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Poppy Seed Roll (Poppy Seed Strudel)

  • Author: Balkan Lunch Box
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 40
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


Simple and easy poppy seed roll recipe from the Balkans. This poppy seed roulade is made the same way in several countries. It's called potica in Slovenia, makovnjača in Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia. Regardless of the name, it is still the same, delicious poppy seed strudel that will have you reconsider chocolate!




  • 1-2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon baker's yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 17-18 ounces all purpose flour plus a more for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 ounces oil
  • 8.5 ounces lukewarm water
  • (to grease dough) 1-2 tablespoons water
  • (to grease dough) 1-2 tablespoons melted butter
  • (after baking) 4-6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar


  • 15 ounces milk
  • 8.5 ounces poppy seeds (very finely ground)*
  • 4.5 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces farina
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



  1. In a small bowl combine 1-2 tablespoons water, baker's yeast and sugar. Mix and leave to bubble up (10-15 minutes).
  2. In a medium sized bowl add flour, salt, baking powder and mix everything. Make an indentation and add the yeast mixture, oil and water. Knead ingredients several minutes until you get a soft ball of dough.
  3. Leave dough to rise for an hour.**


  1. (Make while dough is rising) In a medium sized pot add milk and bring to a boil on medium.
  2. Bring temperature down to low, add sugar, vanilla extract and ground poppy seeds. Mix well until integrated.
  3. While continuously stirring, add farina in. Continue stirring and cooking another 3 minutes. Turn the stove off and let the filling rest.
  4. When the filling cools down divide it into two equal parts.

Putting it together:

  1. Heat oven to 355°F (180°C) and dust working area generously with flour.
  2. Cut dough into two equal parts. Take one dough half and roll it out into an (approximately) 8 by 16 inches rectangle. Then take one half of the filling and spread evenly over the dough rectangle almost all the way to the sides. Roll up the long side and place in a pan (sized approximately 12 by 17 inches) lined with parchment paper. Repeat with  the other halves.
  3. Mix water and butter then brush poppy seed rolls with it.**
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes, then turn the pan around and cover the roll with parchment paper. Bake an additional 25 minutes. (Total baking time is 40 minutes.)
  5. Take the pan out of the oven, cover with a clean and dry kitchen towel and leave to cool down a little bit. Dust with confectioner's sugar before serving.


* Longer rising time is even better. Sweet spot is between 1.5 and 2 hours.

**This step can be done immediately after baking also.

Poppy seeds should be very finely ground (think flour). If you are mixing it with non-ground seeds use a 4:1 ratio (ground to non-ground).

Remember to add dough rising time to total cooking time, although some of the time waiting can be spent making the filling.

Serving size is approximated based on the serving 2 roll slices per person.

The roll can be consumed up to 3 days after baking. Keep wrapped in saran wrap.


  • Serving Size: 2 slices
  • Calories: 551
  • Sugar: 27.1g
  • Sodium: 60mg
  • Fat: 26.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.1g
  • Carbohydrates: 69.8g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 11.3g
  • Cholesterol: 11mg

Keywords: poppy seed roll, poppy seed bread, poppy seed strudel, eastern european strudel

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