Poppy seed roll

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Poppy seed roll
Walnut (diós) and poppy seed (mákos) bejgli
Walnut (diós) and poppy seed (mákos) bejgli
Alternative namesWalnut roll
Region or stateCentral Europe: Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Czech Republic
Main ingredientsFlour, sugar, egg yolk, milk or sour cream, butter, poppy seeds or walnuts or chestnuts

The poppy seed roll is a pastry consisting of a roll of sweet yeast bread (a viennoiserie) with a dense, rich, bittersweet filling of poppy seed. An alternative filling is a paste of minced walnuts, or minced chestnuts.

It is popular in Central Europe and parts of Eastern Europe, where it is commonly eaten at Christmas and Easter time. It is traditional in several cuisines, including Polish (makowiec), Kashubian (makówc), Hungarian (mákos bejgli[1]), Slovak (makovník), Czech (makový závin), Austrian (mohnkuchen or mohnstriezel), Ukrainian (pyrih z makom пирiг з маком or makivnyk маківник), Belarusian (makavy rulet макавы рулет), Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian (makovnjača), Slovenian (makova potica), Romanian (cozonac cu mac or cozonac cu nucă), Lithuanian (aguonų vyniotinis), Latvian (magonmaizite), Russian (rulet s makom рулет с маком), Danish (wienerbrød, or Vienna bread), and Yiddish (mohn roll).


The dough is made of flour, sugar, egg yolk, milk or sour cream and butter, and yeast.[2] The dough may be flavored with lemon or orange zest or rum. The poppy seed filling[3] may contain ground poppy seeds, raisins, butter or milk, sugar or honey, rum and vanilla. Sometimes a tablespoon of apricot jam, which is one of the most popular jams used in Hungarian cuisine, is substituted for sugar. The walnut roll filling contains raisins, rum, butter or milk, lemon rind and chopped walnuts. This filling may be spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove or vanilla.[4]

The dough is at first quite heavy, stiff and dry, but with kneading and resting becomes very elastic and strong. It is rolled out into a large sheet, thick or thin depending on taste. One aesthetic principle is that the dough and filling layers should be of equal thickness. Another is that more layers are better. The filling is spread over the dough, which is then rolled into a long cylinder or log. Traditional recipes usually involve brushing the log with the egg white left over from the yolk used in the dough. Other recipes use different washes, or an icing added after baking. The unbaked log is gently transferred to a sheet pan, left to rise, then baked until golden brown.


The poppy seed filling is a paste of ground poppy seeds, milk, butter, sugar and/or honey, often with additional flavorings such as lemon zest and juice.[2] It may have raisins.[5] The walnut filling is a paste of ground walnuts, milk, butter, sugar, and raisins, often with additional flavorings such as coffee or orange zest.[2]

A very long roll may be bent so that it fits on a baking sheet; the result is called a patkó (Hungarian: horseshoe) in Hungarian. Before baking, the roll may be given a wash of milk. The roll can be finished with an icing after baking, made of powdered sugar and lemon juice (or a glaze during baking). Usually it is brought from the kitchen already sliced.

In Hungarian cuisine, the rolls, one with each filling, are served together. The combination is known as mákos és diós (poppy seed and walnut). However, in some English language cookbooks there may be no mention of the walnut filling, as if poppy seed were the only filling used.[6] Some other food writers combine the poppy seeds and walnuts together in one filling.[7] Because Polish and Czech culture have intermingled, immigrants to America sometimes use the term "Kolache" to describe it.

As a new trend, a chestnut-filled variant (gesztenyés bejgli) is emerging, mainly among younger urban families.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ June Meyers Authentic Hungarian Heirloom Recipes Cookbook
  2. ^ a b c Dorcas Guild of the Magyar United Church of Christ, ed. (1960). Hungarian recipes. Elyria, Ohio. p. 44.
  3. ^ "Mákos bejgli" (in Hungarian). Konyhamester.hu. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  4. ^ "Diós és Mákos bejgli with picture". Archived from the original on 2012-04-02. Retrieved 2020-07-29.
  5. ^ Clayton, Bernard (2003). Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads (30 ed.). Simon and Schuster. pp. 308–310. ISBN 0-7432-3472-3.
  6. ^ Beth Hensperger (2001). Bread for Breakfast. Ten Speed Press. pp. 81–83. ISBN 1-58008-213-0.
  7. ^ Evelyn Birge Vitz (1985). A Continual Feast: A Cookbook to Celebrate the Joys of Family and Faith Throughout the Christian Year (1991 reprint ed.). Ignatius Press. pp. 138–139. ISBN 0-89870-384-0.

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