Traditionally, these loaves were eaten after sundown on Christmas Eve as part of a 12-course meal. At our house, we never can wait that long to bite into the pretty spiral slices of this tender, coffee cake-like treat.—Linda Gronewaller, Hutchinson, Kansas
- 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
- 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 4-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cold butter
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped candied orange peel
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt; cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Combine eggs, yolks and yeast mixture; add to crumb mixture and mix well. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until smooth.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Do not let rise. Divide in half. Roll out into two 12-in. squares; cover with plastic wrap.
- In a small skillet, cook and stir poppy seeds and butter over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in the raisins, honey and lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl; cool for 10 minutes. Stir in candied orange peel and lemon peel.
- In a small bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, on high just until stiff peaks form and sugar is dissolved. Fold into poppy seed mixture. Spread over each square to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up each square jelly-roll style; pinch seams to seal.
- Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over cooled loaves. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).
Originally published as Polish Poppy Seed Loaves in Taste of Home December/January 2005, p59
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