Friday, August 15, 2014

Poppy Seed Bread (Mohnstangen)


There are so many things to miss about living in Germany.  Bakeries and their dazzling array of fresh breads available every day rank in my top five.



This poppy seed bread are called "mohnstangen" in German. The literal translation is "poppy seed sticks". 




Golden brown and crusty on the outside. Chewy and almost creamy on the inside. This lovely bread is dense and filling. I like to eat my piece still warm from the oven,  slathered with homemade herb butter.


German Poppy Seed Bread (Mohnstangen)
Prep Time:  25 minutes 
Rise time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes 
Yield: 3 loaves 

Ingredients:
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 medium egg yolk, room temperature 
  • 2-4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/3 cup poppy seeds 
Directions:
  • Mix the dry yeast with a small amount of the lukewarm water and set aside. 
  • In a separate bowl, mix the rest of the lukewarm water with the bread flour and salt.
  • Spread the dry yeast over the water, bread flour, salt mixture and knead together until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. You can do this with your hands or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • When the dough is smooth, dust the dough with flour, place in a bowl, cover and let rest
  • in a warm place for at least 60 minutes.
  • After the dough has risen, turn out the dough on a floured surface or counter and knead for 5 minutes. 
  • Divide the dough into three equal parts. 
  • Shape each piece of dough into a long rod and place on a floured baking tray lined with parchment paper. 
  • Cover the dough rods, once again place in a warm area and let rise again for 30-40 minutes or until the dough has puffed up or doubled. 
  • With a sharp knife, make cuts in each loaf, repeatedly crosswise. The cuts should be about two inches apart. 
  • Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees F. 
  • Beat the egg yolks with the whole milk and brush onto the dough, making sure you cover all sides. 
  • Bake the loaves for 35 minutes, then remove from oven. Make sure you remove them before they become too brown. 
  • Once again brush the bread with the egg yolk - milk mixture. 
  • Sprinkle the loaves all over with poppy seeds. Return the loaves to the oven and bake for 5 minutes more. The egg yolk should set the seeds into the bread. 
  • Remove the loaves from the oven and transfer the loaves to a wire rack to cool completely. 
  • Slice and serve warm with a pat of butter. 

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