• Giant spiral with poppy seed filling

    This is traditional Polish Christmas cake called ‘makowiec’. Made of yeast dough (sweet bread – brioche like) filled with poppy seeds mixture. In a classic version (usually made) is baked as a Swiss roll shape. I tried some new shape – giant spiral and it works fantastic. The filling is more connected to the dough and for me it causes more taste in every bit. The filling is packed with poppy seeds, raisins, almonds and honey. You may also add nuts and candied orange zest if desired. Try some new cake on your festive table. Enjoy!


    springpan ø 9 inch



    • 180 ml lukewarm milk
    • 4 teaspoons dried yeast
    • ½ cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 egg yolk
    • 3 cups bread flour
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup butter, softened


    • 350 g poppy seeds
    • 200 ml milk
    • 7 tablespoons honey
    • 30 g almonds, chopped finely
    • 30 g raisins
    • 30 g golden raisins
    • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
    • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

    Sugar icing:

    • ½ cup icing sugar
    • 1-2 tablespoons warm water



    Place the poppy seeds in a bowl and pour over the milk. Stir with a spoon to sink all poppy seeds. Set aside for 3-4 hours.

    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. Add eggs and egg yolk and stir until smooth. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Make a hole in the center and pour the yeast mixture in.  Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth. Stop mixer, scrap the bowl sides. On the low mixer speed add butter – 1 tablespoon at a time. Add the next tablespoon butter only when the previous is fully incorporated. When you use all butter and the dough is ready (smooth and glossy) shape it in a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour until doubled in size.

    Make the filling: drain poppy seeds, discard milk. Process seeds in a food processor for 3-4 minutes until become soft and velvety. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Try and add more honey or other nuts if you wish.

    Grease springpan and line the bottom with parchment paper.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 18 x 12 inch rectangular. Rotate the rectangular in order the wider side is its base closest to you. Cut into five straps (each 3 3/5 inch wide and 12 inch high). Spread the filling even on all straps. Roll the first strap into a roll. Place the roll on the beginning of the second strap and roll together with filling. Place this roll on the beginning of the third strap and roll together. Continue with remaining straps. The last strap do not encompass the whole big roll you got. Carefully lift the giant spiral (help yourself with a spatula), rotate 90° and place it in the sprinpan (the cut surface up). The center of the cake should be in the center of the pan. On sides stays empty space for rising. Let stand in a warm place for 1 hour to rise and reach the sides of the pan. Bake in preheated oven in 400°F for 45-55 minutes. After 25 minutes cover the cake with aluminium foil to avoid scorching. After baking cool in the pan then transfer to a wire rack.

    Make icing: beat together icing sugar and water until smooth. If the icing is too solid add more water. Pour the icing over the top of the cake.


    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags:almonds, Christmas, poppyseed, raisins, yeast.

  • Overnight wheat bread

    This is quite simple and not difficult to make yeast bread. You do not need to knead it and it rises and rests when we sleep. Without adding a rye flour we get traditional bread which has crunchy skin, firm center and wonderful smell. Baking with water pretends that it is a traditonal Dutch oven and thank it we have well-baked and crunchy loaf of tasty bread. Enjoy!


    1 loaf


    • 3 cups minus 3 tablespoons (450g)  wheat bread flour
    • 1¼ teaspoon active dry yeast
    • 1½ teaspoon salt
    • 350 ml water from the cold tap


    In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with hook attachment place the flour and yeast. Mix them shortly then add salt and mix again. Pour in the cold water and mix on the slowest speed to make very soft and sticky dough. Continue mixing for a 1 minute. The dough won’t be smooth, glossy and elastic like conventional bread dough but don’t worry. Cover the bowl with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight but no longer than 24 hours. The dough will slowly rise until double in size and then slightly fall back.

    Next day the dough will be cold and firmer. Flour your hands and scoop it out from the bowl. Knead gently and shape the dough into a ball. Place back to the bowl, cover and leave for 2 hours until comes to the room temperature and rises.

    Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C).Place empty roasting tin on the lowest shelf in the oven and leave it there for preheating. Line a baking tray with parchment paper and set aside.

    Remove the dough from the bowl and shape into slightly flatten ball. Place on the lined baking tray and dust with flour. Make 5 deep slashes across the top of the ball. Place the tray with the bread in the lower part of the oven (next to last shelf), just above the empty tin. Pour a jug of cold water into the hot roasting tin to produce a burst of steam then quickly close the oven door. Bake for 30-35 minutes until it is a rich golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the underside. Cool on a wire rack.


    Recipe comes from the book 'The GBBO Perfect cakes and bakes...', however I modified slightly the preparing.

    Category: Breads.

    Tags: wheat, yeast.

  • Potato buns

    These buns are perfect for any meal. Made of yeast dough but not typical because of potatoes’ addition which give subtle taste. The skin outside is dainty, the dough inside light like air. Buns are not very sweet (you can add more sugar) but soft and fluffy. Enjoy!


    16 buns



    • 3 ¼ cup (500 g) flour
    • 1 package (7 g) active dry yeast
    • 2 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 egg
    • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoon milk
    • ¼ cup butter melted
    • ½ pound (1-2 pieces ) cooked and mashed potatoes
    • 1 tablespoon oil


    • 1 egg yolk
    • 1 tablespoon water
    • flour to dust



    In a small bowl combine cooked, mashed potatoes with oil. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast. Add egg, warmed milk and melted butter. Mix until combined. Stir in potato puree.  Beat with an electric mixer fitted with dough hook to make smooth and elastic dough. Place in a lightly greased large bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm place until double in size (about 1-1,5 hours).  

    Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough in half. Divide each portion of dough into eight pieces. Shape each portion into a round ball. Grease and line a 13x9x2 inch pan. Place balls tightly in prepared pan (each ball should touch the next one). Let balls rest in a warm place for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 °F (200°C).In a small bowl whisk together egg yolk and water. Brush buns with this mixture and carefully dust with flour. Bake for 15 minutes or until sound hollow when lightly tapped.




    Category: Breads.

    Tag: potato, yeast.

  • Pull apart layered with almond butter

    This is yummy, soft and fluffy yeast pull apart cake layered with almond butter and sliced almonds. The cake is baked as a loaf made of 18 square pieces which partially got together after baking and look like harmonica. Very practical in eating – you do not need a knife just pull one fluffy piece. The cake is really tasty, in my house disappeared just after baking and that’s good because all yeast bakes are best the same day. Enjoy!


    loaf pan 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch



    • 2 ¾ cups bread flour
    • 2 ½ teaspoons dried yeast
    • 125 ml lukewarm milk
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • pinch of salt
    • ½ cup minus 1 tablespoon butter, melted
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon almond extract


    • 150 g almond butter (store bought)
    • 75 g sliced almonds
    • 2 tablespoons sugar (only if butter is unsweetened)



    Make dough: in a medium bowl mix together yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon sugar. Let stand for 15 until frothy. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, remaining sugar and salt. Add yeast mixture, eggs, almond extract and melted butter, slightly cooled.  Mix on medium speed until dough is smooth (8-10 minutes). Once the dough is ready place it in an oiled bowl, cover and let stand in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours until doubled in size.

    Grease the pan.

    Place the dough on a floured surface and roll out into a 24 x 12 inch rectangular. Rotate the rectangular in order the wider side is its base closest to you. Spread the almond butter evenly and sprinkle with sugar (only if butter is unsweetened). Sprinkle with almond slices. Cut into six straps (each 4 inch wide and 12 inch high). Make two stacks, each made of three straps, laying one strap on top of the another spread side up.  Cut each stack across into three squares (4 x 4 inch each). Place all square dough pieces into the pan standing them vertically, one after the other. Let stand in a warm place for 15-20 minutes to rest and preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake for 30 minutes until light brown in colour. Serve warm or cooled.


    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags:almonds, yeast.

  • Yeast babka with pistachio filling

    Yeast babka is more like a sweet bread than regular cake. Freshly baked brings wonderful smell in the whole house and the taste will spoil you. The dough is prepared brioche-like style and you need to be patient by taking enough time to make it. The pistachio filling is a nice addition to yummy dough and the whole loaf is definitely worth your effort. Bake and enjoy!


    8x4 inch 1 loaf pan



    • 3 cups + 2 tablespoon (400 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1/3 cup (75 grams) sugar
    • 1 package (7 grams) active dry yeast
    • ½  tablespoon orange zest
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/3 cup milk
    • ½  teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
    • ½ tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt


    • 1 egg
    • 1 tablespoon water

     Pistachio filling:

    • ½  cup unsalted butter
    • ½  cup (100 grams) sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 2 ½ tablespoons (25 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoon (15 grams) almond flour
    • ½  teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼  cup pistachio paste (store bought or homemade)
    • ¼  cup pistachios, finely chopped

     Homemade pistachio paste:

    • 3 tablespoon (30 grams) sugar
    • 3 tablespoon water
    • ½  cup toasted pistachios
    • 2 tablespoon (15 grams) almond flour
    • 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil



    In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine flour, sugar, yeast, and orange zest. With mixer on low speed, add eggs, milk, and vanilla. Beat until mixture comes together, 2 to 3 minutes. (If the mixture remains too dry and crumbly, add more milk, 1 tablespoon at a time.)

    With mixer on low speed, add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Add salt, beating just until combined, about 3 minutes. Increase speed to medium, and beat until a smooth and elastic dough forms and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (If dough does not pull away from the bowl, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.)

    Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover, and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) for 1 ½ to 2 hours or until doubled in size. After dough has risen, refrigerate for 30 minutes. Alternatively, the dough can be made one day in advance and the entire rise may take place in the refrigerator overnight.

    Make pistachio paste: line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water until a candy thermometer registers 240°. In a small bowl, place pistachios. Pour hot syrup over pistachios, stirring to coat. Transfer pistachios to prepared pan, and let cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

    In the work bowl of a food processor, combine pistachios and almond flour. Process until finely ground, about 2 minutes. With motor running, add oil, one tablespoon at a time. Process until mixture forms a smooth, thick paste, about 8 to 10 minutes.

    Pistachio filling: in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together flours and salt. With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture, beating until combined. Add pistachio paste and finely chopped pistachios. Beat until just combined.

    Grease and line a baking pan. On a heavily floured surface, roll dough to a 12-inch square. Brush edges with egg beaten with water. Spread with pistachio filling, leaving a 1-inch border on long sides of dough. Starting at one side, roll up dough, jelly-roll style, and press edge to seal. Using a sharp knife, cut roll in half lengthwise. Carefully twist dough pieces around each other and place in prepared pan, cut sides up. Cover, and let stand in a warm, draft-free place (75°) until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours.

    Preheat oven to 350°. Bake loaf for 30 minutes. Cover with foil, and bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.




    The recipe comes from the 'Bake from scratch' magazine.

    Category: Yeast cakes.

    Tags: pistachio, yeast.