Place the flour, milk, salt, sugar and yeast in the bowl of the mixer. Mix for 5 minutes on the low speed until the flour absorbs all the liquid and the dough is soft and sticky. Add the butter in one batch and continue to knead for 10 minutes on high speed to make a supple and smooth dough.
First rising and fermentation
Shape dough into a ball and place in a large bowl. Cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and leave to ferment (first proofing) for 30 minutes at room temperature.
Dividing and shaping
Take 350 g of dough and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to 2 mm thick. Place on a parchment paper covered baking tray, brush with water and cover with poppy seeds. Transfer the baking tray to the freezer to harden the dough. Remove excess poppy seeds and stamp out 8 discs of 7 cm in diameter. Place in the freezer.
From the remaining dough, weigh, 8 pieces of about 80 g each and shape into firm balls. Place the balls onto a parchment paper covered 30 x 38 cm baking tray.
Leave the balls of dough to rise for 1 hour in a proofing box* set at 25°C. Take the poppy seed coated discs and turn them over, brush the edges with oil. Use another brush to lightly wet the centre of each ball of dough with water and set the poppy seed disc on top. Place different stencils on the discs and sieve flour on top, carefully remove the stencils.
Preheat a convection oven to 145°C. Place the baking tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the breads to release steam and cool on a cake rack.
*If you do not have a proofing box that provides the heat and humidity needed to proof dough at home, boil a saucepan of water and place it in a turned off oven. Using a cooking thermometer, check the oven temperature every 30 minutes to make sure it is between 22 and 25°C. If the temperature drops, add boiling water to allow for proper fermentation without drying out the products.