Makovnjača – yeast dough poppy seed roll

What to say about the pastry that pretty much everyone in Zagreb tasted? Your elders may have baked it, or maybe your neighbours. Whichever way, it is a part of our tradition. A tasty crisp dough with a sweet poppy stuffing is ideal to have for dessert, and maybe even better for dipping in a glass of warm milk in the morning.

Ingredients for about 30 slices

For the dough:
1 kg                 white smooth flour
40 g                 yeast
150g                butter
1                     egg
400 ml of         milk
1 pinch of         salt
100g                granulated sugar
2                     egg yolks for coating
grated zest of half lemon

For stuffing:
60 g            raisins
100 ml         rum
600g            ground poppy seeds
600 ml of      milk
220 g           granulated sugar

Cover dry raisins with rum and leave to soak. Pour sugar in a suitable bowl, add dry yeast and milk. Stir and set aside for 20 minutes for a foam to form. Pour flour in a mixing bowl, pour the foam in, zest half a lemon, add two yolks, sugar, a pinch of salt, melted butter and milk. Mix until you get an even dough. Move the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with a dishcloth and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise. In the meantime, pour milk in a pot over a flame and add sugar. When it boils, add the soaked raisins, ground poppy and cook while stirring for 1 to 2 minutes over a low flame until the ingredients mix. Move the risen dough to a floured board, flour it some more and roll into an elongated square 1.5 cm thick. Cut the dough width-wise and stuff both halves with the poppy mixture. Coat the sides of the dough towards which you will roll the dough with a whisked egg. Roll the dough. Move the rolls to a suitable baking pan, cover with a dishcloth and leave in a warm place for about 20 minutes to allow the dough to rise once more. Then coat the rolls with whisked yolks and bake for about 50 minutes in an oven preheated to 175°C. Remove the baked Makovnjača from the mold and place it on the rack to cool before cutting.