What should you do if a loved one has a poppy seed prominently caught between their teeth in public? I have always thought it best to let the person displaying the offending poppy seed keep talking until a natural pause in the conversation, then gently let them know about it. No big deal. However there are those who believe that allowing a loved one to appear in public with a poppy seed caught in their teeth for a minute or two, is itself a big deal. What to do? I shall have to consult the Ita Butrose book of etiquette for the final opinion. This is something you too will need to be clear about, when you share this Polish poppy seed roll with your loved ones.
Makowiec (pronounced mak o vee ets) is traditionally made around Easter and Christmas, a kind of celebratory bread/cake made from brioche dough rolled up with a sweet and spiced filling of poppy seeds. The texture and colour of the filling are unusual, it is the sort of thing my mother would say tastes like squashed up ants, but pay no attention to her because this is quite delicious. This recipe may read like an epic, but it is really quite simple and well worth the effort, it makes two rather large rolls, but I can tell you they won't last long, they certainly don't around here. The method is still a work in progress, submit your criticisms or refinements and I will endeavour to streamline the process.
Makowiec: Polish Poppy Seed Roll
500 g poppy seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 egg white
1 beaten egg
650g Bakers flour
1 Sachet Dry Yeast
Boil your kettle then pour the hot water over your poppy seeds and let them soak for 20 minutes
While your poppy seeds are soaking, start making your brioche dough (taken from the Thermomix cookbook)
Place cold milk and sugar in the in the Thermomix bowl and heat for 5 minutes at 60˚on speed one.
Add flour, salt, butter, egg and yeast to the Themomix bowl. Mix to combine for 10 seconds on speed 7
Set dial to closed lid position. Knead for 3 minutes on interval speed (wheat symbol)
Remove the dough and place in a bowl covered with clingwrap and allow to rise in a warm place whilst you make the filling.
*Most recipes for Makoviec don't prove the dough first, so it is not necessary to let the brioche dough expand to twice its size.
Clean your Thermomix bowl and move on to the filling
Line a colander with a clean teatowel and pour your poppyseeds in to drain.
Bundle your poppyseeds up in the teatowel, squeeze the excess water out of them and empty the seeds into the Thermomix bowl. It will be a miracle if you don't get poppy seeds all over the kitchen.
Add 110g of sugar and 120g almonds then grind for 1 minute on speed 10 at 90˚, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the Thermomix bowl if necessary.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the Thermomix bowl except for the egg white and the whole egg. Process a further minute on speed 10 at 90˚, you may need to stir with the spatula or stop a few times to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
You should now have a relatively smooth black paste.
Empty this paste into your Thermoserver or a large mixing bowl and put to one side.
Eggwhite: When beating eggwhite it's important to clean and dry your Thermomix carefully making sure it isn't hot from the washing water.
Insert the butterfly attachment and leave the measuring cup off to allow greater aeration
Put your eggwhite into the Thermomix and mix on speed 4 until there is no more liquid left in the bowl, the eggwhite is stiff and forming peaks.
Gently fold this beaten eggwhite into the poppyseed paste with your spatula.
Back to the dough.
Divide your dough into two balls
On a floured work surface or preferably a silicone mat, push and stretch the first ball into a square about 30cm by 30cm.
Spread the rectangle with poppyseed filling about a centimetre thick leaving a centimetre strip down the right and left sides unspread.
Fold the spread dough into thirds by bringing the top third of the dough down toward you, sandwiching the poppyseed filling, then bring the bottom third of the dough up over the whole lot
Moisten and seal the ends of the resulting roll and place on a large baking tray lined with nonstick baking paper. As you transfer the roll to the baking tray, turn the whole thing over so that the weight keeps it all closed during baking.
Beat up the whole egg in the Thermomix on speed four for 5 seconds and brush the top of the roll with beaten egg.
Now go back and make the second roll
Bake for 20 minutes at 200˚ C or until golden brown and sounding hollow when tapped on the base.
Cool on a wire rack and slice to serve