Everybody knows Swiss roll but makowiec is a Polish roll, stuffed with poppy seeds. Apparently, in Poland, if you eat poppy seeds on Christmas Eve, they are supposed to bring you wealth in the New Year, so hopefully they have the same effect in January ! The recipe (and the poppy seeds) came from my Polish-themed Kitchen Trotter box. I like it - I usually cut off a slice for breakfast - but the kids don't like the poppy seeds, for the texture more than the taste, I think.
for the dough :
25g dried yeast (see below)
1tsp vanilla extract
70g softened butter
the zest of 1 orange (or I used 1tsp orange extract)
for the filling :
150g poppy seeds
30g raisins (or I used a cranbery/goji berry/blueberry mixture) (optional)
30g walnuts (optional)
1 tbsp cointreau or amaretto liqueur (optional)
for the icing :
200g icing sugar
4 drops of bitter almond extract
First of all, put the poppy seeds into a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes then turn off the heat and leave to soak while you make the dough.
Heat the milk in a bowl until it is just warm (not hot) then add the yeast, along with one tablespoon each of the sugar and flour, and whisk vigorously until it forms a smooth mixture. Now, I had a huge moment of doubt when I saw that the recipe calls for 25g of dried yeast - I usually use one 5g sachet of dried yeast when making brioche so five sachets seemed like a huge amount. My gut feeling is that they meant 25g of fresh yeast, which corresponds to one sachet (usually 5 or 6g) of dried yeast. In the end, I decided to follow the recipe, expecting it all to go horribly wrong and overflow everywhere, but it didn't - I think using one sachet would have had the same effect though.
Whisk in two whole eggs vigorously.
Add the rest of the sugar, the vanilla extract (I have a vanilla grinder so I added a bit of that too but it never seems to add much flavour) and the orange zest (or orange extract).
Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour.
Chop the butter into pieces and add it to the dough, using your fingers to incorporate the butter and knead it into a stretchy ball of dough. Add a bit more flour if necessary but don't overdo it.
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it to rise in a warm room for half an hour. See? Even with all that yeast in there, mine didn't rise that much !
While the dough is resting, drain the poppy seeds. They are very small so use a piece of kitchen towel to line a sieve. Press out any excess water with a second piece of kitchen towel.
Put the poppy seeds into a bowl with the butter, nuts, sugar, alcohol (if using) and a whole egg. (Not the dried fruit yet though.) Feel free to have a clear out in your baking cupboards ! I used up a bag of jujube powder (which is a lot like powdered dates).
I also used up some sunflower seeds in place of the walnuts.
Get out your stick blender and give it all a quick whizz until it forms a fairly smooth paste. In a separate bowl, beat the white of the remaining egg (save the yolk for brushing on the pastry) until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold it into the poppy seed mixture. Stir through the dried fruit.
Roll out the dough into a rectangle on a piece of baking parchment.
Spread over the poppy seed filling.
Use the baking parchment to roll it up into a fairly tight roll. This is quite fiddly because the dough remains very soft and quite sticky.
Brush with the egg yolk to give it a nice colour.
Leave to rest for 15 minutes while the oven preheats. Bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. Keep a check on it for the last ten minutes and place a piece of foil on top if it's starting to go too brown. (As you can see, I didn't !)
Make a drizzle icing by adding the water, one spoonful at a time, to the icing sugar until you get the right consistency. You may not need all of the water. Drizzle copiously over the makowiec and leave to set.
*** Don't miss my country-by-country geocaching recipe index ! ***
Fancy trying some more Polish cuisine? How about Bigos, Cheese, Onion & Potato Pierogis / Pork & Cabbage Pierogis, Kielbasa, Potato & Spinach Fry Up or Zurek - Sour Rye Soup?
I'm adding this to this month's #KitchenClearout linky because it used up lots of odds and ends from my baking cupboard (dried fruit, sunflower seeds, jujube powder, orange extract, vanilla grinder, ...).