The first and only time I ate poppy paste buns was when my sister-in-law’s mother Nafize baked them for us. I’ve loved them ever since and I’ve craved for them all this time in Helsinki – until one day, just by chance, I found poppy paste in Alanya Oriental Market in Itäkeskus in Helsinki!!!
Since I got the first jar of poppy paste, I’ve worked on the recipe a few times. Finally I made one version that works great by adapting a Swedish cardamom bun recipe. I changed the cardamoms to poppy seeds and worked on the best measurements for the ingredients of filling.
Poppy paste is quite thick to spread on a soft, yummy dough like the one I made here. It has to be softened. In Turkish recipes I found, they always use vegetable oil for this job. It was my choice for the first trials too. However, in the end I switched to butter, really softened butter and it added a wonderful smell to the buns.
The shape of the buns are like Swedish cardamom buns too – I thought it would add a nice Nordic touch. That’s why I’d like to call these buns “Valmofröbullar” meaning poppy seed buns, in Swedish!
The buns are veeeeery delicious right after baking, of course, but they are delicious to eat for 3-4 days, when kept in an airtight container in room temperature. I reheated some of those in the oven the next day when I first tried this recipe, but they got too dry with that. So I’d say reheating is not a good idea and the buns are so much better taken straight out of the container.
Enjoy your fresh recipe and fresh buns with a cup of coffee or tea! Yumm!
Difficulty: ★★★ (Advanced)
(makes 23-25 buns)
250 gr. warm milk
250 gr. warm water
25 gr. dry yeast
150 gr. granulated white sugar
10 gr. poppy seeds
6 gr. salt
150 gr. butter, softened in room temperature
850 gr. all-purpose flour (and some more for dusting)
300 gr. poppy paste
75 gr. butter, softened in room temperature
2 tbsp brown sugar
To put on top before baking (no photos of this, sorry):
1-2 tsp poppy seeds
1-2 tsp granulated white sugar
To put on top after baking:
100 gr. water
80 gr. granulated white sugar
1. In a medium bowl, put warm milk and warm water. Add yeast and mix a little with a spoon. Let it sit for 10 minutes to activate the yeast – you will see that it gets foamy when yeast is activated at the end of 10 minutes.
2. Add sugar, poppy seeds, salt, butter.
3. Gradually add flour. I added flour in 3 batches, while mixing it with a wooden spoon and then with my hand. In the end you will get a very sticky dough as in the picture. Cover the bowl with a stretch film and let it sit in a warm spot for 45 minutes. The dough will grow during this time.
4. Dust the work surface generously with flour. Put dough on the floured surface. Fold the dough from 4 edges as in the photos, until you get a smooth dough that can be shaped into a ball. The dough should be still soft so be generous with dusted flour but do not go overboard with it.
5. Take a shallow bowl and dust it with flour. Put the dough ball, spread flour on dough’s surface and cover with stretch film loosely. Let it sit in a warm spot for 1-1.5 hours, until it doubles in size.
6. While your dough is rising, prepare the filling. Put all filling ingredients in a bowl / plate and using a fork (or a whisk if you like), make a paste to spread.
7. When the dough is ready, dust the work surface again. Put the dough on dusted surface and try to shape it roughly into a rectangle with your hands first. Then roll the dough into a big rectange – 40x70cm in size.
8. Spread the filling on dough. Fold it from two sides as seen in the photo. Then roll the folded dough again – I am not giving a specific size for the rolled dough, just try to thin the folded rectangle (but not too thin) and smoothen the whole thing.
9. Cut equal size strips from dough. The edges might be rough and may not have much of the spread so you might want to cut the edges a little before you cut the strips. Roll each strip as seen in the photo and turn into a spiral shape, folding the other end under the bun.
10. Put shaped buns on an oven tray with baking paper on. Mix 1-2 tsp of poppy seeds and granulated white sugar and put a little of this mixture on each bun, mostly at the centre. Let the buns sit for final proofing while you heat the oven.
11. Heat the oven to 225C.
12. Put the buns in the oven, in medium rack (one tray at a time, do not overload the oven unless you have a fantastic bakery oven). Bake for 15 minutes, until the buns get slightly browned but not too much.
13. While buns are baking, prepare simple syrup by heating water and sugar in a small saucepan, continuously whisking it. Let the mixture boil for a minute and take away from the heat.
14. As soon as the buns are baked and are out of the oven, brush each buns generously with syrup. Let the buns sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!