If you bake your own bread, you’ll know that time is one of the key ingredients. In fact, time saves us work, for example because once the dough has been kneaded, the gluten contained in the flour begins to create the strong network that is needed to create elasticity. The yeast, flour and water that are what makes up every good dough also need to rest in order to become the strong team they need to be to ensure the dough rises well.
That’s why I like to make my dough starter the evening before so it has all the time in the world to develop in peace and quiet. One of my favourite breads at the moment is poppy seed bread for toasting, which isn’t too hard to make, keeps well and – when freshly toasted and with just a little butter and honey – is a moment of enjoyment all of its own.
Here’s how it’s made: the evening before, mix 100 g wheat flour, 100 ml water and a pinch (1 g) of fresh yeast, knead the starter dough, cover and place in the fridge. The next day, remove the starter from the fridge about an hour before you need it.
For the toasting bread, dissolve 20 g yeast and 50 ml maple syrup in 200 ml lukewarm water. Place 400 g wheat flour, 15 g salt, 3 tbsp poppy seeds (as desired) and 100 g softened butter, cubed, into your food processor and mix well. Add the starter, attach the dough hook and knead for around 15 minutes to form an elastic dough. Here once again, time is the key ingredient; yeast dough needs to be kneaded for a long time to produce lovely, fluffy bread.
Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes, kneading just once during that time. Then place it into a loaf tin and, if you have time to do so, cover the tin and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove the dough from the fridge about an hour before baking, preheat the oven to 220 °C (hot air) and use a sharp knife to make a slit along the top of the loaf. Bake for an initial 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 190 °C and continue baking for 30 minutes. Enjoy at your leisure.