Easy Poppy Seed Rolls (Bulochki)

I consider myself a decent cook by all means. I’ve watched my mom and dad cook. I’ve helped in the kitchen for as long as I can remember (its Russian custom to do so). And my mom has passed down many, many recipes to me that I can recreate with my eyes closed.

But…if there’s one thing that intimidates me with regards to cooking, it’s baking. Not the kind of baking skills required to make a cheesecake, a bread pudding, or even a creme brûlée. No. The type of baking I’m referring to is the Russian pyroshki and pierogies type of baking. The art and skill of creating puffy golden gleaming rolls that have risen to perfection– Russian bulochki kind of baking.

How many times as a young adult have I attempted to bake rolls, or bulochki, only to have them come out flat, hard, dense. What a disappointment it was taking out the baking tray. Sometimes omitting the yeast I found myself adding too much baking soda, and the result was inedible bitter dough.

My mama and grandmama are amazing bakers. And they offered me some helpful tips about creating the most fluffy airy bulochki you ever did taste. And today I’m happy to say I am no longer afraid of baking, even with yeast. Because I know the secrets to perfecting golden, gleaming bulochki.. and now so do you!

What You Need:

1 tbsp active dry yeast

1 1/4 cups warm milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 can poppy seed filling

3 1/2 cups flour

3 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 cup melted margarine


Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Add the yeast, sugar, and warm milk into your mixer. Let the yeast mixture sit for about five minutes to dissolve. Now combine the oil, salt, and the margarine. Use a kneading attachment tool and knead the dough for about fifteen minutes. (Obviously you may knead the dough by hand, but it’s much easier in a mixer).

Now prepare your rolling station. Dust your station with flour and roll out your dough to form a very thin rectangle. Spread the poppy seed filling in a thin layer. Roll dough to form a log shape, and using a floured knife cut the dough into small rectangles (about 2 inch pieces).

Russian poppy seed rolls
Image: lazy cat kitchen

Whisk the egg in a bowl with 2 tbsp water and use a cooking brush to brush the top of the bulochki. This egg wash will give the rolls a beautiful golden brown gleam! Transfer bulochki to a baking dish covered in parchment paper. Give about an inch of space between each roll.

Bake these beauties in the 300 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes until they are golden brown.

The best thing about this simple and easy recipe is that you don’t even need to wait for the rolls to rise! So this really is the perfect bulochki recipe to make even if you are in a time crunch!

Russian poppy seed pastry rolls
Image: moms dish

If you’re anything like me, and are intimidated by baking, this simple recipe will help you gain confidence in yourself as a baker. You can do it! These poppy seed bulochki are so gorgeous and scrumptious they look and taste like they came straight out of a European bakery!

%d bloggers like this: