Onion and Poppy Seed Purim Ring
Purim is a Jewish holiday celebrating the story told in the biblical Book of Esther, when the Jews living in Persia were saved from being massacred. In celebration of Purim, one is commanded to “eat, drink and be merry”, festivities are held and fun is had for all. My contribution to BBD #8 (celebration breads, hosted by susanfnp at Wild Yeast blog) is an onion and poppy seed Purim ring from Maggie Glezer’s _A Blessing of Bread_. The following is excerpted from Glezer’s book:
As for the Purim connections: The twisted ring looks like Queen Esther’s crown, and the onions and poppy seeds are not only delicious but honor this queen’s bravery and piety. Queen Esther observed the rules of kashrut in King Ahashuarus’s palace by eating only fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
Despite its extravagant looking nature this was quite easy to make. Ok, shaping was a bit tricky, but not that bad. I don’t generally make enriched breads, so this one was intense for me. It’s very rich and quite delicious. I love the flavor of safflower oil which is why I chose to use it here, but I think next time I’ll go with a more neutral oil, the intensity of the oil flavor really comes through in the end. Make sure you have enough counter space to shape this stuff. My workspace is about 20” in length and the strands of dough need to be 30” long. I didn’t take this into account beforehand and ended up doing some tough maneuvering, but it worked.
· 7 grams(2 ¼ tsp) instant yeast
· 500 grams (3 ¾ cups) bread flour
· 170 grams (¾ cup) water
· 2 large eggs, lightly beaten, plus one for glazing
· 110 grams (½ cup) vegetable oil (* I used safflower oil)
· 8 grams (1 ½ tsp) salt
· 55 grams (¼ cup) sugar
· 275 grams (1 ½ cups) finely chopped onions (about one onion)
· 70 grams (½ cup) poppy seeds
· 3 grams (½ tsp) salt
· 85 grams (6 tbs) melted butter
(* This wasn’t called for in the recipe, but I think it worked out pretty well)
Use 160 grams of the flour, all of the water and ¼ teaspoon of yeast and mix until combined. Let sit at room temperature for a couple of hours until some activity is apparent in the dough. Refrigerate overnight.
Mixing the Dough
Take the poolish out of the refrigerator a couple of hours before mixing the final dough. Then mix the remaining 2 teaspoons of yeast, the salt and the sugar with the remaining 340 grams of flour in a large bowl and set aside. Mix the eggs and oil into the poolish, and then combine this mixture with the flour mixture. Stir until vaguely combined. Turn out and knead for no longer than ten minutes (* I kneaded for about 8 minutes, the dough was firm, soft and very easy to knead).
Put dough into an oiled container and ferment for about two hours or until doubled in bulk. Alternately you can refrigerate now until the next day. When the dough is almost done fermenting mix the filling ingredients, divide in half and set aside.
Shaping and Proofing
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough in two and roll each piece to about 30” in length. Working one at a time, flatten each strand with a rolling pin to about 4” wide. Spoon half the filling along the center of each strand. Pull the long edges up over the filling and pinch them together (* Pinch well! This dough with want to split open). Turn the strand so the seam is down. Lay both strands along side each other and cross them in the middle. Twist them over each other down both ends and then bring ends around to form a ring and pinch shut. This will make a spiral circle. Carefully (* I made someone help me here) transfer to the parchment. Cover and proof for about an hour. It will rise to about one and a half times its size. Or you can retard overnight if you wish.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Glaze the proofed dough with egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for 45–50 minutes until well browned, turning half way through. *Prepare for butter leakage, perhaps use a sheet pan with a lip all the way around, mine spilled a little in my oven. *Don’t use steam when baking this bread, I imagine the fillings would just burst out.
*Has anyone ever noticed that when you type the word "poolish" in Microsoft Word it changes it, without telling you, to "polish" ? I've had quite a time with that...