Posts Tagged ‘poppyseed beigli’

Today I tried making poppy seed beigli – a traditional European yeast roll filled with a mixture of ground poppy seeds and dried fruits.  Now, as a rule, working with poppy seeds freaks me out a bit, because I usually end up with little black seeds in every nook and crevice of the kitchen for weeks afterwards.  This time, however, I’d discovered tinned poppy seed filling, so the process was far less daunting.  The filling contained sugar, ground blue poppy seeds, candied rind, raisins and some citric acid, which was pretty much everything on the ingredients list of the recipe I had, with the exception of jam.  Whilst I didn’t add that this time,  in future I’ll include some apricot jam, which I’ve been told is a traditional part of the filling . As it was, the beigli were sweet enough, but  I think the jam will add a lovely  fruitiness to them.

The pastry dough is reminiscent of brioche, without the extended rest periods.  It was simple to knock together, and should be useful for lots of different fillings – ground walnuts are a common one  – and I’m planning to experiment with things like cream cheese and sour cherries.

Here is the entire recipe (from The Complete Book of Baking, 1984), including instructions for grinding the poppy seeds and making the filling from scratch, in case it’s of use to anyone.  Good luck if you go down that route, and expect your kitchen to be speckled with annoying black dots for a couple of weeks!


  • 185g (6oz) poppyseeds
  • ½ cup (4oz) sugar
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 3 Tbsp chopped prunes
  • finely grated rind of ½ orange
  • finely grated rind of ½ lemon
  • 2 Tbsp blackcurrant jelly

1. Grind poppy seeds in a blender.

2. Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a saucepan; bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then simmer for 15 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick and smooth.  Allow to cool.

OR substitute tinned poppy seed filling, adding any of the above ingredients that aren’t already included.

Sweet Yeast Pastry:

  • 10g instant yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cup sour cream (thick)
  • 3 Tbsp milk

1. Tip the flour into a large mixing bowl.  Whisk in the yeast and the sugar.  Cut the butter into small pieces and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse breadcrumbs.

2. Add the egg yolk and sour cream, adding milk as required, and knead with a clean hand until the dough comes together into a soft, pliable dough.  Cover and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

3. Knead the dough gently on a lightly floured board, then leave to stand for a further 30 minutes, covered.

4. Divide the dough into three portions.  This recipe actually specifies that you use two portions of the dough to make poppy seed beigli and one to make hazelnut rolls, so there is only enough filling in the recipe for two poppy seed rolls.  It made no difference in this case, as I was using tinned filling!

5. Roll out two portions of dough fairly thinly into rectangles, spreading both with the prepared filling.  Carefully roll the dough up, starting at the narrow edge (so you get a short fat roll rather than a long skinny one).  Line a baking tray with parchment paper (Bake) and place the rolls on the tray, seamside down.  Allow to rest, covered with greased clingfilm, for an hour.  In the meantime, preheat the oven to 230C (220C with fan).


6. Brush the tops of the rolls with a little milk, then bake for 10 minutes.  Turn the tray around if necessary, and reduce oven temperature to 180C  (170C with fan) and bake for a further 20 minutes or until golden.  Allow to cool on the baking tray before removing to a wire rack.  Before serving, dust generously with icing sugar mixture.


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More here : Poppy Seed Beigli – Revisited

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