Manitoba Poppy Seed Roll

A Canadian sweet bread filled with poppy seeds and honey, Manitoba Poppy Seed Roll is traditionally served at Christmas time.

2 oz. – cup plus

1 teaspoon butter j oz. fresh yeast

4 oz. plus

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon lukewarm water

1 fl. oz. lukewarm milk

8 oz. flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten grated rind of

1 lemon

2 oz. unsalted butter

2 tablespoons clear honey

1 tablespoon double cream

6 oz. poppy seeds, roasted

2 oz. l cup candied orange rind, finely chopped

4 oz. crushed almonds

1 egg white

1 egg yolk, lightly beaten

Grease a large baking sheet with the tea-spoon of butter and set aside.

Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in the ½ teaspoon of 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.

Pour the remaining milk into a medium-sized saucepan. Place it over low heat and add the remaining butter. When the butter has melted, remove the pan from the heat and allow the butter and milk mixture to cool to lukewarm.

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 and milk and butter mixtures, the beaten egg yolks 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, rcflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should then be elastic and smooth.

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 to 1 ½ hours or until the dough has risen and almost doubled in bulk.

Meanwhile prepare the poppy seed filling.

In a small mixing bowl, cream the butter and honey together with a wooden spoon. Add the cream. Stir in the poppy seeds, the orange rind and the almonds.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, beat the egg white with a wire whisk or fork until it forms stiff peaks. Fold the egg white into the poppy seed mixture. Set aside.

Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead it for about 4 minutes. Roll the dough out into a rectangle 14-inches by 8-inches and 1/2inch thick.

Spoon the poppy seed mixture on to the dough and spread it out evenly, leaving a 1-inch border all round.

Carefully roll up the dough, Swiss roll style. Gently press the end down to prevent the roll from opening out. Place the roll on the baking sheet, seam side down. Cover with a cloth and return it to a warm place for 45 minutes, or until it has doubled in bulk.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Brush the roll with the beaten egg yolk glaze.

Place the baking sheet in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 minutes or until the roll is deep golden brown.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Transfer the roll to a wire rack and set it aside to cool completely before serving.