Mohnstriezel - Poppy Seed Roll
Germany, as well as Czech and Slovakia, etc., have all sorts of pastries and sweets made with rich poppy seed paste (my favorite being Mohnkuchen. Check out my recipe if you like). In this particular pastry, the paste is rolled up in a sweet bread dough which turns into a beautiful black spiral cake when baked and sliced. This recipe makes one medium roll.
Background: I learned about this recipe in an old cookbook about Germany's regional recipes. Mohnstriezel was apparently a Christmas recipe, much like Stollen, from the former Silesia region of Germany, which now includes some of east Germany, Czech and Poland.
East Germany and Czech
- - DOUGH -
- Flour (220 g | about 1 3/4 cup)
- Yeast (I used active dry) (1 tsp)
- Sugar (50 g | 1/4 cup)
- Warm water (60-100 ml | 1/4-1/3 cup)
- Egg, at room temp (1/2 (other half is used in filling))
- Grated lemon peel (optional) (1-2 tsp)
- Salt (pinch)
- - FILLING -
- Hot milk (120 ml | 1/2 cup)
- Poppy seeds (150g | 240 ml | 1 cup)
- Butter (15 g | 1 tablespoon)
- Sugar (120 ml | 1/2 cup)
- Semolina flour or Zwieback breadcrumbs (1 Tbsp)
- Chopped almonds (35 g | 60 ml | 1/4 cup)
- Raisins or currents (50 g | 60 ml | 1/4 cup, packed)
- Egg (1/2 - leftover from dough)
- Ground cinnamon (1/4 tsp)
- - TOPPING -
- Confectioner's sugar
- Melted butter (a couple of tablespoons)
In a large bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar and grated lemon peel. Add the warm water and 1/2 beaten egg and work into the flour until you form an elastic dough.
Remove from bowl and knead for several minutes by hand on a floured surface until it no longer sticks to the surface.
Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, grind poppy seeds. In a small pot, heat milk and butter until it comes to a boil, then stop heat and stir in the poppy seeds and sugar. Add some semolina flour or zwieback crumbs to help thicken the paste.
Stir in the almonds, raisin or currants, the other 1/2 of the egg and ground cinnamon into the paste.
After the dough has risen, preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Roll out the dough into rectangular shape about 1 cm or so thick.
Leaving some empty space along the edges, spread out the poppy seed paste in a thick layer across the dough.
Roll the dough into a cylinder and place on the backing sheet, seam-side down. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and while still warm, brush with a good amount of melted butter, then dust with confectioner's sugar. Once cooled a bit, sprinkle a bit more confectioner's sugar for a nice dusted look :)
Slice, serve and devour!
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