poppy seed bread on the barbecue

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summary: recipe for poppy seed bread; submission for YeastSpotting; whines: rye flour and salmon provenance; (click on images to see larger views and more photos)

poppy seed bread I don’t know why it’s been so long since I’ve made this poppy seed bread. When we were buying bread from the bakery, it used to be one of our favourite kinds. Especially with grilled salmon steaks, which is what we were going to have following the oyster mushroom first course.

Because it was ridiculously hot outside, rather than make the traditional round loaf, I shaped the dough into buns and we cooked them on the barbecue.

poppy seed bread They might look like hamburger buns, but don’t let looks fool you. The poppy seeds are in the crumb as well.

I love this bread!! It’s just a little bit sweet but not cloyingly so. And it’s beautifully soft inside yet nicely crispy on the outside.

Come to think of it, this bread might be perfect for hamburgers. Hmmmm, maybe we should make more for tomorrow….

Here’s what I did to make the bread:

Poppy Seed Bread
based on the recipe for Adele’s Poppy Seed Bread

makes 6 largish buns or one round loaf

  • ¾ c lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ½ c plain yoghurt
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ c rye flour
  • ½ c whole wheat flour
  • 2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tbsp poppy seeds
  • 1½ tsp seasalt
  • additional poppy seeds for top of loaf


  1. In a smallish bowl, whisk yeast into half the water until the mixture looks creamy and set aside.
  2. Pour the rest of the water into a large bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in yoghurt, oil, sugar and poppy seeds. Add the flours and salt (reserving about ¼ c (4 Tbsp) of the all-purpose flour for kneading) and begin stirring them in. Add the yeast mixture. Continue stirring to make a rough dough. Cover the bowl with a plate and leave for about 20 minutes.
  3. Put some of the leftover flour onto a wooden board. Turn the dough out and let the dough rest as you wash and dry your mixing bowl.
  4. Knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes, adding tiny amounts of the remaining flour if dough is sticky. When the dough is springy and silky (in spite of the poppy seeds), it has been kneaded enough. This dough is on the soft side.
  5. Put the dough into the clean bowl that holds twice the volume of the dough and cover the bowl with a plate or one of those plastic showerhat things. Let the dough rise in a non-drafty area at room temperature (or in the cold oven with the light turned on if you want) until the dough has doubled. (This might take anywhere from an hour to two hours.)
  6. When the dough has doubled, gently deflate the dough. (To tell if it has risen enough: gently poke your finger in the top, the indention will stay.)
  7. Shaping: To shape the bread, turn the dough out onto a very lightly floured board. To make buns, divide the dough into six even pieces (eyeball the cuts; it doesn’t matter if they’re exact). Shape each one into a round ball. Wet your hands with water and wet the tops liberally. Sprinkle poppy seeds overtop. Cover with a damp cloth and allow to rise on a poppy seed dusted peel or on parchment papered cookie sheet until double in size (about an hour). To test, flour your finger and press gently on the edge – it should very slowly spring back. For comparison, try pressing early on to see how it quickly springs back when the dough has not risen enough.
  8. Baking: If you are using the barbecue:
    Preheat the barbecue to high. Place the tray over direct heat, close the lid of the barbecue and bake for about 3 minutes, turning the tray once to account for uneven heat in the barbecue. Then move the tray over to cook with indirect heat – lid down again – until they’re done – about another 5 or so minutes… (our gas barbecue can be turned off on one side).
    If you are using the oven: Twenty minutes before you are going to bake, put a breadstone onto the middle rack and turn oven to 400F. (If you don’t have a bread stone, you can bake the bread on a cookie sheet – bake the cookie sheet bread on the TOP shelf of the oven to prevent burning the bottom.) Put the bread in the oven and immediately turn the oven down to 375F. Bake the bread for about 30 minutes until hollow sounding on the bottom. Turn the bread around once to account for uneven heat in the oven.
  9. Remove the bread from oven and allow to cool on a well ventilated rack. Wait until they are cool before cutting them. They are still continuing to bake inside!

This bread goes very well with cheddar cheese. It’s also fabulous with grilled salmon.

» Please note that a Canadian cup holds 250ml, a Canadian tablespoon holds 15ml and a Canadian teaspoon holds 5ml.

» To get “lukewarm” water, under no circumstances should you use water from the hot water tap. Water from the hot water tap sits festering in your hot water tank, leaching copper, lead, zinc, solder, etc. etc from the tank walls… the higher temperature causes faster corrosion. Of course, saying that it is unsafe to use water from the hot water tap might be an urban myth, but why tempt fate? Heat the water in a kettle or microwave.

» The all-purpose flour is “No Name” unbleached (about 11.5% protein). The organic rye flour was a gift (no idea how much protein). The wholewheat flour is “Robin Hood” at around 12% protein.

» If you wish to serve warm bread, reheat it after it has cooled completely. To reheat uncut bread, turn the oven to 500F for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread in the hot oven for ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust perfectly.

salmon Poppy seed bread is terrific with steamed green beans, grilled salmon and green peppercorn mayonnaise. We garnished the beans with summer savoury (there’s nothing so wonderful as green beans with summer savoury!) and the plate with lemon thyme and slices of grilled red peppers (we WERE going to use red nasturtium flowers but there were no blossoms on the plants). I’m afraid that we were so anxious to dig in that we didn’t take too much care with the photo… I mean really. Look at what was on the plate! What would you do? Take care with the photo, or put your serviette on your lap and pick up your knife and fork?

Yes, that IS a huge salmon steak, isn’t it? While it’s true that we’re hogs, we’re not complete hogs. We each ate only half of what had been cooked. The left-over buns were fabulous the next evening with left-over grilled salmon salad (with lots of crisp celery and garnished with watercress).

Yeastspotting - every Friday (wordle.net image)

Each week, Susan (Wild Yeast) compiles a list of many bread-specific recipes from across the web. For complete details on how to be included in the YeastSpotting round up, please read the following:


Whine alert:

rye flour Rye flour has inexplicably become difficult to find in our neighbourhood. We can get it at the health food store in bulk, but it’s expensive. And we can also get piddly tiny bags of Bob’s Redmill at our supermarket – even more expensive. “Five Roses” (a Canadian company) USED to sell 5kg bags of dark rye flour. But do they now? No. Not since they were taken over by the US conglomerate “Smuckers”. (A few years ago, I actually phoned about it and talked long distance to a sympathetic woman with a midwestern twang. She said she’d pass on my concerns. Alas, judging from the distinct lack of “Five Roses” rye flour on our supermarket shelves, I fear that she passed my concerns into the file marked “G“.)

Counter whine: But look at what my brilliant sister brought when she came to dinner not long ago. How thrilled were we?!

Another whine alert:
We’re not exactly sure where our salmon came from. We do know it was farmed though. And after reading Mimi’s (Delectable Tidbits) article Abominable giant salmon coming soon to a fast food restaurant near you, I’m afraid… or as Mimi says, I’m very afraid.

I really really wish this were a hoax but I fear that it is very likely to be true. Now I’m feeling guilty about these salmon steaks. I sure hope they weren’t GM salmon steaks from Aqua Bounty Farms! But I’m very nervous that they were. In searching the internet, I haven’t been able to ascertain that this freak salmon is or isn’t available in Canada.

Here are just a few of the pages I came across when googling:

Yikes!!! I cannot believe how collossally stupid we are.


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2 responses to “poppy seed bread on the barbecue

  1. Mimi

    The rolls, the salmon, everything looks so delicious!

    Good links that you found on the GM salmon. I didn’t realize it was Canadian researchers who created the GM salmon. Most of the articles you found are U.S. based, I did a quick search on canoe.ca to see if they published anything: nope. Any other canadian news sites you can think of? It would be interesting to find out if the salmon has been marketed elsewhere yet.

    For now, I’m trying to eat wild caught salmon. We even inquire about it in restaurants before we order. For now, that should be the safest choice. Farmed salmon has problems beyond the GM future. They can be fed questionable feed and due to crowding in pens, there is disease and parasites that escape into the ocean too.

    I know they are trying out a lot of these “solutions” to feed an ever growing population, but I’m wondering if it would just be better to try to change the social mood towards eating lower on the food chain in general instead of messing with our food supply.

    Yes, Mimi, ever since reading “Cod: Biography of a Fish that Changed the World” by Mark Kurlansky, we feel guilty about eating any farmed salmon. And wild salmon as well. We rarely eat fish now… world fish stocks are so drastically depleted. I haven’t been able to find out anything about the availability of GM salmon in Canada (aside from aqua bounty’s pages). I fear that we’re going to have to go back to eating zero fish at all. Good thing we like beans…. -Elizabeth


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