Poppy Seed Bread Rolls Recipe

These soft and sweet rolls are bursting with poppy seed flavor. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or a sweet snack.


  • Dough:
    • 1/2 cup warm water (100°F/38°C)
    • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    • 1 package (¼ ounce) active dry yeast
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour, or more as needed
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Poppy Seed Filling:
    • 1 cup poppy seeds
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • 1 cup milk, scalded
    • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Egg wash (optional):
    • 1 large egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon milk


  1. Make the Poppy Seed Filling: In a food processor, grind the poppy seeds until finely ground (about 1 minute). In a medium bowl, whisk together the poppy seeds, sugar, scalded milk, melted butter, and lemon juice. Set aside to cool and thicken.
  2. Make the Dough: In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, sugar, and yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, until the yeast is foamy and active.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add the softened butter and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
  4. Stir in the beaten egg and yeast mixture until a shaggy dough forms. Add dough to the stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand). Knead for 5-7 minutes, adding additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  6. Shape the Rolls: Punch down the dough and transfer it to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out into a 12×16 inch rectangle. Spread the poppy seed filling evenly over the dough, leaving a 1-inch border along the long edge.
  7. Starting from the long edge, roll the dough up tightly into a log. pinch the seam to seal. Cut the log into 12 even slices. Place the rolls cut-side down in a greased 9×13 inch baking dish.
  8. Cover the rolls loosely with plastic wrap and let rise for another 30 minutes, or until nearly doubled in size.
  9. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and milk for the egg wash (optional). Brush the tops of the rolls with the egg wash (or melted butter) and sprinkle with poppy seeds.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool slightly before serving.

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