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Prep 2 hrs
Cook 25 mins
From ancient times, the collection of honey and poppy in Russia began on the same day - August 14 (which happens to be my birthday!), the day of the First Savior, first day of the harvest season. This day was celebrated with honey cakes, pancakes with poppy and honey, buns and pirogues with poppy seeds. Special pancake dipping was made of finely grinded poppy seeds and honey. If poppy seeds were sprinkled around the house on that day, house would be protected from evil eye for the whole year. Girls used to weave poppy flowers into their hair in order to make hair strong and beautiful.
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1⁄2 cups warm milk
- 7 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp. water for egg wash to finish the roll
- 1 (12 1/2 ounce) can poppy seeds, cake and pastry filling (I used SOLO)
- powdered sugar (optional)
- To make a dough: In a small bowl, stir together the yeast, sugar, and warm milk; put it aside for about 10 minutes until the mixture starts to foam. In a large bowl, combine the flour with salt. Add melted butter and yeast mixture. Knead until dough is well mixed. Cover with an overturned bowl or loosely with plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour. For one honey poppy seed roll you need 1/2 dough. You may use the rest of the dough later; just wrap it and freeze it.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- After the dough is ready, place it to a floured work surface. Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick. Spread the honey over, then spread the poppy seed filling over the dough, leaving 1/2 inch edge. Roll the dough into a cylinder, place it the seam side down on a baking sheet, covered with parchment paper. Make a wheel out of it, carefully pressing the edges together. Cover with a towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.
- Using a sharp knife, make cuts on a top of the roll. Brush the roll with the egg wash and place in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden-brown. Let cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving. Serve warm or cooled, dusted with powdered sugar.
I had a lot of fun preparing this beautiful bread. I prepared the dough with the listened ingredients and I used one half of the dough to prepared a simple (not filled) braided bread for the breackfast. With the second half I prepared the poppy filled one. I rolled out the dough to the size of 60 to 40 cm I spread the self prepared poppy seed filling (I had the seeds at home and I found it easier than going out to look for this). I rolled it to a cilinder and formed a wheel on a baking sheet. I brushed the bread with half beaten egg (the other half I used it in the filling), I let it sit for almost one hour and just before baking I mad the incisions.<br/>After baking I dusted it with one teaspoon baking powder.<br/>Wonderful and so beautiful!