From Glen Manzer
1-1/4 c. ground poppy seeds (or buy them whole and grind them yourself)
1/2 c. lukewarm water
1 t. + 5 T. + 3/4 c. sugar
1 package yeast
6-8 c. unbleached flour
8 T. unsalted butter, softened
zest of 1 lemon
2-1/2 c. lukewarm milk
1 t. almond extract
1/2 c. lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. evaporated milk
Place the poppyseeds in a bowl. Bring a pot of water to a boil and pour over the poppy seeds so they’re completely covered. Let the poppy seeds settle and pour off the water. Repeat once more, but this time don’t drain for 35 minutes. Drain the seeds through cheesecloth and allow to dry for 3 hours.
In a stand mixer, with the dough hook, combine the water, 1 t. sugar and yeast. Let the yeast start to foam, then add 6 c. of the flour, 4 T. softened butter, 5 T. sugar, 1 egg (beaten), lemon zest and 1 c. milk. Mix together well and knead for 7 minutes – add more flour a little at a time if necessary. Let sit, covered, for 60 minutes, or until doubled in size. Punch down and divide into 2 equal pieces.
Cook the rinsed poppy seeds in the remaining 1-1/2 c. milk for 5 minutes (until slightly dry), then add 4 T. butter, 3/4 c. sugar, almond extract, walnuts, 1 egg and mix until cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Roll the dough into 2 rectangles and spread the poppyseed filling over the rectangles. Then, roll them up, one end to the other, pinching the seam well. Place them on the baking sheet, seam side down, and let them rise until just doubled, about 45 minutes. Brush with evaporated milk and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. Some people like to slash the rolls on top – we don’t, but my grandmother did and Erin’s grandmother doesn’t.
To serve: we slice some rolls and arrange them with the unsliced roll on a platter along with a knife, in case people want to slice more.