Poppy seed roll / Makowiec

This is one of the most famous desserts in Serbia , and a very common one. Though it was not originally invented here, it stuck around. The recipe originated in Poland with the name Makowiec and consists of a roll of sweet yeast bread and a rich poppy seed filling. A popular alternative to poppy seeds are walnuts or chestnuts. This is a very quick recipe, and yields quite a lot of servings which is wonderful for a holiday or birthday party. It’s sweet, hearty, has a wonderful texture and reminds you of Christmas.

*DIFFICULTY: Easy

*SERVINGS: 15+

Ingredients:

For the pastry:

  • 900g flour
  • 0.5 l milk
  • 0.3 l oil (any oil will do, but a neutral tasting one is preferable)
  • a package of dry instant yeast
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • one egg yolk

For the filling:

  • 250g poppy seeds
  • 200g sugar
  • 0.2 l milk

Instructions:

  1. For the filling: heat the milk to very hot, almost boiling. Pour the milk over the poppy seed and sugar mixture and leave to cool
  2. Mix all the ingredients for the pastry (except the egg yolk) in a bowl, mix them well and knead until combined.
  3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces, as equally as possible, and roll them into rectangles.
  4. Spread a quarter of the filling on each piece of the dough and roll them tightly
  5. Lay the rolls on a baking tray and spread some of the egg yolk on top of each of them with a pastry brush
  6. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, and then lower it to 180 degrees when you put in the baking tray (the higher temperature will “shock” the rolls and make a crispy crust). Bake for approximately 40 minutes
  7. Wait for at least 20 minutes before slicing, because it tends to fall apart when hot

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