Thursday, April 25, 2013

Russian Poppy Seed Braid Loaf

I have never seen a sweet yeast bread prepared this way and I don't think I will ever go back to the simple jelly-roll style.

This technique is from Chef Ciril Hitz's Baking Artisan Breakfast Bread and Pastries.
  • For the Dough:
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 4 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 to 2 (11-ounce) cans poppy seed filling

In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup warm water, yeast and 1/4 cup sugar and set aside.  Scald milk and stir in butter until melted.  Let cool slightly.  Add egg yolks and mix.  Transfer to a large bowl or stand mixer and add yeast mixture, combining until mixed.

Add flour and salt a little at a time to make a soft, sticky dough.  Knead on medium speed until a smooth dough forms, about 8 minutes.  Cover and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour).

 Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a rectangle that measures about 10 inches wide by 20 inches long. (Dough should be about 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick). Spread poppy seed filling over dough leaving a 1-inch border on each of the shorter ends. Brush shorter ends with egg wash. Starting from shorter end, roll dough, jelly-roll style, into a tight log.

Press ends of rolled dough to make a neat log about the length of the prepared pan. With a sharp knife, cut log of dough in half lengthwise. Watch the Chef's Technique. Carefully twist the two pieces of dough together and place into prepared pan. 

I cut the ends in half to make four Danish.
Brush dough with egg wash, cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours (don't rush it).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
When dough has risen, brush again with egg wash and bake until well browned, about 40 to 45 minutes. 
For the Glaze:
1 to 2 Tbsp. milk
1 tsp. light corn syrup
1-1/4 cups confectioners' sugar

Remove from oven and brush hot loaf with glaze.

Let cool in pan 10 minutes, unmold and brush with more glaze.  Cool completely.

Poppy Seed and Lemon Curd.  A nice combination.

~Adaped from Eastern European Food

1 comment:

  1. Looks delicious. I grew up on poppy seed filling, I mean literally my grandmother grew her own crop and we'd help harvest it and then grind it in a special old world grinder. It was so special. This post of yours brings back many memories of my childhood. Thank you.


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