Sometimes we get recipes from our in-laws. This is an adjusted dough recipe that I believe my grandma got from her cousin in-law. There is a special place in my heart for cousins since I am an only child. Although Grandma had many siblings in Slovakia, in Indiana her community was made of more friends than family. The family that she did have around was precious. That’s what makes this recipe special to me, the act of her collecting it even though she had her own preferred method of making Slovak dessert bread rolls speaks to my heart, I can feel her reaching for family.
This recipe uses butter in the dough instead my grandma’s preferred shortening, giving a different texture and flavor profile, flaky and buttery.
Another adjustment that I made was the use of canned poppyseed filling. I wanted to make this recipe approachable for different skill sets and accessible for those cooks that might not have the ability and/or tools to make their own poppyseed filling.
Makes 3 Rolls
3/4 Cup Milk
1 Packet Active Dry Yeast
4 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 Cup Cold Butter Cut Into 1/4″ Slices
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
1 Can 12.5oz of Poppyseed Filling
1 Egg Beaten for brushing on the loaf before baking
Use 3/4 cup of milk as the liquid to activate the yeast, per the active dry yeast package’s instructions for suggested temperature and time.
Cut the cold butter into the flour and sugar, using the same technique you would use to make biscuit dough. To do this, use a handheld dough/pastry blender tool or 2 knives to cut the cold butter into the flour and sugar mixture.
Beat one whole egg and one egg yolk with a fork and combine with the flour, butter and sugar mixture. Add the yeast mixture and combine until the dough no longer sticks to the hands or cutting board when kneading about 2-4 minutes. Set the oven to proofing setting, put the dough in an oven safe bowl and cover the dough with a clean, slightly damp dish cloth. Let the dough rest for 45 minutes until it almost doubles in size.
Divide the dough into three equal parts. Roll the first third of dough into a rectangle approximately 10″x8″. Divide the canned poppyseed filling into three equal parts and spread a third on the rectangle, leaving a 1/2″ border around all sides. Start at the end furthest from you, applying even pressure with the bottoms of your fingers and palms as you roll the dough toward you. The seam will be on the bottom. Move the dough seam side down onto an un-greased baking sheet, close the ends with a deliberate pinch tucking the seam under the roll. Repeat the process three time until all of the rolls are filled and on the baking/cookie sheet pan (at least 17.25″ x 11.5″ in size) with at least 2″ of space between each roll. Cover with a clean slightly damp dish cloth and return to proofing oven for 45 minutes, rolls will almost double in size.
Remove proofed rolls from oven, remove dish cloth. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush the tops of the risen rolls with the one remaining beaten egg. Bake the 3 rolls for 40-45 minutes until they are evenly golden brown on the tops and bottoms and sound hollow when gently tapped, using the back of a spoon. Partially cool rolls on the pan placed on a wire rack, transfer partially cooled rolls to a wire cooling rack to complete cooling before serving.