Over the years, I've been doing my best to learn some of the foods I grew up eating with the Polish side of my family; things like potato pierogies, babka, nut bread and our christmas barszcz. One of the recipes that has evaded me was Poppyseed Bread (or roll).
By now you've probably figured out that it didn't evade me this year ;) With some translation help from Magda, I made a poppyseed bread that would've made anyone fail their drug test! Actually, I have no idea if it would or not, but we all kept going back for more so I can only imagine.
from my Babka recipe & Moje Wypieki
Yield: 2-3 loaves
For the bread:
1/2c sugar plus scant 1T, divided
2 pkg yeast
1/2c warm water
4-6c AP flour
1t grated or dried lemon peel
2 eggs, beaten
For the filling:
250g sugar (or a little less)
50g chopped walnuts
almond extract, a few drops
cinnamon, as much as you like (I'm always generous)
1T butter, softened
6 egg whites (save the yolks for an egg wash)
Combine butter, milk, 1/2c sugar and salt in a small pot and turn on heat on low. Once the butter has melted and sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and let cool to lukewarm.
Once the butter/milk mixture has cooled, add warm water to a small bowl and sprinkle with yeast and scant tablespoon of sugar. Let stand 5-10min, until bubbly.
In the bowl of a stand mixture, add cooled butter/milk mixture and eggs, then using the whisk attachment mix until well combined. Add 2c flour and lemon peel and mix well. Change to the dough hook and with the machine running, add flour until the dough begins to pull away from the bowl. Remove dough and place on a floured surface. Continue to knead and add flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Place in a bowl sprayed with nonstick spray, cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Bring 500ml water to a boil, and then pour over poppyseeds in a medium bowl. Set aside to cool. The original recipe said to grind the poppyseeds twice, but I didn't have much luck with a coffee grinder or blender, so I just proceeded with the recipe and it turned out fine. If you want to try grinding, best of luck! Add sugar (I started with 150g), raisins, walnuts, honey, almond extract, cinnamon and butter and mix well. In a clean bowl, whip egg whites until they form soft peaks. Gently fold egg whites into the poppyseed mixture and taste. Add more sugar, if necessary (I ended up using adding a bit more).
Preheat oven to 350deg.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down. Cut the dough into 3 pieces (when I did two they came out way too large!) and cover them with a towel. One at a time, roll out each piece of dough into a rectangle. Spread out 1/3 of the poppyseed filing, leaving 1" on the edges. Starting from the long side of the dough, roll up tightly. Transfer to a cookie sheet (I baked mine on a pizza stone) and brush with the an egg wash made from several yolks mixed with a drop or two of water.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-45min (the time will depend on the size of the loaf), until the bread is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool on a rack before cutting.
Looking at these pictures again, my mouth is watering! While we usually make this for Easter, I'm thinking there's no reason not to enjoy it any time of year :)
Have you every tried a poppyseed roll? Or ever tried grinding poppyseeds--any advice??