Poppy Seed Roll

These attractive sweet breads filled with dried fruits, nuts and poppy seeds. Serve as a nourishing snack with milk, or spread thick slices with cream cheese as dessert.

14-

4 oz. butter, softened z oz. fresh yeast

4 oz. plus

½ teaspoon sugar

2 tablespoons lukewarm water

4 fl. oz. lukewarm milk

1 lb. flour

1 teaspoons salt eggs, lightly beaten

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 egg, beaten with

1 tablespoon milk

6 oz. poppy seeds, ground

2 oz. slivered almonds

6 oz. chopped dates

2 oz. cup currants

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

8 oz. sugar

1 tablespoon flour mixed to a paste with

5 tablespoons single cream 1 egg, lightly beaten 3 oz. butter, melted

Grease two large baking sheets with 2 teaspoons of the butter and set aside.

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the ½ teaspoon sugar with a kitchen fork. Add the water and half the milk, and cream the liquids and yeast together to form a smooth paste. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast mixture is puffed up and frothy.

Sift the flour, remaining sugar and the salt into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining milk, the beaten eggs and lemon rind. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour into the liquid. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough out on to a floured board or marble slab and knead it for about 5 minutes, reflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough

A rich fruit, nut and poppy seed sweetbread, Poppy Seed Roll tastes and looks very attractive. should be smooth and elastic.

Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.

Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and cover the bowl with a clean damp cloth. Set the bowl in a warm, draught-free place and leave it for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the dough has risen and has almost doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the ground poppy seeds, almonds, dates, cur-rants and orange rind.

In a small saucepan, dissolve the sugar in the flour mixture over low heat, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to moderate and bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly. Cook the sauce for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce into the bowl containing the poppy seeds. Add the egg and melted butter to the bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until the ingredients are well mixed. Set aside.

Turn the risen dough out on to a floured surface and knead it for 4 minutes. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 14-inches by 8-inches and about J-inch thick. Spread the dough with the remaining butter. Fold the dough in three and turn it so that the open edges face you. Roll out again into an oblong shape and fold and turn as before. Divide the dough in half.

Roll one-half of the dough out into a rectangle 14-inches by 8-inches and ½ inch thick. Spoon half the poppy seed mixture on to the dough and spread it out evenly, leaving a -inch border all round.

Carefully roll one of the short sides of the dough rectangle towards the centre, Swiss roll style. Carefully roll the other short side of the dough rectangle towards the middle so that it meets the other ‘roll’.

Repeat the shaping, filling and rolling process with the remaining dough. Trim the ends of the rolls and discard the trimmings.

Grasp one roll firmly with both hands, and turn it over and place it on one of the baking sheets, so that the smooth side is uppermost. Place the other roll on the second baking sheet in the same manner.

Cover the rolls with a cloth and return them to a warm place for 45 minutes, or until they have almost doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Brush the rolls with the beaten egg and milk mixture.

Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the rolls are a deep golden brown.

Remove the baking sheets from the oven. Transfer the rolls to a wire rack and set them aside to cool completely before serving.

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