Poppy Seed Braid

A beautiful braided bread with a sweet poppy seed filling for your next brunch or homemade hostess gift.

Poppy Seed Braid

Poppy Seed Filling

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (280 g) poppy seeds
  • 1 cup (240 ml) milk
  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest

Directions

  1. To grind poppy seeds, place poppy seeds into the Vitamix Dry Grains Container and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 10 seconds. Stop machine and scrape the container sides with a spatula.
  5. Replace the lid and grind an additional 15 seconds, or until desired consistency is reached.
  6. Measure 1 cup (140 g) ground poppy seeds. Freeze remaining ground poppy seeds in sealed container.
  7. To make the filling, combine 1 cup (140 g) ground poppy seeds, milk, sugar, butter, and lemon zest in a medium saucepan.
  8. Cook on low heat, stirring often, for 30 to 45 minutes or until desired thickness is reached.
  9. Remove from heat; stir occasionally to cool. When cool, cover and store in refrigerator until needed.

Poppy Seed Braid

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons (60 ml) warm water, 105°F-115°F (40°C-46°C)
  • 1 Tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) milk
  • ¼ cup (55 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup (80 gal) honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 2¼ cup (280 g) all-purpose flour, plus additional for mixing and rolling
  • ⅓ cup (320 g) poppy seed filling
  • 1 large egg, plus 2 Tablespoons milk, for brushing

Directions

  1. To proof the yeast, combine warm water and yeast. Stir slowly to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Scald the milk in a small saucepan, then add the butter and honey; cool to 110°F to 115°F (43°C-46°C).
  3. Place the flour and salt into the Vitamix Dry Grains container and secure lid.
  4. Select Variable 1.
  5. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 6.
  6. Blend until a hole forms in the centre of the mixture, about 5 seconds.
  7. Select Variable 3.
  8. Turn machine on and remove the lid plug. Pour egg, yeast mixture, and milk mixture through the lid plug opening. Stop machine and replace the lid plug.
  9. Select High speed. Slowly turn the machine On and Off two times. Stop machine and remove lid.
  10. While the dough rests, lightly grease a large bowl with vegetable cooking spray or shortening.
  11. Use a wet nylon spatula to scrape the sides of the Vitamix container. Pull the dough away from the container sides and into the centre of the mixture. Replace lid.
  12. Select High speed. Slowly turn machine On and Off five times.
  13. Add additional water, 1 Tablespoon at a time, only if dough seems exceptionally dry. Repeat process five times, scraping the sides of the container until the dough binds together into a soft, elastic mixture.
  14. To remove the dough from the container, turn the machine On and Off five times (to assist in lifting the dough up and away from the blades). Invert the container over the greased bowl and allow the dough to fall into the bowl. Turn the dough once to coat the entire surface; cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise for 20 to 30 minutes.
  15. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface. Roll it into a large rectangle, turning and flouring often, about 9-inches x 15 inches (23 cm x 38 cm) in size.
  16. Cut the dough lengthwise into thirds, so that you have 3 strips 9-inches x 5-inches (23 cm x 13 cm) in size (a pizza cutter works well for this).
  17. Spread the center of each section with the poppy seed filing. Dampen both ends of each strip and also dampen one long side with warm water.
  18. Roll each third lengthwise so that the poppy seeds are rolled inside jelly roll style. Seal the wet edges and then seal both ends of the strands.
  19. Line up the three strands on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (seam sides down). Braid the 3 strands loosely so the dough has room to expand. Seal the ends with your fingers and some additional water and tuck the sealed portion under the braid so the strands won’t come apart during baking.
  20. Cover with a clean, dry kitchen towel and let rise for about 20 to 25 minutes.
  21. Brush braid surface with the egg and milk mixture. Bake in a heated 350°F (180°C) oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and braid reaches an internal temperature of 190°F (88°C) when tested with an instant read thermometer.
  22. Cool on a wire rack 10 minutes, then very carefully slide from the tray and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.