The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Polish Babke and Poppy Seed Roll

mzmiz's picture

Polish Babke and Poppy Seed Roll

I want to make a true Polish Babka for Easter and have not been able to find a foolproof recipe. Any suggestions? Also, want to make traditional poppy seed roll.

lkarner's picture

If you go to Martha Stewart's website, she has her mother's recipe on there.  I just made it on Sunday and put it in my freezer (except for one loaf which we are already eating).  However, because I am Czechoslovakian, we make ours in braids so I made 4 very large braids out of it.  I did not put the sugar mixture on mine that she uses and I used the white raisins (a whole box) along with the currants.  I also brushed my braids with an egg beaten with some cream before baking them.  They came out really beautiful and they are delicious!

kutzeh's picture

I replied below, check out the recipe for Babka

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

of my problems show up in a Poppy seed roll.  Find one with a good filling that specifies how to handle the poppy seeds.  If the seeds are not milled or cracked, the filling will be coarse or crunchy.   There are posts here on poppy seeds and easy to find using the search box.  Seeds can also be ground in a food processor.

atlanticsunrise's picture

What are you thinking of as traditional poppyseed roll? My Polish grandmother makes poppyseed rolls with solo poppyseed filling. The finished roll is not puffy, slightly sweet and imo, very yummy!

I can find her recipe if it sounds like what you're looking for.

mzmiz's picture

Yes, that is the recipe I'm looking for...phonetically pronounced ma-cove-nik...and I believe that my MIL used solo filling as well. Thanks for your efforts.

Yerffej's picture

Makowiec (pronounced "Ma-KOH-viets")  can be found here in this forum:

I have made this recipe and it is very good.

For the Babka I would use the recipe in Reinhart's new book,  Artisan Breads Everyday.


atlanticsunrise's picture

I'm going to go ahead and add the one I use anyway and you can see which seems the mosk like what you're thinking of.

This recipe makes a "roll" that's not as high and not glazed with anything sweet. I have no idea what is truly traditional - but this one is what I think of when I think of poppyseed rolls. I might try the directions from the Makowiec recipe for the filling though - I keep thinking I'm going to try and make it from scratch.

Poppyseed Rolls:

4 c. sifted flour

1t. salt

1 c. butter

3 egg yolks

1 c. warm milk

6 T. sugar

1 T. yeast

Additional ingredients: 2 cans poppyseed filling, honey, raisins (if desired), addtional egg yolk(s) to brush on top of rolls

Work butter, flour and salt together with pastry blender or fork. Break one egg yolk at a time and work in. Put sugar in milk, reserving 1/4 c. sugared milk for yeast (probably not necessary if you use instant yeast) and add to flour mixture. Dissolve yeast in reserved milk and add to other ingredients. Mix well. Put in refrigerator to chill 6 hours or overnight.

For filling, divide chilled dough into fourths. Use 1 can of poppyseed filling for 2 rolls (2 cans/recipe). Add 1-2 T of honey to the contents of each can of filling, add golden raisins if desired. Roll out dough (fairly thin - maybe 1/4 inch or less, but not paper thin) and spread with filling. Fold over 1/3 of the way, then over again. Fold ends under. Place on lightly greased or lined baking sheet and let stand 1 hour. Brush tops with 1 egg yolk.

Bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes. Will be moderate to deep golden brown and they may crack (my Babcia never liked it when they cracked, but the grandkids loved it!)


Sorry my "shaping" directions are not more precise - I've never measured, just done what looked right. Mine are probably 12 - 15 inches long after the ends are folded under.

Hope one of these is what you're looking for.

mzmiz's picture

Thanks so much. This sounds exactly like what I'm looking for and I'll drizzle a powdered sugar/milk icing on top.

atlanticsunrise's picture

Forgot to mention - I always roll the dough out on a well floured pastry cloth - makes it much easier to fold over!

dorothy62's picture

Guaranteed one delicate, original Hungarian cake, I recommend it with love.

the polish babke, Martha Stewart video

Good work

kutzeh's picture


12 Eggs
4 Cups Scalded Milk
3 ½ Cups Sugar
3 Sticks Oleo
12-15 Cups Of
4 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 tsp.  Lemon Extract
1 Large Yeast & 1 Dry
1 Tbsp. Salt

1/2 recipe

6 Eggs
2 Cups Scalded Milk
2 Cups Sugar
1 ½ Sticks Oleo
8 Cups Of Flour
2 Tbsp. Vanilla
1 tsp.  Lemon Extract
3 Dry Yeast
1/2 Tbsp. Salt

Scald Milk.  Add oleo and cool to Just Warm.  Beat Eggs well and Add Sugar,  Vanilla,  Lemon,  Salt.
Dissolve Yeast In Warm Water and add to egg mixture.  Add Milk & Flour.  Knead Well.  Let Rest 20minutes.  Knead Again.
Let Raise Until Double. braid or form Loaves.  Let Raise   Bake:   325° For 40 Minutes

LKOMOSKI's picture

We found a recipe, from a internet site, that is quite similar to my Baba's. The site is "Ukrainian Heritage Festival", from Yonkers, New York. Click on Recipes, then click on Paska.

 I have changed my recipe a bit, and add 1 small tub of red glazed cherries,(halved), and instead of lemon zest, I add the zest of 1 orange, as well as it's juice.

 The recipe makes 4 loaves, that we bake in coffee tins, just like Baba did.

LK, Ontario, Canada

Detroit Polak's picture
Detroit Polak

I grew up eating this wonderful dessert but cannot find the exact recipe anywhere.  It did not have cherries, almonds, or any nuts.  It was sweet but not too dense (like a cake).  The poppyseed filling was sweet and it had a glaze on on top.  Does anyone have a similar recipe?  I have two cans of paste waiting for me in the cabinet!  Please help!