|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 12g||15%|
|Saturated Fat 5g||23%|
|Total Carbohydrate 32g||12%|
|Dietary Fiber 3g||11%|
|Total Sugars 10g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
A symbol of wealth and prosperity, poppy seeds are largely used in Eastern European baking because their consumption is associated with a bright future. Many recipes feature these tiny seeds, but Polish makowiec is one of the most famous and beautiful to look at when sliced. Its yeasted dough is filled with a sweet poppy seed spread and rolled for baking, and a pretty black and white swirl results when cutting the pastry.
Made during the holidays and found everywhere in Poland, makowiec is a family tradition. Each household has a favorite recipe. In general, the flavor shouldn't be overly sweet, but some add apricot, raisins, honey, or fruit peel. It's usually eaten as a snack with a cup of coffee or tea.
The traditional recipe calls for poppy seeds ground from scratch. There are manual poppy and grain seed mills that will do the trick, but instead, use a clean electric coffee grinder or buy one labeled for grinding spices, nuts, and coffee. A food processor is also a good alternative, as are a mortar and pestle, even if they require a lot more physical effort. For convenience, use poppy seed paste, available in the baking or international aisle of most supermarkets. For this recipe, you'll need 25 ounces of poppy seed filling.
"The poppy seed rolls were soft and flavorful. I used a bullet-style blender with milling blade to grind the poppy seeds (in small amounts) and it did an excellent job. " —Diana Rattray
For the Poppy Seed Filling:
1 pound poppy seeds, or 25 ounces poppy seed filling
1 cup granulated sugar
6 ounces (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup hot milk
1 tablespoon lemon zest
For the Dough:
2 (0.25-ounce) packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
2 cups warm milk (105 to 115 F), divided
8 cups (1 kg) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon fine salt
5 large eggs, at room temperature
4 ounces (1/2 cup) melted unsalted butter, plus more to brush over loaves
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, optional
Steps to Make It
Make the Poppy Seed Filling
Gather the ingredients.
If grinding the seeds from scratch, place half of the poppy seeds in a coffee, seed, or spice grinder or in your food processor, without overcrowding. Process until the seeds have released some of their oil; pulse at high speed a few times. Repeat the process until all of the poppy seeds have been processed. Reserve.
In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, butter, milk, and lemon zest. Beat well.
Add the ground poppy seeds to the butter mixture, stir well to combine, and set aside.
Make the Dough
Gather the dough ingredients.
In a small heatproof bowl, dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of the warm milk.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or another large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, eggs, the remaining 1 1/2 cups of warm milk, 1/2 cup of melted butter, and the yeast mixture.
With the paddle attachment, or by hand, beat until smooth. The dough should be sticky at this point.
Scrape the dough into a clean greased bowl. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and cover. Let stand in a warm place for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until nearly doubled in size.
Shape the Rolls and Bake
Punch down the dough and turn it out onto a floured surface. Prepare 2 baking trays, layering them with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
Divide the dough in half and shape each half into a rectangle.
Spread half of the filling onto one of the rectangles.
Roll the rectangle up like a jelly roll.
Tuck the ends of the roll under so the filling will not leak out. Repeat with other dough and remaining filling to create 2 large rolls.
Place the rolls on the prepared trays. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rise again until double in size.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush the tops of the rolls with the remaining melted butter.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until rolls are golden brown. Remove the rolls from the oven and cool.
Dust rolls with confectioners' sugar if desired. Cut the rolls into 1/2-inch slices and serve.
- This recipe makes 2 very large rolls. If desired divide the dough and filling into thirds to make 3 smaller rolls.
- To keep the roll from losing its shape, try wrapping and baking it in a sheet of parchment paper. Wrap the parchment paper around the rolls, leaving about 1/2-inch of space to allow for expansion. Some people bake the rolls in loaf pans to keep them intact.
- For a decorative look, finish the poppy seed roll with a vanilla glaze or thin lemon icing.
- For a fruit and nut filling, add about 3/4 cup of chopped dried fruit and 1/2 cup of chopped toasted nuts to the poppy seed filling.
How to Store and Freeze a Poppy Seed Roll
- Transfer the cooled rolls to covered containers and store them at room temperature. A poppy seed roll should last about 4 days at room temperature.
- To freeze the roll, wrap it in foil or plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Label the bag with the name and date and freeze it for up to 2 months. Take it out of the freezer about 3 hours before serving.