This is a recipe for Ukrainian Maky, an enriched bread with a poppy seed filling.There are many breads that are made up of a sweet, enriched bread rolled around fruit or nut filling. I have used my Ukrainian Babka recipe for the bread; I think this works well. The filling is my own invention, based on the input of my good friend George, whose parents were Ukrainian. George called this Maky, so that’s what I’m calling it. There may be another name for this bread, and there may be other recipes for both the bread and the filling, but this one is really delicious, so I’ll just use this.
The bread part is easy to make, in fact it’s so easy that it would be a good recipe for children or beginners. The only problem that children might have is the sheer size of the recipe. If this seems too large for a child to handle, just cut the recipe in half and make it, work with part of the dough at a time or get a whole passel of kids to work on it, sort of like what happens at some birthday parties for children. The filling relies on poppy butter, which is available in eastern European delis or in grocery stores.
|Dry Yeast||2 1/4 tsp||15 ml|
|Sugar||1/2 cup||110 g|
|Salt||2 tsp||10 ml||If using salted butter, use 1 tsp, 5 ml|
|Vanilla Extract||2 tsp||10 ml|
|Poppy Butter||1 1/2 cups||340 ml|
|Honey||6 Tsp||90 ml|
|Raisins||1 cup||230 ml|
|Walnuts||1 cup||230 ml|
|Almond Extract||1 1/2 tsp||7.5 ml|
Poppy seeds for sprinkling on top, butter for greasing pans.
- If you don’t have poppy butter, substitute a cup and a half of poppy seeds mixed with four tablespoons of butter.
- The amounts of vanilla and almond extracts are subject to your taste. The amounts here will give a good hint of the flavor. If you want a more pronounced vanilla or almond flavor, increase the amounts.
- The raisins and walnuts must be finely chopped. I use a food processor.
- If you are using poppy seeds and not poppy butter or filling, grind the poppy seeds in a food processor or a mortar and pestle.
- Chop the walnuts and raisins in a food processor or with a knife.
- Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, cover and keep in a warm place.
1. Grease three 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch pans or prepare a baking sheet by either greasing it lightly or covering it with parchment paper.
2. Combine butter, sugar, vanilla and salt in a mixer bowl and mix for a minute.
3. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
4. Bring milk to a boil. Skim top, then let milk cool to 95F-115F / 35C-45C.
5. Combine yeast and 1/2 cup / 120 ml of the milk in a small bowl and stir until the yeast dissolves.
6. Add the remaining milk and the yeast mixture to the butter mixture with flour, blending slowly and mixing a bit after each addition.
7. When all the ingredients are in the bowl, knead for 3-4 minutes. The dough will be smooth and very elastic, but won’t be too sticky, because of all the butter.
8. Cover the bowl and let ferment in a warm area until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
9. Pour the dough out onto the counter and gently fold the dough. Return the dough to the bowl and let ferment another 45 minutes.
10. Remove the dough from the bowl and fold it again. Divide the dough into three pieces, each about 22 ounces.
11. Divide the filling into three portions, each about 7 ounces.
12. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a rectangle. If you are using a pan, the rectangle should be as wide as your pan is long. If you are baking on a baking sheet, make the rectangle about 13 inches wide.
13. Make sure that the dough is thin, well under 1/4 inch / 6 mm thick. Be sure that the edges don’t have large lips on the borders.
<14. n order to get a smooth, even dough, you may have to roll out the dough, wait a minute, then roll some more. Take your time.
15. When the dough is rolled out, take one portion of the filling and carefully spread it evenly over the dough. Be sure to extend the filling to within 1/2 inch / 12 mm of the edges. I use a spatula to spread the filling. A rolling pin won’t work because of the stickiness of the filling.
16. Starting with the short side, carefully roll the dough up into a log. If you are baking in a pan, roll starting with the side that is as long as your pan is long. If you are baking on a sheet, start rolling from the 13 inch side.
17. Finish rolling up by sealing the edges and placing the dough in the pan or on the sheet.
18. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough.
19. Heat the oven to 325F / 165C.
20. After the dough has risen for 30 minutes, brush the tops with the beaten egg.
21. Let the loaves rise until the dough approaches the rim of the pan. This will take about an hour.
22. Brush the tops of the loaves with the egg, sprinkle with poppy seeds and put the loaves into the oven.
23. Bake for 30 minutes, then shift the loaves around.
24. Bake until the loaves are a dark golden color, about 60 minutes total.
25. Remove the loaves from the oven and let them cool for 10 minutes before removing them from the pans.
26 This bread is best eaten the next day, but who can wait?
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