Poppy Seed-Filled Rolls, or Mohnkranzerl aus Hefeteig

  • 01 of 11

    You Can Make These Rolls!

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Do you want to learn how to make filled rolls which are as beautiful as the ones in the bakery and taste much better? Then you have come to the right place. These step-by-step pictures and instructions almost ​ensure your success.

    Go straight to the recipe here.

    Make the Filling

    • 8 oz. poppy seeds (200 grams)
    • 1/2 c. milk (125 ml)
    • 7 tbsp. butter (100 grams)
    • 7 tbsp. sugar (80 grams)
    • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract OR 1 tbsp. vanilla sugar
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
    • 1 tbsp. rum
    • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
    • 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon zest
    • 1/4...MORE tsp. cinnamon

    Grind the poppy seeds. You may use a "poppy seed mill" or grinder , or grind it in several batches in a coffee grinder. Grind them for 1 to 2 minutes or until they are cracked and become darker and oily looking.

    Mix poppy seeds and the rest of the filling ingredients (through cinnamon) in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.

    Continue to 2 of 11 below.
  • 02 of 11

    Making the Dough

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    The dough is a simple, enriched, white, yeast dough. German recipes frequently call for a "Pfund" (one metric pound) of flour, which will make 12 to 18 regular rolls or 6 of these large rolls.

    Make the Dough

    • 4 1/4 c. all-purpose flour (500 grams), plus more for dusting
    • 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast (see note*)
    • 5 tbsp. sugar (60 grams)
    • 1/4 tsp. salt
    • 1/2 c. butter, melted (110 grams)
    • 1 c. lukewarm milk (250 ml)
    • 1 large egg

    *Instant yeast or bread machine yeast may be mixed directly with the flour and...MORE other dry ingredients. If you have regular, dry yeast, mix it with part of the lukewarm milk and let it sit for 10 minutes to rehydrate. Add with the milk to the dry ingredients and proceed as usual. If you wish to use fresh yeast, use a cake (20 - 30 grams) and dissolve in the milk prior to mixing with the flour.

    Mix the flour, instant yeast*, sugar and salt in a bowl. Melt butter and milk together, cool to lukewarm.

    Add the milk, butter and egg to the flour and work (mix, then knead) it into a smooth dough. Knead for about 5 minutes, then form it into a ball, dust it with flour and let it rest for 30 minutes.

    It rises quite a bit and needs no further kneading or rise after this step.

    Continue to 3 of 11 below.
  • 03 of 11

    Divide the Dough into Twelve Pieces

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    I use a bench knife (seen in a later picture) to make decisive cuts. First, I cut the dough in half, smooth each half a little, then cut in half again and each quarter into thirds. This gives me 12 pieces of dough all about 70 to 80 grams (about 2 1/2 ounces) each.

    I also like to weigh them and even out the pieces that are underweight.

    Continue to 4 of 11 below.
  • 04 of 11

    Roll the Pieces of Dough into Rectangles

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Form Braided Rolls

    Roll out each piece to about 2 by 6 inches (5 by 15 centimeters) on a lightly floured workbench with a rolling pin. Add only enough flour to keep the dough from sticking. Place about 2 tablespoons of poppy seed filling down the center of each, lengthwise.

    At this stage, preheat oven to 400°F.

    Continue to 5 of 11 below.
  • 05 of 11

    Pinch the Dough Closed Around the Filling

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Fold the dough lengthwise around the filling and pinch closed to form a rope. Make sure the ends are pinched closed as well.

    Continue to 6 of 11 below.
  • 06 of 11

    Smooth the Dough Ropes

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Roll the rope a little longer by rocking it gently back and forth with your hands. You will also smooth the seams you pinched closed, although they will not go away completely. This does not affect the final product.

    The picture also shows the flat scraper or spatula that I call a bench knife. It conveniently has measurements in inches on its flat end.

    Continue to 7 of 11 below.
  • 07 of 11

    Twist Two Ropes Together

    Poppy Seed - Filled Roll - How to Make a Twist
    Poppy Seed - Filled Roll - How to Make a Twist. J.McGavin

    Twist two filled ropes together, then form into a ring, your final shape. You could also make braids or coils and bake them separately or together in a round cake pan to make a coffee cake. "Kreativität ist hier angesagt!" (use your imagination!).

    Repeat to make six rolls. Place them on a baking sheet (I also use parchment paper).

    Continue to 8 of 11 below.
  • 08 of 11

    Turn the Twist into a Roll

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Bend the twisted bread dough back on itself to form a circle. Pinch one end of one rope together with the end of the second rope.

    Continue to 9 of 11 below.
  • 09 of 11

    Pinch the Ends Together to Shape the Roll

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Pinch the remaining ends together and tuck under the roll as best you can. Some rolls will behave better than others.

    Repeat to make six rolls. Place them on a baking sheet (I also use parchment paper).

    Continue to 10 of 11 below.
  • 10 of 11

    Glaze them with Egg Yolk

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    Mix an egg yolk with a tablespoon of water. Brush the rolls with the egg yolk and sprinkle with a few poppy seeds, if you like. You may also sprinkle them with coarse sugar ("Hagelzucker" or "Perlzuker"). All these things make for a pretty presentation.

    Continue to 11 of 11 below.
  • 11 of 11

    Bake and Serve Filled Rolls

    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl
    Poppy Seed - Filled Rolls - Mohnkranzerl. J.McGavin

    These rolls can be baked as soon as you are done forming and decorating them. That is why it is a good idea to preheat the oven, as explained in step 4. If you have not done so yet, by all means, turn on your oven to 450°F now and let it heat up for a few minutes.

    Bake these pretties for 25 to 30 minutes, but turn down the oven to 350°F after 10 minutes, so that the crusts do not over brown. Also, turn the pan half way through if browning unevenly.

    Easter Special

    It is popular in Germany and...MORE Austria to turn these "wreaths" into "nests" by lightly pushing a hard boiled, colored Easter egg into the center of each roll while still hot.