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Croatian Sweet Yeast Bread: Poppy Seed and Walnut Roll

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This Poppy Seed and Walnut Roll is a delightful variation of a beloved Croatian sweet yeast bread. It features two distinct fillings – a poppy seed-raisin blend and a walnut-raisin mix, making it a unique and tasty treat.

Preparation Time: 50 minutes 

Cooking Time: 50 minutes 

Cooling Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Rising Time: 1 hour 10 minutes 

Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes 

Servings: 14

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 3 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 6 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 6 3/4 ounces of milk

For the Walnut Filling:

  • 1 2/3 cups of finely ground walnuts
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup of raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 3 1/2 fluid ounces of boiling milk

For the Poppy Seed Filling:

  • 2/3 cup of finely ground poppy seeds
  • 3 1/2 fluid ounces of milk
  • 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • A pinch of ground cinnamon
  • 7 tablespoons of melted butter (for brushing the dough)

Instructions

  1. Place the flour in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir in the yeast, sugar, egg yolks, salt, lemon zest, melted butter, and warm milk until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes. Alternatively, use an electric mixer to knead the dough until it’s smooth and shiny, about 5 minutes.
  2. Shape the dough into a ball, cover it, and let it rise in a warm place until it doubles in volume, about 1 hour.
  3. While the dough is rising, prepare the walnut filling by combining the ground walnuts, sugar, raisins, rum, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. Pour in the boiling milk and stir until all the ingredients are well combined.
  4. For the poppy seed filling, combine the poppy seeds and milk in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the milk starts to steam, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar, raisins, lemon zest, vanilla, and cinnamon, and stir to combine. Allow both fillings to cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) and prepare a large baking sheet by greasing it or lining it with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough into a rectangle that’s 3/8-inch thick. Brush the rectangle with melted butter, then spread the walnut filling on one half of the dough and the poppy seed filling on the other half.
  7. Roll each half of the dough towards the middle, press the two halves together at the center, and carefully transfer the roll to the prepared baking sheet. Let it rest for 10 minutes before baking.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven until the top and bottom are golden brown and the fillings are hot, about 50 minutes. Allow the roll to cool completely before slicing, about 1 hour.
  9. Note: The original recipe uses metric measurements. If you have a scale, please measure out 400 g of flour, 50 g of sugar, 80 g of melted butter, and 200 ml of warm milk for the dough, plus 100 g of melted butter for brushing. For the walnut filling, you will need 200 g of ground walnuts, 100 g of sugar, 100 g of raisins, and 100 ml of boiling milk. The poppy seed filling requires 150 g of finely ground poppy seeds, 100 ml of milk, 80 g of sugar, and 50 g of raisins.
  10. Enjoy!

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