecans or walnuts (use 2 1/3 Cups poppy seeds only if you are adding these)
*I like to rinse them in a find colander 3 times with boiling water, then let them sit in hot water for about an hour to take away any bitterness. Then I drain them overnight and then grind them into a chunky paste using a small coffee grinder, which is tedious but works just fine.

  • Stir 1 C hot milk into 3 C ground poppy seeds 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the poppy seed filling
  • Stir until cool so the egg doesn't scramble
  • Set aside and prepare the dough
  • Pre-heat oven to 350ยบ F
  • Combine 1/2 C of warm water, 1 tsp sugar, 1 package yeast. Let stand about 5 to 10 minutes
  • Sift flour into large bowl, make a well in the middle and add water mixture
  • Add around the yeast, the sugar, butter, egg, lemon peel and milk.
  • Mix everything together until it is combined into a soft dough
  • Knead the dough on floured surface for about 10 minutes until the dough is elastic but not stiff, adding more flour if necessary 
  • Cover and let rise in a greased bowl  until it has doubled in size, about 45 minutes
  • Divide into two parts and roll each out on a floured surface into two rectangles about 16 x 11 inches
  • Spread half with the Poppy Seed Filling leaving a 1/2 inch border each rectangle
  • Roll up each rectangle from the long side and pinch the edges together to secure
  • Place the long edge side down (not like in my picture!) on greased baking sheet and fold the ends under the roll
  • Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes 
  • Optional: Brush with egg wash of your choice and slash the tops about 1/4 inch deep and 2 inches apart all the way down the roll.
  • for about 35 to 50 minutes or until golden brown and done. 
  • Optional: After the bread has been baked and cooled you may glaze it with icing sugar
  • Slice into 3/4 inch pieces and enjoy. It's great with tea or coffee!

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