Poppy Seed Rolls are the roulettes almost every mom has made in a Russian or Ukrainian home! It’s the sticky poppy seed filling that makes this sweet bread complete! See how to make them with a secret sugar glaze that will give you those irresistibly glossy poppy seed rolls you’d see at the Russian market!
Poppy seeds are a common pastry and cookie filling for Ukrainian or Polish desserts! Try out these yeast cookies with canned poppy seed filling or Russian crescent cookies called Rogaliki for a crunchier dessert!
Poppy Seed Roll
My husband’s favorite dessert is a poppy seed roll! Yep, sweet yeast bread with a poppy seed filling and I don’t blame him because it was the sweetened bread he grew up on. Like any Ukrainian or Russian family, poppy seed rolls are the signature pastries of our culture. After all, it’s not just a Holiday bread, my mom still makes them just to keep stashed in the freezer for those unexpected guests and she’s well over 50!
As much as they’re favored, I’ve accumulated one of the easiest ways to make a traditional poppy seed roll! Since this recipe yields, a generous amount of yeast the rising time is super speedy and you’ll have poppy seed rolls baking in the oven in under an hour! If you are a Polish or Ukrainian baker, get your hands on this recipe because it’s that EASY!
A huge thanks to a friend who shared this recipe with me years back, it has become my go-to roulette recipe because you can’t beat how easy it is to make at home with minimum ingredients! Between poppy seed roulettes and poppy seed buns, this one takes over for simplicity, but if you don’t mind the longer process definitely give my moms sweet poppy seed buns a try too! I want to hear from you, is there an easier recipe for poppy seed rolls?
How to make a Poppy Seed Roll:
Easy Poppy Seed Rolls
Poppy Seed Rolls Dough:
- 4 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 sticks butter (12 tbsp, melted)
- 1 1/4 cups warm milk
- 2 1/2 Tbsp dry yeast
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup canned poppy seed filling
- 1 egg (for egg wash)
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup boiling water
How to make easy poppy seed rolls:
- Microwave milk for 1 minute. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer, stir in the sugar and yeast. Whisk in the eggs, salt, and butter then add the flour and knead for 7 minutes.
- Cover and allow the dough to rise in a warm oven until doubled (20 minutes.)
- Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and roll each piece out into a 10" by 11-inch square.
- Spread 1/2 cup of the poppy seed filling onto the upper half leaving a 4-inch border on the bottom. Cut the unfilled bottom into 1" strips. Roll, starting from the poppyseed filling down. Stop when you get to the strips and wrap each strip over the roll, stretching out the strip if needed and pinching down the ends.
- Place the rolls onto a lined baking sheet and allow to rise for 10 minutes.
- Heat oven to 350°F. Brush rolls with egg wash and bake for 22-25 minutes. Brush tops with the sugar glaze. Slice before serving.
Nutrition per serving
What is a Poppy Seed Roll?
A poppy seed roll is a rich sweetened bread similar to challah bread. The roll is filled with a poppy seed filling before it bakes in the oven. Milk and butter enrich the dough creating a fluffy bread. Although many European cultures make poppy seed rolls, all are made similar, as milk, eggs, sugar, and butter are commonly found ingredients in most recipes.
What does Makowiec mean?
Makowiec (pronounced Ma-Koh-Viets) means a Poppy Seed Roll in Polish.
Are poppy seeds safe to eat?
The poppy seeds you buy at the grocery store are safe for consumption. When processing poppy seeds there are two categories the plant gets processed into, either food use or pharmaceutical purposes. The harvesting differs from the two making it safe enough to use for food purposes. Read more on harvesting, cooking, and the variety on Poppy Seeds here.
What recipes can I make from poppy seed filling?
What is the difference between a Polish Poppy Seed Roll or Russian Poppy Seed Roll?
Although many European cultures make poppy seed rolls, all are made very similar, as milk, eggs, sugar, and butter are commonly found ingredients in most recipes. Milk and butter enrich the dough creating a fluffy bread. You can make your own poppy seed filling or use canned filling but the yeast dough typically stays very alike from recipe to recipe.
How do you make Shiny Tops for Poppy Seed Rolls?
A sugar and water mixture is the secret to getting those perfectly glossy tops you’d see on rolls at European markets! It has to be brushed on the rolls immediately after the oven and remains glossy thereafter.
Other Toppings to consider:
- egg wash and coarse sugar (before baking)
- a honey butter glaze
- poppy seeds
- confectioners sugar glaze
Where can I buy Canned Poppy Seed Filling?
Canned Poppyseed fillings can be hard to locate. European markets and some Major Grocery stores may have it in the baking aisle. Also, if you’re located near a Mennonite or Amish market you may spot the bulk cans of poppyseed filling too.
What Ingredients go into a Poppy Seed Roll?
For the dough:
- flour- all-purpose or bread flour can be used in making a poppy seed roll.
- butter- use unsalted butter or if using salted butter omit the salt in the recipe.
- milk- whole milk, 2%, Skim, or any low-fat milk will work.
- yeast- used active dry yeast.
- sugar- I used granulated sugar.
- salt- kosher salt is the best!
- eggs- go with cage-free eggs.
For the Filling:
- canned poppy seed filling- can be found in the baking section of major grocery stores. I used the Solo brand but you can make your own poppy seed filling by grinding cooked poppy seeds and sweetening it.
For the Glaze:
- egg- for eggs wash.
- water- to dissolve the sugar for the tops after baking.
- sugar- mix with the water to make a glossy top after baking.
How to Make a Poppy Seed Roll?
Make the Dough:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and warm milk then add in the dry yeast; whisk and allow to poof for 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, sift together the salt and flour. Set aside.
3. After the yeast has poofed (it should have formed a foamy skin) whisk in 2 eggs and melted butter. Using a spatula stir in 4 cups of flour and attach the bowl to the mixer. Knead for 10 minutes gradually adding the remaining 1/4 cup of flour during the kneading time.
Let the Dough Rise:
4. Cover the dough and allow to rise until doubled in size (about 2 hours.)
Fill the Dough:
5. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions and roll each piece out into a 10″ by 11-inch square.
6. Spread 1/2 a cup of the poppy seed filling onto 2/3 of the square. Then cut the bottom unfilled section into 1″ strips and begin to roll, starting from the poppyseed filling side. Stop when you get to the strips and wrap each strip over the roll, stretching out the strip if needed and pinching down the ends.
7. Place the rolls onto a lined baking sheet and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
Bake the Rolls:
8. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Brush rolls with a beaten egg and bake for 22-25 minutes.
9. Stir together 2 tbsp of sugar and 1/4 cup of boiling water until granules dissolve. Brush over hot rolls. (This gives a glossy sheen to the tops.)
How to Store Poppy Seed Rolls?
Poppyseed rolls are best fresh out of the oven and can be kept up to 1 day at room temperature. Storing homemade bread over one day can become slightly stale. If not using within a day slice and freeze to retain its freshness. Always keep sealed in a freezer bag to prevent the rolls from drying out.
Can You Freeze Poppy Seed Rolls?
Absolutely! I try to make a double batch intentionally for freezing! Simply cool and slice the rolls then place into a freezer bag and seal squeezing out any excess air. Keep frozen up to 3 months.
To reheat: Pop a few slices into the microwave and defrost until warm. Or leave out at room temperature until thawed and quickly heat in the microwave for a warm roll.
Tips for Making the Easiest Dough:
- Microwave your milk!
- Use a Kitchen Aid Mixer to do the kneading!
- Test your yeast by activating it with the warm milk and seeing if it forms a foamy skin (5 min.)
- Let dough rise in a warmed oven for speedy results.