Czech name: Makový závin

Written by Lucie Gurbanova

Humanity has known and used poppy seed since the stone age. Besides its ability to calm a person down and relieve pain it is also a very tasty ingredient which has a long tradition in the Czech culture. Poppy seed is used in various dishes from sweet rolls to buns which are a staple of the contemporary Czech breakfast. Just like the poppy seed, yeast dough has its unshakable place in the Czech cuisine. So a nice poppy seed roll from a yeast dough should definitely be a part of your recipe collection.


2 cups white flour
2 tsp dried yeast
2 Tbs butter or vegetable shortening
2 eggs
1 Tbs sugar
a pinch salt
1 cup lukewarm milk
1 beaten egg to brush over the rolls before baking

2 cups ground poppy seed (for grinding you will need an electric coffee grinder)
1 1/2 cup milk
5 Tbs sugar (or to taste)
1-2 Tbs jam
raisins (optional)


Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl, stir in milk, melted butter, and eggs and knead until firm dough forms. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and put in a warm place for about 20 minutes or until it starts to rise.
To make the filling add the poppy seed to the milk stirring bring to boil in a saucepan. Cook until the mixture thickens. When the mixture is sufficiently thick, turn off the heat and stir in the sugar, jam, and raisins if you decided to add them.

Note: When poppy seed is used in any Czech recipe is it always ground. To grind poppy seed you can use an electric coffee grinder with the best results.