This eggy bread has the taste of a pop-over, and yet is moist and springy. The loaf is high in protein, and can be made with ingredients on your pantry shelf, such as powdered eggs. The only unusual ingredient is the sweet rice wine, or mirin. This can be found in the Asian section of your supermarket or ordered online. Special thanks to a follower of VU who submitted this lovely recipe.
Makes a 1 1/2 pound loaf
Starter Sponge (Poolish):
- 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 1 c unbleached bread flour
- 1 c water
- 2 Tbsp orange juice
- 2 Tbsp mirin (Sweet Cooking Rice Wine) or use more orange juice
- 1 1/2 c bread flour
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 10 Tbsp powdered eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp instant dry yeast
- 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus olive oil for greasing
- water as needed (about 1/4 c)
- 2 Tbsp poppy seeds
- Starter Sponge (poolish): The night before baking, mix starter yeast, flour and water in a small bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 8-12 hours. In another small bowl, mix the flavoring agents, mirin and orange juice, and leave overnight as well.
- In the morning, mix the starter sponge with the flavoring agents and the first 6 dough ingredients: bread flour, sugar, salt, powdered eggs, yeast, and olive oil. Add enough water to make a loose, sticky dough. Oil your hands and knead 15 minutes by hand (or 10 minutes in a stand mixer, using a dough hook).
- Place the dough in a lightly oiled large bowl. Allow to rise in a warm place under a clean tea towel for 2 hours, or until doubled. Punch down, then let the dough rise for 2 more hours in a freshly oiled bowl in the refrigerator under a towel.
- Shape, place on a well-oiled baking sheet, then cover with a damp towel. Allow to rise at room temperature for 30 minutes, preheating the oven to 425 degrees F part way through the rise. (The dough is ready when it springs back slowly when poked. If the dough springs back quickly, allow to rise longer. If it does not spring, the dough has risen for too long.)
- Brush loaf lightly with water or an egg wash, sprinkle with seeds, and begin baking. After 30 seconds, reduce heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for 15 minutes, turn pan around, then bake an additional 15 min, or until done. (When tapped with your knuckle, the base of the loaf should produce a hollow sound.) A thermometer may also be used. The internal temperature should read around 200 deg F. Let cool on a rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.