Classic Polish poppy seed cake made easy with pre-made poppy seed filling, dressed up a bit more with fresh orange and lemon zest.
Welcome to Day 3 of my “8 Days of Hanukkah Around the World”! Every day this week, during the holiday, I will be sharing a different recipe from a different country! Yesterday we visited Peru and the day before was China!
Today, we will be (virtually) traveling to Poland!
A little PSA here: I almost had a nervous breakdown over this recipe. Well not the recipe, but the photos…I lost ALL my photos of this recipe! And the one I made the same day (It was an Italian wedding soup), nothing too special but it was delicious and I added anchovies…and trust me when I say anchovies melted in olive oil is a heavenly scent.
You would have laughed watching me break apart every nook and cranny of the house. Going through all my camera cards and making sure Hula didn’t “eat it”. I know she wouldn’t it…if it doesn’t have beef jerky hanging from it, we’re ok. But you can never be too sure (And I won’t get into details about that…I’m sure you get it).
Finally, I had to come to the conclusion that I “accidentally” deleted all those photos from that day. I really would like to blame it on someone else…Hula?….Bueller??….the neighbors cat. But no, it was Sam…all me.
Thank goodness I am one of “those” people that has to upload every thing I make, every food I eat, everything I can brag about on Instagram. What kind of “blogger” would I be if I didn’t show off my daily gluttons? So therefore, these are the only 2 photos I managed to salvage. With my phone, they’re not too shabby, eh?
Now….this Polish poppy seed cake is one for the win. When I was contemplating making this, my Polish friend Anna immediately jumped up (at least I’m assuming she did because it was via text) and said “Yes!”, it’s a very popular treat in Poland and is made every year during Christmas. Well…what perfect timing then!
This beautiful bread is rolled jelly-roll style with a thin layer of poppy seed filling. I went the easy route and bought pre-made poppy seed filling and zested it up a bit with citrusy flavors. After the yeasty bread is baked and all puffed and golden brown, cutting into it is like pure art. Each layer is spiraled and airy and is just so beautiful to see and devour.
Polish Poppy Seed Cake (Makowiec)
- 1 packet yeast 2 teaspoons
- 2 cups flour sifted + more for rolling (May need 1/4 cup more if too sticky)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 vanilla bean split open and seeds removed
- 2 Tb vegetable or canola oil
- 1 egg
- 2 11 oz cans of poppy seed filling
- 1 small orange zest and juiced
- 1 lemon zest and juiced
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, yeast, sugar and salt and stir to combine.
- In a small pot, add milk and vanilla bean with seeds. Heat milk until its about 110 degrees F, warm but not boiling. Once ready, remove the bean to discard.
- Add warm milk, oil and egg to the yeast mixture and beat at high speed for 1-2 minutes until mixed well and creamy.
- If mixture is too sticky, gradually add up to 1/4 cup more until dough forms into a ball. Once ready, place dough on a lightly floured surface and hand knead for about 2 minutes. It should be very smooth and if you press a finger in the dough, it should bounce back easily. Divide dough into 2 balls and aover and allow dough to rest while you making filling.
- Add poppy seed filling to a large bowl with vanilla extract and orange and lemon juice and zest. The pre-made filling is already sweetened, so no need to add any more sugar. Mix everything together, it will be a bit sticky and thick.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out of of the dough balls to about a 9 x 13 rectangle (use a baking dish to help guide the size). Use a spatula or spoon to spread half of the poppy seed filling in an even layer, leaving about an 1/2 inch border around the sides.
- Next, roll the bread “jelly roll” style, tucking the end closest to you in, and rolling into a log. Place on parchment lined baking sheet, seem side down and tuck the ends under so everything is enclosed.
- Repeat with other ball of dough. Cover bread with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm spot for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Once doubled in size, bake the bread for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Check at about 25 minutes, if bread is browning too quickly, cover with foil and continue baking for final 5 minutes.
- Allow bread to cook for 10-15 minutes before cutting. Top with powdered sugar.
Be sure to check out where we went to earlier this week!
Day 1 of Hanukkah – China: Chinese Beef Stew
Day 2 of Hanukkah- Peru: Yucca Latkes