Happy Holidays!!! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday season and hopefully a few days off work! On Christmas Eve or Christmas Day my husband and I will curl up with a warm beverage, a slice of Nut Roll or Poppy Seed roll, and put on “The Santa Clause”. I laugh at this movie every year and seem to notice something new about it each time. It’s sweet little traditions like this that help make the holidays still feel like the holidays even though we’re grown and out on our own.
Last year I worked hard on 2 of my family’s traditional holiday recipes: The nut roll and the poppy seed roll. The Nut Roll was an easy success but the Poppy Seed roll was an entirely different story. I must have made about 6 loaves before I got the recipe close. Then…. Then I lost the recipe! I swear I had wrote it down, taken a picture of it, or stashed it away somewhere. I searched and searched and searched but came up empty handed. Don’t you hate it when stuff like that happens?!
The poppy seed roll is not as sweet as the nut roll, even though it has a similar amount of sugar. I think its because poppy seeds are not very naturally sweet. If I had to categorize the two rolls I would place the poppy seed roll in the breakfast category and the nut roll in the dessert category – although they are both good anytime 🙂
The Nut Roll and the Poppy Roll both use the same dough, and one batch of dough is enough for 4 rolls. This means you could halve the filling for the Nut Roll and Poppy Seed Roll and make 2 of each in one batch! That way you can try both without overloading! However, if 4 rolls is more than you’ll eat in the near future, you can wrap the rolls in a double layer of foil and freeze them! They still taste just as good after they thaw.
Since the filling for the poppy seed roll is a thinner than the nut roll it makes it a bit tricky. Here are a few quick tips that will help you get this recipe right:
- Don’t roll the dough too thin!! Aim for ~1/4″ thick. Thickness is king over length and width of the dough.
- Used a rimmed baking sheet incase your seam leaks!
- The dough needs to be refrigerated over night
- The poppy seed filling needs to refrigerate overnight to thicken.
Grinding the poppy seeds is an important step when making the filling. One of the first batches I made of this I did not grind the seeds!! It was terrible! I can definitely laugh at myself for that one. Here’s a quick comparison to show the seeds whole and ground! Don’t make the mistake of using them whole!
To show you an example, I snapped a picture right before I rolled it to show you the edge folding method to help keep the filling in. I fold over the last edge right before I finish the rolling process. In the end the roll pictured here was too thin and leaked some filling during baking. Don’t judge – my “in-process” shots need a lot of work which is why you don’t see them much in my posts!
Let me know about some of your favorite holiday treats down below!! I love learning about different culture’s holiday treats!
P.S.: Let me tell you, every time I typed “poppy” in this post I had to double check that I didn’t spell poopy, because that’d be a seriously gross roll.
Vegan Slovak Poppy Seed Roll (Kolachi)
Yield 4 loaves
A traditional Slovak sweet roll that is perfect for the holidays!
For The Dough
- 6 cups Flour
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/2 tsp. Salt
- 2 sticks of Earth Balance Butter
- 1 cup Tofutti Sour Cream
- 3 Flax Eggs
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 2 packages of Yeast (dissolved in 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp of sugar or agave)
For the Filling
- 1 2/3 cups of Poppy Seeds
- 1/2 cup Warm Almond Milk
- 1/4 cup Sweetened Condensed Coconut Milk (or Coconut Cream)
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Butter (melted)
- 2 tsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
For the Dough
- Mix the yeast, water, and sweetener in a small bowl whisk vigorously and allow it to foam for about 5 minutes (I find doing this in a blender gets a good foam)
- Mix up the Flax Eggs and allow to set for ~5 minutes to thicken
- Add all of the dry ingredients to a Kitchen Aid mixing bowl
- Soften the butter in the microwave
- Mix together all of the wet ingredients in a bowl
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the Kitchen Aid bowl and knead with a dough hook.
- Knead until the dough forms a nice slightly sticky ball
- Divide into 4 equal balls, wrap each ball in foil, and put in the refrigerator overnight
For the Filling
- Pulse the Poppy Seeds in a Blender or Food Processor until damp. Remove from the jar and put into a bowl
- In the bowl, mix ground poppy seeds, milk, butter, sugar, lemon juice, and sweetened condensed coconut milk
- Cover and place in fridge over night to thicken.
- Lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets or 11x17 rimmed baking sheet
- If the seam on your roll leaks the rim will help contain the mess!
- Pull the dough balls from the fridge and allow to soften on the counter for ~ 1 hr.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into approximately 9" x 15" x 1/4" thick (the most important thing here is the thickness, don't roll to thin!)
- Spread about 1/2 cup of the Poppy Seed filling onto the dough, keeping it about 1/2"-1" from the edge.
- Fold over the 1/2" strips on one long side and the 2 short sides (this will help keep the filling in.
- With the long edge facing you, roll the dough into a log - starting from the one long folded edge.
- Apply a little bit of milk on the seam then place the roll seam side down onto the cookie sheet. Allow to rise in a warm place for ~30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325*F
- Bake 2 rolls at a time for 31-35 minutes until the top is slightly golden.
- Eat right away or let cool and wrap in two layers of foil and store in the freezer.