Ukrainian Poppy Seed Roll, Makivnyk

Ukranian Poppy Seed Roll-feature

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5 from 2 reviews

Ukrainian Poppy Seed Roll, Makivnyk, a lovely sweet yeast bread that I made with spelt flour, filled with poppy seed, walnuts, and raisins, for our monthly challenge, Eat The World. Not too sweet, flavored with honey, lemon zest, and juice, this Poppy Seed Roll is a delight to eat any time of the day.



For the Filling

  • 1 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 egg white, beaten (leave the yolk for the topping)

For the Dough:

  • 1 package dry yeast (17.5 g fresh yeast; or 7 g active dry yeast; 2 1/4 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup (62 ml) butter, at room temperature, cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 3 1/2 cups spelt flour

For the Topping:

  • 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp water, to brush on top before baking


For the Poppy Seeds:

  1. Cover poppy seeds with hot water and stir. Remove any impurities that float to the top. Let rest 30 minutes.  Drain on a sieve lined with  cheesecloth.  Let sit over a bowl to drain. You can squeeze the cheesecloth to remove excess water.
  2. Let them dry a bit, while you make the dough.

For the Dough:

  1. Pour warm water into a small bowl, stir in sugar, then sprinkle yeast on top.  Set aside to foam 10 – 15 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan, or in the microwave, heat milk, then add butter to the hot milk and stir until butter is melted.  Cool to lukewarm.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted the paddle (K) attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and lemon zest.
  4. Slowly pour the lukewarm milk/butter mixture into the egg mixture until blended.
  5. Stir in the yeast and blend.
  6. Change the paddle attachment with the hook attachment. With the mixer on low (2), start adding the flour, 1 cup at a time, blending each cup before adding the next. After all the flour is in,  continue mixing at the same speed (2) for 15 minutes. The dough is ready when it is no longer sticking to the sides of the bowl. The dough will be soft and a bit sticky.
  7. Oil a large bowl and roll the dough in it. Cover with a moistened dish towel or plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place until double in size, 1 to 2 hours.  I always let my dough rest in the oven, turned off, with the light on.
  8. After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and let it rise again for another 1 or so.

For the Filling:

  1. Crush the walnuts in a mortar and pestle or food processor. Chop the raisins. Set aside.
  2. Place a small amount of poppy seeds in mortar and pestle and crush. Repeat until all the poppy seeds are crushed. You can also use a coffee grinder. Grind in small batches.
  3. In a bowl, combine the ground poppy seeds, crushed walnuts, chopped raisins, lemon zest, lemon juice, honey, and beaten egg white. Mix to make a smooth paste.


  1. After the resting time, divide the dough in two.  Leave one half covered and set aside​.
  2. Take the other half, place it on a floured surface (I use my wood board), sprinkle some flour on top and on the rolling pin, and roll it into a rectangular or oval shape, similar to a thin crust pizza dough.
  3. Line an extra-large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 350° F (I used convection bake).
  4. Spread half of the filling on top of the rectangle of dough, leaving a 1/2 inch border free from filling on each rectangle.  Roll up from the longer side, not too tight, and pinch the edges to seal.
  5. Repeat the same for the other half of the dough.
  6. Place them, seam side down, side-by-side on the lined baking sheet. Let them rise again, covered with a towel, for 40-45 minutes.
  7. After that time, brush the top with egg wash and cut few slits on top to allow steam to escape.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for  25-30 minutes, or until the rolls are a deep golden color.
  9. Let them cool slightly on the baking dish, then on a rack.
  10. Slice and enjoy!


You can freeze one, or a part of the poppy seed roll, once cooled, well wrapped in plastic. Try to use it within 1-2 months.

To save some time, you can purchase ground poppy seeds at Eastern European grocery stores.

You can omit walnuts and raisins, just replace it with more poppy seeds.

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