This sweet bread is so soft and light that it tastes almost like a sponge cake. Excellent served at an afternoon tea or any occasion! I really love the earthy flavour and golden color the saffron imparts to the bread. And it took all my willpower to not eat the whole loaf after it's right out of the oven. The stevioside powder I used to make the poppy filling is a pure extract from the leaves of the stevia plant, about 300 times sweeter than white sugar. Replace it with 150 grams of sugar if you are not fond of stevia.
Buttermilk Spelt Bread with Poppyadapted from
- Crumble the fresh yeast in a mixing bowl. Add in honey, white spelt flour and water. Stir until smooth and well blended. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave it at a warm place for an hour.
- Whisk together the white spelt flour and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, stir buttermilk, honey and saffron until combined.
- Add the starter to the flour mixture, roughly stirring together, then add in buttermilk mixture, eggs and butter. Now stir all the ingredients in the mixing bowl fitted with dough hook until the dough has become smooth and elastic.
- Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and shape the dough into a ball. Place the dough back to the mixing bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel and allow it to rise for an hour in a warm place until it has doubled in volume.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling. Dry roast the ground poppy seeds in a heavy-based pan until aromatic, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Stir in pure stevia extract powder, grated lemon peel and a pinch of salt. Pour in milk and bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat and leave at side to cool to room temperature.
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Divide the dough into 2 portions, one 720 grams and the other 600 grams. Divide the 480-gram-dough into 16 portions, each 45 grams. Wrap each 45-gram-dough with 15 grams of poppy filling. Shape into balls and place 8 dough balls into the base of a 24-cm springform pan and top with another 8 dough balls.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and leave it at a warm spot until doubled in volume, about 30 minutes. Brush the top with egg wash and sprinkle with some poppy seeds if desired.
- Roll out the 600-gram-dough into a 35x60-cm rectangle. Spread the rest of poppy filling over the dough, leaving a narrow margin around the edges uncovered. Starting with a long edge, gently roll the dough into a log. Seal edges well by pinching close and slice it in half lengthwise, leaving 5cm intact. Turn each half cut-side up and carefully plait the halves together, keep the cut-side up to expose the filling. Place it in a parchment-lined baking tray. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Bake for about 35-45 minutes until nicely golden brown.