Sweet rolls with delicious poppy seed filling arranged in an adorable Easter lamb shape. Perfect for Easter breakfast.
Poppy Seed Rolls
AuthorRegina | Leelalicious
1packageactive dry yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoons
3 1/4cupunbleached all-purpose flour
Set aside 1/2 cup of the flour. Combine all other dough ingredients with the dough hook of your mixer until smooth and satiny. Only use remaining flour if needed.
Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft free spot for 30 minutes (it should about double in size). You can preheat your oven to 200 F, then turn the oven off and let the dough rise inside the warm oven.
I used only half of the yeast dough for this Easter Lamb. You can wrap the other half and freeze for later use, or double the filling amounts and make a larger Easter Lamb.
Grind the poppy seeds into a fine powder. A coffee or spice grinder works best. You could also use a good food processor but it takes much longer and the machine will heat up, releasing the oils in the seeds. You'll end up with more clumpy seed grinds instead of powder. Both work though.
In a small saucepan melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in milk, sugar and salt and bring to a simmer. Whisking occasionally.
Beat the egg in a bowl. Slowly drizzle about 1/2 cup of the hot butter mixture into the egg while whisking. This should take about 1 minute. Adding it too fast will cook the egg.
Return the egg mixture to the saucepan and simmer for 3-5 minutes while whisking constantly until mixture thickens and turns light yellow. Remove from heat and stir in ground poppy seed. Let filling mixture cool fully before using; it will thicken. Makes about 1 1/4 cup of filling, but only about 1 cup is needed. Overfilling the rolls will make it a pain to slice and assemble.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or grease a large baking sheet.
Roll out the dough half you are using into a long, but narrow rectangle. Cut straight edges and use the excess to form a head, legs and tail.
Spread about 1 cup of poppy seed filling on the inside and roll up from the long side, leaving the seam at the bottom. Cut the roll and arrange the slices on the prepared baking sheet to form a lamb shape. Let rise for another 10-30 minutes in a warm place.
Whisk together egg and water in a small bowl. Brush egg wash over the Easter Lamb slices.
Bake the lamb for 20-25 minutes until golden. Dip a raisin in the egg wash and press into the hot head piece to make an eye.
If you'd like to enjoy these poppy rolls freshly baked on Easter morning, you can place the assembled rolls covered in the fridge. In the morning let the dough come to room temperature (1/2 hour) and continue with steps 11 + 12.