Poppy Seed Bread

Poppy Seed Bread | giverecipe.com

Hashasli Corek/Ekmek

I didn’t know that poppy seeds are edible before coming to Eskisehir, the city where I’m living now. There are many pastry shops here and they have various breads that I didn’t see in my hometown. One of these unique breads is bread with mashed poppy seeds. As you can guess, it didn’t last long for me to become a big fan of this fantastic bread. We often buy it from a pastry shop nearby in the early morning when it’s still warm and we have the pleasure of eating this bread at breakfast with some cheese, sliced tomato and cucumber accompanied by newly brewed black tea.

It wasn’t enough for me just to eat the bread with this special ingredient, it was a must for me to learn more about it. Hubby said poppy seeds are commonly used in his hometown, and his mom knows a lot about it. And when I asked my mother-in-law (Mom II) about poppy seeds, she took me to her childhood with her lively descriptions, it was so exciting for me to be in a different time and learning about some past piece of life.


She said that she spent most of her childhood in huge poppy fields full of purple, red and white flowers and she explained how much she admired these lovely poppy flowers spreading as far as the eye can reach. She seemed as if she was really there while she was describing those fields, it was so clear from the light in her eyes. I think those times might be the root of her love of drawing and painting. I didn’t even know that poppies are lovely flowers. She explained that poppy flowers are just like wild beautiful flowers we see on mountains in Spring. Unlike these flowers, poppies are grown and processed by people. Poppy seeds are planted in fields and after some time, they come out of earth as fresh herbs. Mom II said that they would make salad from these herbs  when they were still fresh. Growing older, these herbs become harder and bitter. They grow as high as an average human height and then they start to bloom in various colors and generate their fascinating masterpiece in fields. These flowers drop their petals after a certain time and form cones containing poppy seeds. Mom II told me that it was a big pleasure for her to break these cones, shake it down into her palm and throw the seeds into her mouth. It sounds great, doesn’t it?

These poppy seeds are used in pastry decoration and when they are mashed they turn into another amazing flavor. These are in three colors: black, yellow and white. Yellow and white mashed poppy seeds are used in pastries. As these are light in color, they don’t spoil the color of dough (you see in my bread above). Also, the rate of oil they include is not so high, which is better for pastries. As for the black mashed poppy seeds, it is mixed with grape molasses just like tahini and becomes a perfect food for breakfast especially in Winter.

Mom II also stated that it was a tradition in her childhood that to serve different kinds of breads with mashed poppy seeds during festivals like Ramadan or Greater Eid. When children knocked the door, the host was supposed to give some slices of poppy seed bread to them. It was one of the ways to make children happy on these special days besides candies and handkerchieves.

I learnt this yummy poppy seed bread from mom II. Unlike the ones in pastry shops here, this one has raisins or currants in its filling mixture, which makes it more special. So here is the recipe:

– 1 ½ tbsp instant yeast
– 1 cup milk(warm)
– 3 cups flour
– 1 egg, beaten
– 1tbsp salt
– 1 tbsp sugar
Filling mixture*:
–    1 cup yellow mashed poppy seed
–    1 cup olive oil
–    ½ cup raisin/currants
Mix all the ingredients for dough, knead it and wait it for 1 hour to rise. It shouldn’t be sticky, if it’s still sticky, then add a little more flour.
Preheat the oven at 180C.


Then knead it once more. Sprinkle a little flour on the counter and roll it out in a rectangle like shape.


Mix mashed poppy seeds and olive oil very well, it mustn’t be thick, must be like a flowing mixture. Spread this on the dough and then throw the raisins/currants on it.


Then roll the dough tightly.


Cut the dough roll into two with a sharp knife.


Turn their insides with filling mixture upside.


Put one half on the middle of the other half and give them a shape of hook.


Plait each pieces until the end.


Oil a circle oven tray and place the bread dough gently in a circular shape. Combine the two ends of the dough and stick them together by pressing gently with your fingers.
Bake it for 35 minutes and serve it with black tea or coffee.
*If you can’t find mashed poppy seeds, here is an alternative recipe for its filling:
–    ¾ cup poppy seeds
–    ¾ cup raisin/currants
–    1 cup milk
–    2 tbsp corn strach
–    1 egg yolk
–    2 tbsp butter

Put the poppy seeds, raisin and half of the milk in a pot. Boil it over the lowest heat until the seeds and raisin rise and there is no milk left. It takes for about 10 min. Meanwhile, whisk corn starch, yolk and the other half of milk in a bowl. At the end of the cooking time of poppy seeds and raisins, add the yolk mixture into the pot and boil stirring until it gets thick enough. Take it from fire and finally add butter and stir well.  Spread this mixture on the dough you roll and bake it in the same way.

Poppy Seed Bread | giverecipe.com


  1. says

    waw,…Zerrin!! One georgous dessert or a decadent breakfast!!!!

    MMMMMMMMMM,….Just a feast for the eyes & mouth!!!

  2. says

    what a gorgeous bread!! looks quite yummy too – I don’t eat poppy seeds very often, but I do like them a lot

  3. says

    Zerrin – your bread looks amazing – i love the shot where it looks like a landscape – it is so out of this world! hehe… thanks for sharing your recipe – I would have never known about this bread if not reading it here.

  4. OysterCulture says

    I love your MIL’s name – Mom II – how fun and exactly how I feel about mine. This bread looks and sounds amazing and as usual, I learned so much from reading your posts – I was not aware there were 3 types of poppy seeds, I’m not sure if I’ve seen the yellow ones here.

  5. says

    That is an interesting bread. Now, I know more about poppy seeds and they’re just fascinating.

  6. says

    The Little Teochew- Thank you. The swirls look so cute, don’t they?

    Sophie- Thank you. In fact, this is not a usual dessert as it’s not so sweet. It’s more like a savory pastry.

    lk- Hope you have mashed poppy seeds there. They go very well in such pastries.

    Elra- I thought I must show these steps, otherwise, it would be difficult to describe how.

    Jessie- Thank you :)

    Gera- I feel so lucky that I learnt the filling mixture of mashed poopy seeds from mom II. Now we can make this bread at home.

    Faith- Wish you happy eid to you and your family.

    Trissa- Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. That landscape-like photo is my favorite, too.

    Erica- Thank you:)

    Oyster- So we’re so lucky to have second moms. I wasn’t aware of these colorful poppy seeds until momII told so. She said I must use the yellow one to make a filling mixture of pastry.

    Divina- Interesting and lovely, isn’t it? Definitely perfect with a cup of tea.

    Malar Gandhi- It’s absolutely worth doing all these steps. I didn’t know that poppy seeds make us sleep. Actually, this bread is not sweet enough to be considered as a dessert. It’s closer to a savory pastry.

  7. says

    Wow! This is an outstanding post, I love the how to pictures, the Mom II story (how lovely!) and that cute rolling pin, you have to send me one of those!! For my flour tortillas. :) I had been looking for something like that.
    But above all the bread, great looking and must be so tasty as well.

    As always thank you for the introduction to these yellow poppy seeds and for the alternative recipe.

    You rock girl!

  8. says

    Zerrin, hashasli ekmek looks so delicious! My mother-in-low makes it too:) When she came here, she asked if we could find mashed poppy seeds for her so she could make this bread for us, but we couldn’t find any:( and she couldn’t bake. I didn’t know how to make the filling myself, thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Will try to make my own mashed poppy seeds and maybe will surprise my MIL when she visits again:)

  9. says

    Wow, what beautiful bread. I’ve only ever come across black poppy seeds – though, from reading your post, it seems that there’s a whole lot more to know about them than I had realised. Thanks for the lesson!

  10. says

    This is truly stunning Zerrin, great job! It’s also the first time that I’ve heard of yellow poppy seeds…I thought there was only one color – black! Will have to see if I can find it at the ethnic food shop.

  11. says

    That is amazing!! In Poland we eat a lot of poppy seed cakes… but the seeds are hiding inside… rolled. Your bread is really impressive. Must try to do something like this with my poppy seed cake :)

  12. Cindy says

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I made Çörek today with my daughter and it brought back fond memories of my trip to Turkey.

  13. Louise @ Car seat Reviews says

    Great post
    I need the besat old time recipe for slovak kolach ( [poppy seed bread). You need to put the bread to rise on?

  14. Bread Lover Mommy says

    Wow, I’ve never heard of such a recipe before, thank you so much for sharing. I love that there are so many international recipes here. I wonder if it we can get poppy seeds here in England though, I’m sure theyre illegal or something!

  15. says

    Çok severim Zerrin’ciğim ama hiç denememiştim. Aşamalar harika olmuş, haşhaş alıp hemen deneyeceğim.
    Sitenin yeni hali de çok güzel olmuş, çok beğendim :)) Ellerine sağlık arkadaşım, sevgiler.


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