Mohnhörnchen from Classic German Baking

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
YIELD: 10 Rolls


  • 1
    teaspoon instant yeast, or 3/4 ounce or 20g fresh yeast
  • 3
    tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon salt
  • 3
    tablespoons unsalted butter, or 40g
  • 1
    cup minus 1 tablespoon whole milk, or 220ml
  • 1
    egg, at room temperature
  • 4
    cups all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled or 500g. Plus up to 2 tablespoons as needed, and more for dusting
  • 1
    egg yolk
  • 1
    teaspoon whole milk
  • 1 -2
    tablespoon poppy seed


  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • To make the rolls:
  • If using fresh yeast, crumble the yeast into a small bowl. Sprinkle in the sugar and salt. (If using instant yeast, stir the yeast, sugar, salt, and flour together in a bowl and proceed to Step 4.).
  • Melt the butter and combine with the milk. The mixture should be lukewarm. Whisk in the egg.
  • If using fresh yeast, pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the yeast mixture and add the flour. (If using instant yeast, pour the egg mixture into the bowl with the flour mixture.) Stir together until shaggy; dump out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead by hand for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and silky. If the dough seems too sticky, you can add up to 2 tablespoons more flour, but no more; you want the dough to stay as soft as possible.
  • Form the dough into a ball and place back in the bowl. Cover with a clean dishcloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot to rise for 1 hour.
  • Punch down the dough and knead briefly. Divide the dough into 10 equal portions (about 3 ounces/85g each). Roll out each portion of dough into a triangle that is about 8 inches/20cm long on each side. Starting with a long side (not a tip), roll up each piece and form into a crescent roll with the tip secured underneath. Place the rolls on the prepared baking sheet. Alternatively, you can roll the original ball of dough out to a 15-inch/38cm round and cut the round into 10 equal wedges. Roll up the wedges and form them into crescents. Cover the baking sheet with the dishcloth and place in a warm, draft-free spot for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C.
  • When the rolls have proofed again, make the topping: Beat the egg yolk with the milk for an egg wash. Remove the dishcloth and brush the rolls thinly with the egg wash. Sprinkle the poppy seeds over them.
  • Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the rolls are a rich golden brown. They will be very soft to the touch. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let cool on a rack for 15 minutes before serving. The rolls are best eaten the day they are made.
  • Recipe courtesy of CLASSIC GERMAN BAKING by Luisa Weiss. Get the book here:üsse-Streuselkuchen/dp/1607748258.