Poppy and Sesame Seed Bloomer Bread

Bank Holidays are the best! I'm pretty sure we always get good weather on this May Bank Holiday every year. I think that's about as reliable and predictable as British weather gets. Friday was horrendous here, rain was blowing sideways and the clouds were grey and heavy but then Saturday came and the Sun arrived in all its shining glory. On Saturday we drove over to Chesterfield to have lunch for one of my best friend's birthdays. The drive to Chesterfield is always lovely, we drive the countryside way through Bakewell and avoid the dull A roads.
 
Sunday was still gorgeous weather and we had a pretty productive day. We headed out early to the carboot sale to begin hunting for wedding props and favours...very exciting! Then we went over to Trentham Gardens to visit the Artisan Food Market and investigated all the delicious food stands. We spent the afternoon chatting with friends in their garden and enjoying the sun. Made me long for moving out of the flat because I really miss having a garden. We will hopefully be moving in August so not too long now.
 
I made this loaf a couple of weekends ago and have just gotten round to putting the recipe together properly. It's the nicest bread I've made in ages, the seeds added such a gorgeous flavour and it made the perfect cheese and pickle sandwich. The crust is golden and, well, crusty and the inside is so soft. I was really pleased with how it turned out.
 
Today I persuaded Nick to go back to Trentham because I needed one more peri peri chicken wrap in my life before the Artisan Market disappeared. I had a driving lesson and came back to write this post whilst Evie napped on the sofa...it's hard being a kitten you know.
 
Voting closes on Sunday for the Cosmo blog awards so if you get chance I'd love it if you could nominate me for Best Food Blog. Thanks guys :)
 
Poppy and Sesame Seed Bloomer Bread
(inspired by BBC Good Food)
 
500g strong white bread flour
1 x 7g sachet of dried yeast
1tsp salt
15g unsalted butter, cubed
200ml warm water
100ml warm milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, plus extra for sprinkling
  1. Mix the flour, yeast, salt and seeds together. Rub the butter into the flour mix. Make a well in the centre and pour in the water and milk.
  2. Bring the mixture together with your hand into a ball, gathering up all the loose bits of dough from the bowl. On a floured surface, knead the dough for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  3. Shape into a round ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and a tea towel and leave for an hour, until doubled in size.
  4. Knock back the dough by kneading it just a few more times. Shape into a long loaf and placed on a lightly floured baking tray. Cover with a tea towel again and leave for another half an hour to prove.
  5. Preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F and place a clean roasting tray in the bottom of the oven. Slash 6 lines across the top and brush the top of the loaf with water. Sprinkle the seeds over the loaf in an alternating pattern. Pour 250ml of cold water into the roasting tray and place the bread in the oven.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 200 C/400 F and bake for another 25-30 minutes.
  7. When you remove the loaf the bottom should sound hollow when you tap it. Leave to cool on a wire rack.