Poppy Seed with Garlic Bread and sliced ham

The sliced bread with smoked prosciutto ham and freshly grounded black pepper corns.

I’ve made poppy seed bread many times over before and a few days ago, I decided to add  some garlic powder to the bread. I wasn’t sure how well this would turn out. What resulted was a bread with an aromatic, soft chewy crumb with a thin crispy crust. Went down well with cheese as well as smoked prosciutto ham.

Poppy Seed with Garlic topped with red cheddar

Slices, topped with red cheddar, mozzarella cheese and some grounded black pepper, lightly toasted.

Ingredients: 
340 g unbleached bread flour
40 g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast
1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp honey
1 plus 1/3 filtered water
1 tbs olive oil
​1 tbs poppy seed

Method:
At the commencement, mix the dried yeast and honey in the measured amount of water and let this stand for 10 to 15 minutes till the water turns frothy. Place the flours in a Kitchen Aid bowl. Add in the salt; garlic powder; and olive oil.

When ready, pour the frothy yeast mixture into the bowl containing the flour and use the Kitchen Aid mixer to knead the dough for 7 to 10 minutes till the dough is silky and smooth. Towards the end of this period, throw in the poppy seeds and mix for a minute more till the seeds are well distributed.

Remove the dough and place this on to a well-floured surface. Fold the dough several times before finally shaping it into a ball. Transfer the dough ball into a well-oiled plastic bowl and leave to proof for 30 minutes. At the end of this time, remove the dough and fold it several more times again and then shape into a ball and return this to the bowl. Proof further for 30 minutes. 

After the two 30 minute sessions, give the dough another round of folding, this time doing it very gently, and then shape the dough into a bloomer. Leave to proof for 30 to 45 minutes on a baking sheet.
Meantime, turn on the oven to 245˚C, making sure you have a small metal tray inside to add in boiling water for steam, at the start of baking.

When the dough is ready for the oven, spritz some water on it, and make transverse slashes about 3 mm deep across the bloomer. Transfer this then into the oven and add in half a cup of boiling water to the hot metal tray. Bake at 240˚C for 25 minutes. At the last 10 minutes of baking, open the oven door a few centimetres for 5 minutes to allow the crust to dry out. Close the oven door again for the final five minutes before removing the loaf to a metal rack to cool.

Poppy Seed with Garlic Bread

A crusty loaf with rounded ends, and typically with several parallel diagonal slashes across its top.

The bloomer showing the thin crust and the open crumb.

“Rather a piece of bread with a happy heart than wealth with grief.”

– Egyptian Proverb –

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