Sunday, January 4, 2015

Poppyseed 'Striezel'.


White mountains, 
hidden coal.
concealed in many layers.

Evoking nostalgia, 
remnants of a borrowed childhood.
Past made present.


Poppyseed 'Striezel'

time 20 minutes for filling prep, 90 minutes for the dough, 15 minutes for streusel prep, 20 minutes assembly, 30-60 minutes proofing, 30 minutes baking, 15 minutes finishing
yields 12-14 'Striezel' pieces


110g poppy seeds
25g unsalted butter
100ml milk
75g sugar
50g honey
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, beaten


500g all-purpose flour
200ml milk, room temperature
30g sugar
1/2 tsp. himalayan salt
2 eggs
17g fresh yeast
1/8 tsp. lemon zest
a large pinch of fresh vanilla
250g butter


50g butter
50g sugar
90g flour
large pinch of salt
large pinch of freshly ground nutmeg


100g powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. hot water

Make the filling:
Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder in batches for about 15-20 seconds per batch, till they are ground soft and powdery.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
Whisk in the milk, sugar, and honey. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, till the sugar dissolves and the honey melts.
Pour some of the hot liquid into a cup.
Immediately but gradually being drizzling the hot liquid into the beaten eggs.
 Whisk briskly and constantly till all of the hot liquid is integrated into the eggs.
Slowly pour the heated, tempered egg mixture back into the hot liquid in the saucepan, whisking constantly.
Continue to whisk and cook for a couple more minutes over medium heat till the mixture thickens and turns light yellow.
Remove the saucepan from heat.
Whisk the ground poppy seeds into the buttery liquid and stir well to blend all ingredients.
Allow filling to cool to room temperature before using.

Prepare the dough:
Combine all ingredients except the butter in a large bowl, ideally use a stand mixer for this.
Knead for a couple of minutes, until the dough's surface is smooth and taunt.
Form into a smooth ball and leave to relax and proof, covered, for half an hour.
In the meantime, cut the cold butter into slabs.
Once the half hour is up, punch down the dough.
Roll the dough to double the size of all of your slabs of butter put together.
Distribute the butter evenly in the middle and fold the dough into the middle like an envelope.
Make sure to press down and seal the edges.
Roll out evenly into a long rectangle.
Procede to fold like a letter, in thirds, then refrigerate for half an hour.
Repeat this process another two times.
Let rest before rolling out the pastry.

While the dough is resting, make the streusel:
cream butter and sugar until combined.
Add flour and spices and mix until the dough sticks together but easily crumbles.
Pack together densely and refrigerate until needed.

To assemble:
roll out the dough to 2-3mm into a large rectangle.
Spread the filling across on the 'long' side in the middle, leaving free a couple centimeters on each side.
Fold the dough evenly into the middle, enclosing the filling.
Transfer to a lined baking sheet.
Brush the top of the dough with egg wash (mix egg along with a splash of water) and sprinkle the streusel evenly across the surface.
Leave to proof for 30-60 minutes in a warm spot, the pastry should gain 1/3rd in size.
In the meantime, preheat the oven to 180°C/ 375°F.
Once proofed, bake for around 25-30 minutes or until the streusel have gained a little color and the pastry is puffed and golden-brown.
Let cool for at least 15 minutes, then mix together the glaze and sprinkle or brush onto the 'Striezel'.
Cut into stripes before serving.