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Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

The beginning of winter feels a little bit like magic. After the colors of fall turn to brown and the wet leaves find their way into the gutters, a dusting of white is a beautiful welcome, erasing the world and letting it start with a clean slate. Awaking to a fresh, new world is my favorite part of winter. When the snowflakes fall from the sky, my house feels cozier, food turns into comfort favorites, and spending the evening under a blanket in front of the television becomes a special treat.

The beginning of winter is a reminder of why I couldn't imagine living somewhere without the seasons.

Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Once January rolls around and winter weather is drudging into its third month, awaking to a white world is no longer new and exciting. The short hours of daylight and early mornings spent scraping the ice off the windshield of my car take away a little of the magic. I'm ready to see the sun for more than an hour each day. When the world isn't blanketed in a new sheet of white, the snow turns gray and brown, mimicking the dank end of autumn.

Each season has a beginning and an ending. Though I may feel ready for a new change, winter has just settled in for a long stay, with no plans to take a weekend getaway.

Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

When the winter season begins to drag on my mind and body, the brightness of citrus fruit or a bowl of dark greens can sort me out. I associate fruit with winter as much as summer, peeling oranges and devouring clementines by the handful. Tart and sour fruits feel most like winter to me, with a bite as shocking as a burst of cold winter wind. When I was trying to come up with a new flavor for a breakfast roll, lemon and poppy seed seemed a natural combination. The tartness of the lemon shines through, while the bitterness of the poppy seeds is counteracted with brown sugar and honey.

When winter starts to drag you down, these rolls will pick you right back up. I promise.

Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls are a zesty pastry with a burst of flavor. The dough is soft, tender, and riddled with a lemon zest to bring a bright lemon aroma. The filling is a mixture of poppy seeds, brown sugar for sweetness, and a splash of lemon juice to bring a tart tone. As soon as they come out of the oven, the rolls are drizzled with honey, which soaks deep into the cracks and crevices. These are a lovely choice to brighten morning taste buds or to be enjoyed in the afternoon with a cup of tea.

One Year Ago: Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes
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Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls

Yields 9 rolls

Lemon Rolls
1 teaspoons dry active yeast
2 tablespoons (30 ml) barely warm water
2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 2 lemons (about 1-2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, melted
1 large egg
1/4 cup (60 grams) sour cream
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) bread flour (all purpose will work)

Poppy Seed Filling
6 ounces (170 grams) canned poppy seed filling
1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar, packed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
Honey, for drizzling

In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the barely warm water and allow to sit about 5 minutes until activated (looks frothy). Stir in sugar, lemon zest, salt, melted butter, eggs, and sour cream. Gradually add the flour, mixing until it has been incorporated. Cover dough with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 2 hours. Punch down dough and allow to rise a second time until doubled, about 1 hour.

While the dough is rising for a second time, create the poppy seed filling by mixing together the poppy seed filling, brown sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Set aside.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 9 by 12 inch rectangle. Spread the poppy seed filling on the dough, keeping a 1-inch border around the edges. Starting on the shortest end, roll up the dough into a log shape and press the edges to seal them. Cover the log with plastic wrap, twist the ends tightly, and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes, or until it firms up. Unwrap the dough and cut the log into 1-inch slices using a sharp serrated knife. Set the rolls into a 9-inch baking pan. Cover and allow to rise until doubled, about 40-50 minutes.

(Alternatively, to make them for the next morning, cover with foil before rising and place in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning, remove from the refrigerator and allow the rolls to warm to room temperature and rise until doubled.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Bake rolls for 15-20 minutes, or until golden. While hot, drizzle the top of the rolls with honey and allow it to soak in. Serve warm or room temperature.

Reader Comments (19)

I am envious that you are entering winter with all the lovely citrus. These would be suitable if I subbed the lemon for orange and lime? Inspirational photography and lovely setting.
I love the look of all those seeds!! So pretty.
Belinda-- I think an orange or lime roll would be absolutely lovely! Let us know if you give it a try.
01.10.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
What is poppy seed filling, im from Nz, and we often dont have alot of things that the US has, or is it just poppy seeds
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFiona
Love lemon and poppy seed combination!!!
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLIsa @ SoTeaBeeZa
oh...these look so yummy!!!
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnika Alonzo
Oh man, this is the perfect evolution from the standard lemon and poppy seed muffin. And just think of all that tart syrup hiding in the crevices! This looks fab.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca
Fiona-- Canned poppy seed filling is usually found right next to the pie fillings. It's like a thick, poppy seed syrup to use in pastries. I don't typically use more processed ingredients, but it's just not feasible to buy a cup of poppy seeds to use. If you can't find it in NZ, you can always find it online.
01.10.2013 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Yurm! These look great!
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Really really lovely for snack time. The presentation is fabulous and makes you want to end all rolls. Every day I like more your blog, your warm photos and your recipes simple at the same time delicious!
Your work inspires us all to fill our kitchen smells delicious in winter to heat the house with the oven to maximum.
01.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLara
These look beautiful. I've never had the lemon and poppy seed combo, but these rolls make me want to try it :)
Whoa. Just whoa. These would be the best thing ever for breakfast every day of my life.
Rolls of any type are a favorite in our house. I like the combination of lemon, poppy seeds and honey. What a great quote from Eleanor Brown!
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterla domestique
I'm hungry now with your delicious rolls.
01.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterwaka network
Is that the pie plate where you actually baked your rolls? Love them! Love your styling! It makes me want to have some now - and it's 3:00 am here. How bad is that?
I have never seen canned poppy seed filling before. I know my family would love this, does the canned stuff have dates and nuts in it? I am crossing my fingers that it is like the filling I use in Kolache. Looking forward to trying this one out, thank you for sharing.
01.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngela Park
Very time intensive, but well worth it! I decided to make my own poppy seed filling - a task of its own, but very yummy! I used this recipe: which was also great.
01.13.2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecca
I really love poppy seeds, and these rolls are amazing. I love baking too, it's my favorite part of the cooking:) Best, Ella
im going to make these but will have to guess at what else is in 'poppy seed filling'. im also from nz and like fiona, have never heard of this. if you are after affordable poppy seeds fiona- try moore wilsons, wellington, 500gm bags i think abour $8nz
04.28.2013 | Unregistered Commenterkarin

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