We had decided the sprinkling of snow we had here was enough for to give us a white Christmas. Sure you could still see the grass a bit. But we were happy with that. And that we had. Til the day after Christmas....Mother Nature must of been running a bit late. We were lucky though as ten miles from us they were dumped on...over 20+ inches they received. We only got around 10 inches. Which is plenty in my book. Out helping to shovel the driveway so Bill could get to work with me with a bad head cold was no fun. ;)
Wreath on garage.
For our Christmas dinner Bill made a request for my Braided Poppy Seed Bread. I thought I'd share the recipe with you. It is a delicious bread. We had quite a bit left of it as I doubled the recipe. Yesterday I cut the leftover bread up into cubes, seasoned them up with spices and a bit of olive oil, baked at a low temp (250°) until crusty. I'll have yummy croutons that will last me quite a while. :)
Braided Poppy Seed Bread
2 cups white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp nonfat dry milk (I never have this stuff on hand...I always use my Cremora!)
1 1/2 tbsp superfine sugar (I never have this on hand either...regular sugar has never failed me)
1 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 cup lukewarm water
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
5 tbsp poppy seeds
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp superfine sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1. Sift the flour and salt together into a bowl and stir in the milk, sugar, and yeast. Make a well in the center and pour in the lukewarm water and oil. Stir well with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together. Add the poppy seeds and knead with your hands until they are fully incorporated and the dough leaves the side of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured counter and knead well for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
2. Brush a bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, put it into the bowl and put the bowl into a plastic bag or cover with a damp dish towel. Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until the dough has doubled in volume.
3. Brush a cookie sheet with oil. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, punch down with your fist, and knead for 1-2 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and shape each into a rope 10-12 inches long. Place the ropes side by side and press them together at one end. Braid the dough, pinch the other end together, and tuck it underneath. Put the load on the prepared cookie sheet. Put the cookie sheet in a plastic bag or cover with a damp dish towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. To make the topping, beat the egg yolk with the milk and sugar. Brush the egg glaze over the top of the loaf and sprinkle with the poppy seeds. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom with your knuckles. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.