Active dry yeast
1 (.25 oz) package
Warm water (100°F/38 °C)
2 cups, or more if needed
Egg, separated, white reserved
Old World Poppy Seed Roll
- Put poppy seeds into a food processor and blend until seeds are ground, for about 1 minute.
- In a bowl, mix poppy seeds with 3/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon melted butter, lemon juice, and hot milk. Cover poppy seed mixture and place in the fridge while making bread.
- In a small bowl, mix yeast with warm water and 2 tablespoons sugar. Let stand until the yeast bubbles and forms a creamy layer, about 10 minutes.
- Sift flour into a separate bowl and mix it with salt; with a pastry cutter, cut 1/4 cup butter into the flour mixture until the mixture has the texture of coarse crumbs.
- Add yeast mixture and egg yolk into the flour mixture and stir to make a soft dough.
- Dust working surface with some flour, place dough onto it and knead until smooth and slightly springy, for about 5 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, knead in more flour, about 2 tablespoons at a time.
- Cut dough into 2 pieces of equal size. Roll each piece out into a 12x16-inch rectangle.
- Spread half the poppy seed filling over each rectangle, leaving a 1-inch border. Fold the 1-inch border over the filling on all sides and press down.
- Pic0k up the shorter side of a dough rectangle and roll it up; repeat with the second rectangle. Pinch ends together or tuck ends under to prevent filling from leaking out.
- Line a baking sheet with baking paper; place rolls seam sides down on the baking sheet and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C/Gas Mark 4.
- Beat egg white in a bowl until frothy; brush the rolls with beaten egg white.
- Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown, for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and cover rolls with a clean kitchen towel until cool to keep the crusts soft. Before slicing, allow to cool down completely.