Poppy Seed Bread
2 cans Poppy Seed filling (sometimes in the canned pie filling section, sometimes in the ethnic food section)
Large cake of yeast (or 3 pkg. dry)
6 cups of flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 lb. butter or margarine
1/2 lb. sour cream
2 tablespoons sugar
some extra melted butter for brushing
Break up yeast (or add packets) into a large heat resistant cup or small bowl with 1/2 cup of warm milk and a pinch of sugar.
Put cup into a warm oven (turn heat on low for a couple of minutes, then turn off oven before you add the yeast mixture) about 10-15 minutes, until mixture about doubles in volume.
Mix 3 eggs w/ sugar, butter and salt. Add about 1 cup of flour, sour cream and yeast mixture and combine. Keep adding flour gradually until dough forms.
Grease a big bowl and put in a warm oven (warm the same way as with the yeast mixture) to raise - about 2 hours - dough will about double in size.
In the meantime, put the 2 cans of poppy seeds in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of butter/marg. Heat through, stirring constantly, until it's a spreadable consistency.
After dough has doubled in size, divide it into 4 equal parts.
Roll each out into rectangular shape (about 9x13) and brush the dough with melted margarine all over.
Add 1/4 of the poppy mixture to each and spread it with a spatula to about 1/2 inch from the edges.
Roll it up as tightly as you can, jelly roll style and pinch seams together and pinch and fold the ends under (you don't want the filling to leak out).
Lay the rolls on a cookie sheet (or in long narrow bread pans if you have them). Cut a few slits in the top of the bread and let rise again about an hour.
Right before baking, brush the tops with an egg wash (beaten yolk with a little milk).
Bake in a preheated 350 oven for 30-35 minutes. When you take it out, run some butter over the top of the bread to keep the bread soft.
When cooled, keep tightly wrapped until ready to serve.
To serve, slice bread and warm slightly in the microwave or wrap in foil and heat up slightly in the oven.
Also, this can be frozen, tightly wrapped for up to 2 months.
Pairs Well With
This is always on the table for our Wilia (pronounced Villea) - the traditional Polish Christmas Eve Feast. This is a rolled bread with a sweet poppy seed filling. It's a bit of a process to make but we only eat it during Wilia and Easter so it's worth the effort!