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Poppy seed lovers on CT?

Ballottine's picture

I have just learned that a very good friend of ours is loosing his battle with recurrent  brain tumor.   Originally  his family came from Prague and he has been asking for poppy seed bread or pastries, not clear to me which, his Grandma used to make for him when he was a kid  almost half a century ago.

I have been asked to come up with something  ASAP, by Sunday the latest.  I will try any recipe I find in hopes that one of them is his "comfort food."

Would anybody, please, stir me in the right direction?  Bal




So much to cook; so little time.


So much to cook; so little time.

mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #66094, reply #1 of 12)

I've got a couple of recipes I like (my hungarian/transylvanian childhood) and I'll dig them up later tonight.

Very sorry to hear about your friend.

Ballottine's picture

(post #66094, reply #2 of 12)

Thank you so much.  Bal


So much to cook; so little time.


So much to cook; so little time.

plantlust's picture

(post #66094, reply #3 of 12)

No recipe yet but I did find reference to Mohnstern (Poppyseed star) & Mohntorte (Poppyseed torte - which is cake-like). Austria tho, not Prague.

I do hope you'll be able to find the right recipe & offer your friend some comfort and a pleasant remembrance.

ONE WEEK Pumpkin-sitting w/the only Houdini dog in America. Day 6.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with parsley sauce, goat cheese garlic mashed potatoes, Galena Cellars Niagra grape wine & Pie Boss's apple crumble topped with Ruth & Phil's sour cream/cinnamon ice cream.

Cissytoo's picture

(post #66094, reply #4 of 12)


I have seen poppy seed filling in a can or jar -- just don't remember anything but that.  So I googled on poppy seed filling recipes and these are the first four that turned up --


Hope at least one of these fills the bill.



CookiM0nster's picture

(post #66094, reply #5 of 12)

I only know German and Austrian poppyseed desserts, although I'm sure he Prague ones would be similar.

One tip, unless you have a poppyseed grinder, you need to buy the pre-made filling. You can doctor it up so it tastes better. Don't try to grind the seeds yourself (without a special grinder it's impossible), and ignore any recipe that suggests you can get away with just softening them by cooking them in milk, or some such thing, because nothing but grinding them produces the right taste and texture.

Meg's picture

(post #66094, reply #6 of 12)

This recipe belonged to my dear late mother-in-law, whose parents were native Czech.

Poppy Seed & Nut Rolls

   for the dough:

3 eggs

2 sticks melted butter

1/2 pint sour cream

1 tsp salt

2 cakes yeast disolved in 1/2 cup warm water

6 cups flour

1/2 cup sugar

Melt butter and let cool.  Beat eggs lightly, add sugar and sour cream; add yeast and butter.  Add dry ingredients and mix well.

Grease bottm and sides of large bowl.  Put dough in, cover with towel, refrigerate overnight. 

Divide dough into 6 parts.  Roll dough (kinda vague directions, but to less than 1/4", or to about 12" by 18", or so), fill.  (Roll up jelly-roll fashion, place seam side down.)  Let rise for 2 hours.  Brush one beaten egg on top and sides.  Bake 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.


Poppyseed filling

1 pound poppyseeds, ground

2 cups (? plus 1/2 cup honey)

 1 cup hot milk

2 TBS butter.

Mix thoroughly.  Allow to cool before filling.


Nut filling

1 pound nuts (ground, usually walnuts)

1/2 cups (? plus 1/2 cup honey)

 1 cup hot milk

2 TBS butter.

Mix thoroughly.  Allow to cool before filling.

Ballottine's picture

(post #66094, reply #10 of 12)

Please  forgive me for not responding  to you right away.  The weather affected both: me, mainly my hands in addition to a very bad cold and my computer, my neighborhood lost internet for a while.  I am going to try  your  recipes  this weekend.  Thank you.  bal


So much to cook; so little time.


So much to cook; so little time.

Wolvie's picture

(post #66094, reply #7 of 12)

no recipes to offer, but I am sorry to hear about your friend.


I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts. - Will Rogers


ICDOCEAN1's picture

(post #66094, reply #8 of 12)

I am sure that I have one or two recipes somewhere, but there are loads on the internet specifically Polish Poppy Seed Bread.

mangiaFagioli's picture

(post #66094, reply #9 of 12)


I am including two variants of the recipe Meg posted, the first without yeast but with a sourcream dough that is very tender. The second is a strudel-type dough that you need to stretch, not roll, and is a bit of a project, but worth it (I'm thinking of making it this weekend, it's been a while). If you're interested in a true strudel recipe I can type one up but have never made one, too scared.

Also, note the poppy seed torte in Baking with Julia (which I'll type up if you're interested), and three links for noodles with poppy seeds, simple comfort foods which I grew up with. One is sweet, one is gnocchi, also sweet, one savory, all very quick.

Last note: if you buy poppy seeds to grind they turn rancid very easily, so smell before you buy! Also what CM said about grinding.

a savory noodles with poppy seeds:
one with potato dough (gnocchi-like), sweet, my fave:
and simple, sweet:

Beigli (poppy seed roll), sour cream dough
From Susan Derecskey’s ‘Hungarian Cookbook’
The Dough:
1 lb butter
2 lb AP flour, sifted once
3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
pinch of salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 to 2 cups sour cream

1/4 tsp powdered instant coffee
1 egg yolk

Work butter into 7 cups of the flour with fingertips until you have dime-sized morsels of flour-coated butter. Make a well and add the egg yolks, whole egg, salt, and sugar, and work the dough until the eggs are evenly distributed. Add as much of the sour cream as necessary to make the dough stick together. Knead it, sprinkling more flour on the board and dough as needed to keep it from sticking, until it is smooth and firm. Divide the dough into four parts, and knead each one briefly. Then form each portion into a ball, wrap it in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 1 hour. Make the fillings (following recipe) while the dough is resting. Preheat the oven to 400. Roll the balls out one at a time into rectangles 1/4 inch thick and spread each with filling. Start at the long side with a roll about 3 inches wide. Mix the instant coffee and the egg yolk together for a glaze, and paint the top of the cake with it. Make several swirls with a table fork, and puncture the roll down the middle once every 3 inches with an ice pick. Tuck in the ends and place on a baking sheet. Put it in the hot oven and reduce the heat to 350. Bake for 30 minutes or until dark golden brown on top. Cool before cutting
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp yellow raisins
3 cups ground poppy seeds
1 tart apple, grated
Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan, add the raising to plump them, and bring the syrup to a boil. Pour the syrup and raisins over the poppy seeds and mix thoroughly until all are moistened. Stir in the grated apple. Set aside until ready to use. Makes enough for one beigli roll.

Pozsonyi makos tekercs (Beigli or poppy seed roll) from George Lang’s ‘Cuisine of Hungary’ [yeasted, strudel-like]
Poppy seed filling:
1/2 cup sugar
2 T honey
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp fine-grated lemon rind
1/2 pound poppy seeds, ground
pinch of ground cinnamon
pinch of ground cloves

1/3 cup milk
1/2 envelope yeast
1 lb flour
1/2 lb butter
1/4 lb sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
1 whole egg, separated

1. make the filling: mix sugar with 1/2 cup water and cook for a few minutes until syrupy
2. add honey, butter, lemon juice and rind. Take off the heat and stir in poppy seeds and spices. Keep the filling warm
3. make the dough: warm milk gently and dissolve the yeast in it.
4. Mix flour, butter and sugar until the mixture forms crumbs. Add egg yolk, the milk with the yeast, and the salt. Knead the mixture well and divide into 4 portions
5. stretch each portion into a thin sheet. Spread one quarter of the filling on each piece of dough. Roll them up tightly and press ends to make a secure closing
6. beat the egg yolk with 1 tsp water. Brush the rolls with the egg-yolk glaza and let them rise while the egg is getting dry
7. place the rolls in a cool spot (refrigerator) for 1 to 2 hours until firm. Preheat oven to 375
8. Now brush the rolls with beaten egg white and prick with a fork in 3 or 4 places
9. place the rolls on a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes

GL’s note: One of the oddities of this traditional Austro-Hungarian recipe is that the first the dough rises, then it is chilled. Chilling should last for at least 1 hour, bt it is possible to prepare the dough a day before and bake it the following day. Chilling will crackle the egg-yolk glaze and after baking the surface will look somewhat like a turtle. This is a difficult type of dough to make.

Edited 2/16/2007 7:37 am ET by mangiaFagioli

knitter4years's picture

use a coffee grinder to grind poppy seeds (post #66094, reply #11 of 12)

I was using a Weston Poppy seed grinder I bought from for 20 dollars and it quit working less than half way through the 9 ounces of poppy seeds I was grinding.  I bought this Weston one because the ones from the Czech Republic cost 4 or 5 times that much.


In my book on european desserts, "Kaffeehaus" by  Rick Rodgers, he recommends not purchasing an over priced grinder, but suggests using a spice grinder or coffee grinder.  I had a clean coffee grinder and it did a great job on the poppy seeds. I could only do 1/8 of a cup at a time, but it only took seconds to finish each batch.


He says you can also use a blender and use small amounts like 1/4 cup to 1/8 of a cup at a time.  Also, if anyone has a Magic Bullet Blender, I think that would work fine too. 


I made a yummy MohnKuchen and it was delicious and I used the coffee grinder to grind the poppy seeds.

Pielove's picture

good idea... (post #66094, reply #12 of 12)

... I always try to grind my poppyseeds in the food processor, but it just spins them around.