Monday, June 20, 2011

Poppy Seed Strudel (Štrudla sa makom)

My husband loves poppy seed strudel. Since we moved to America he has been craving it. But how can one make poppy seed strudel here where it is not possible to find ground poppy seed, and even if you do it is as expensive as gold.

However, one day, not long ago, we found “Solo” canned poppy seed for cake and pastry.
It is really good and not expensive. And finally I made poppy seed strudel, although I had never made it before.

It turned out very nice... the crust was buttery, not too soft nor hard, poppy seed filling was good, raisins combined with poppy seed gives some zest... But that was not enough for my husband who has just said it was not the real poppy seed strudel, because it didn’t resemble his grandmother’s, who was by the way famous for her pies and strudels... He said the dough was not soft enough, and the crust wasn’t dark brown enough as it should have been.

So if you have an idea about how to make poppy seed strudel like my husband’s grandmother please let me know. The recipe of his grandmother was not preserved, and I doubt that it has ever existed. I am very pleased with the recipe below, but there, my husband is not...

My cousin makes poppy seed strudel for a living and I was thinking to ask her for the recipe... I mean it must be very good when she supports herself making and selling them. She found that niche in the strudel market and she is doing really fine. Interesting idea for business. However, I think her recipe is best kept secret so I gave up asking.

I did not know that poppy seed strudel is so popular almost everywhere. Germans consider it their national dessert and call it Mohnstrudel.

Ingredients for two strudels:

  • 500g all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 200g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 deciliter (3/4 cup) milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 ”Solo” cans poppy seed for cake and pastry
  • 150g raisins
  • Powdered sugar 


Melt butter.
Sift the flour and add to it the yeast, salt, heated milk, melted butter and eggs.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes until soft and smooth. 
Allow the dough to rise for about 1.5 to 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 180C (355F). Prepare a baking pan and spray it with oil.
Stretch the dough by rolling pin. The dimensions depend on the pan where you will bake strudel.
Fill the dough with poppy seed. One can for one strudel. 
Add raisins.
Wrap the dough and put it in a pan where it should rest for about 30 minutes. Brush crust with remaining melted butter. Then put the strudel to bake for about 40 minutes.
Finally, when the strudel cools down sprinkle with powdered sugar.



  1. I love poppy seed strudel! Here it's usually made in pair with walnut strudel. Yours looks great!

  2. Well, it just wasn't like my grandmothers. But keep trying! Next time we'll buy raw poppy seed (not the one from the can) and the grinder, so you can start really from the scratch. And who knows, maybe my sister-in-law, who now lives in the house where I was born, can dig out original recipe somewhere in our old kitchen cabinets. I remember there were some handwritten recipe books there...

  3. I`m missing 2 spoonfuls of sugar in your dough, I wander if your "strudel" can be any good without it. Rudolf, Rugby UK
    P.S. If you really want to taste the best one, go to Slovakia. In every shop you can buy it for about $1,50 or $2 which could be enough for 5 or 6 people.

  4. I wanted to make this so bad for my husband for St. Micheal's Day but he said it wont be any good because we don't have live yeast and I don't know where to find it. I am going to try it anyway but I am confused about the butter. It says remaining butter for brushing however I don't see where it used it before that. Do you put any butter in with the flour mix?

  5. Butter should go in the dough... sorry, I forgot to put it down... You do not need live yeast, although your husband may insist on it... I use active or instant yeast which is double powerful than the first one. There is no a difference... I am from Serbia and I know my people attitude about national cuisine. Let me know how your Strudel turned out... And, Happy Slava!

  6. The result looks lovely! I have a recipe that says to add some lemon zest and vanilla sugar to the poppy seeds, but I guess if you use the canned poppy seeds that might not be necessary. I never tried to add raisins cause I love the poppy seed flavor so much. I too add sugar to the dough, not as much as some recipes require but a couple of table spoons. Besides the difference in taste it will make the štrudla darker as well! Another thing that I think could make a difference is brushing it with egg yolk and milk in stead of butter. I realize this post is a couple of years old so you probably came up with the perfect recipe already, at least I hope so for your husband! ;-)

    1. Suzana, thank for writing me. Yes, this post is two years old. In meantime, we found two Polish stores nearby that sell good poppy seed strudel, so I didn't work so much on the recipe development. You are right... poppy seed paste includes bunch of things such as vanilla extract, lemon and orange zest and who knows what else... and egg glaze would probably work to get nice crust color. Pozdrav, Ivana


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