Poppy Loaf

BreadClub20....the award-winning site for Happy Bakers. 

2021 : World Bread Awards : Winner - Wales

Welcome to another step-by-step recipe from BreadClub20. Why not drop by our main Facebook page by clicking here.... If you like what you see and enjoy the recipe, we hope you go on to join us by 'Liking' and 'Subscribing'.

Adding poppy seeds to bread is popular throughout Central Europe and in certain areas of South Asia. The seeds are rich in thiamin, folate and essential  minerals: calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus. That's not bad when you think that there are over 3,300 poppy seeds to the gram and between one and two million to the pound. 

The poppy seed we use in bread and cakes is the same oil seed that is derived from the opium poppy. The Ancient Egyptians used them as the basis for a sedative as far back as 1550 BC. The Minoans mixed the crushed seed with milk and honey to calm crying babies. 

Although they are readily available in the west, the further east you go, the more difficult they are to locate. Until 2019,  they were banned in Singapore because of their morphine content and they're still banned in Saudi Arabia, Taiwan and the UAE. 

You'll be pleased to read that we're going to add poppy seeds by weight in this recipe....I had thought about counting them out....no, I hadn't really!


380 mls tepid filtered water

350 gms strong white bread flour

150 gms wholemeal flour

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 tablespoons dried milk powder

20 gms unsalted butter

40 gms poppy seeds (According to Google....and Alexa....that's 200,000 seeds)

1 tablespoon of sea salt (crushed)

1 teaspoon instant active yeast

you can optionally glaze the loaf before baking using a mixture of egg white and water (5 mls of water to ½ egg white)

1 x  2lb loaf tin or alternative


Mixing by hand or using a stand mixer

If you're mixing by hand or using a stand mixer, add the softened butter and the salt to the flour and mix thoroughly. Then add the remainder of the dry ingredients (except the yeast). Slowly add the liquid and then the yeast until you have a sticky mix. Finally add the poppy seeds and incorporate fully. 

By machine - mix on a low setting until all incorporated and then turn up the speed and knead for approximately 6 - 8 minutes. 

By hand - Turn the mix out onto a floured board and knead until you have a silky and pliable dough. (There are 'Help' videos and articles in the 'Useful Web and YouTube links' on the left hand side of this page). Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover. Leave for an hour somewhere warm until the dough has doubled in size. 

Using a bread machine

Add the flour and the salt to the pan and cover with the liquid. Leave to autolyse for fifteen minutes. Add the remainder of the ingredients and choose a Basic Dough programme (2hrs 20 minutes) . Remove the dough from the pan and then proceed to the next stage.

Shape the dough and place in a 2lb loaf tin or equivalent. I'm using a round pan...just for a change

Place the dough, covered, in a warm place and allow to prove for an hour - until it's doubled in size. 

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C. 

If you are glazing the top of the loaf, now is the time to do so. Score or stencil as desired. 

Bake for approximately 30 minutes until golden brown and hollow when tapped underneath. 

And as Donny should have sung:

"And they called it poppy loaf
Oh, I guess they'll never know
How a fresh loaf really tastes
And why I love it so...."

I'm off.....happy baking....


Popular Posts