FoodMy mother-in-law's generational recipe: Poppy seed rolls soaked in milk

My mother-in-law's generational recipe: Poppy seed rolls soaked in milk

Images source: © Youtube | Słodki Smak Pasji

9:48 PM EST, December 8, 2023

Poppy seed rolls, traditionally served on Christmas Eve, are an esteemed dish. My mother-in-law unfailingly prepares these rolls every year. While its appearance may be unique, its taste is simply sublime.

Poppy seed rolls, a dessert involving poppy seeds, bread, and dried fruit, are among the most relished Christmas Eve dishes. Depending on the region, the preparation methods can vary. The dish might be served with rusks, dried fruit, and honey. The poppy seed rolls might also be paired with milk and sugar or condensed milk, or pasta.

Preparing poppy seed rolls could seem time-consuming, especially when making the poppy seed mass by hand. To make this process less tedious, my mother-in-law opts for a pre-made canned poppy seed mass. However, she ensures to check its composition to maintain the dish's simplicity.

Poppy seed mass - Delicacies
Poppy seed mass - Delicacies© Canva | Aneta_Gu

Preparing poppy seed rolls

Poppy seed rolls can be served mixed or in layers, much like a layered salad. For poppy seed rolls with bread, we recommend layering. However, if you fancy a mix of poppy seeds with pasta, it's best to combine everything. My mother-in-law's version of poppy seed rolls never fails to solicit requests for seconds—it's that delicious.


  • 1.76 lbs of poppy seed mass (store-bought or homemade),
  • 1 cup of milk,
  • 1 roll or 2 kaiser rolls,
  • A handful of walnuts,
  • A handful of raisins.


  1. Pour milk into a pot and add the poppy seed mass, stirring until the mass dissolves.
  2. Put the pot on the stove and heat it up, stirring constantly.
  3. Once the mass starts boiling, reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Add chopped walnuts and raisins.
  5. Slice the bread.
  6. Place an initial layer of bread in a bowl and cover it with half of the poppy seed mass.
  7. Continue the layering, alternating between bread and poppy seed mass until there are no more ingredients. The top layer should be the poppy seed mass.
  8. Smooth the surface and garnish the dish as desired.
  9. Press down gently to incorporate all the ingredients.
  10. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.

Alternatively, you can replace the bread with cooked pasta, preferably farfalle or lasagna. In that case, it's best to mix everything rather than layering. You could also tweak the poppy seed mass by including other dried fruits like cranberries, almonds, or candied peel. Bon appétit!

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