With slight variations, this dough is used for many baked products all over Ukraine. It is used for small, round pastries called pampUshky (there are also deep-fried pampushKY, which are similar to doughnuts). Savory garlicky pampushky are known to be served with borsch. Sweet ones can be plain or filled with fresh berries, jam (povydlo), poppy seed filling, and dusted with sugar powder. The same dough is used for pies, braided and intricately decorated loaves of sweet bread, and rolls. All these beautiful sweet types of bread are light and puffy, never overly sweet.
In a bowl, measure and mix with a whisk all dry ingredients — flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
Add an egg, warm milk, and soft butter. Mix and knead a dough until smooth. It takes about 8 to 10 minutes by hand. This is 50 percent hydration dough, the easiest to work with.
Shape the dough into a ball. Place it into a tree times larger bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough double in a warm place. It'll take for about 1.5-2 hours. You can flatten it and keep refrigerated in a covered container for up to 48 hours.
for poppy seed filling
Using electric coffee grinder, grind poppy seeds to a powder.
In a sauce pan, melt honey and butter on low heat. Add poppy seeds and brandy and cook for 5 minutes, constantly stirring. Make sure the heat is the lowest possible, or your mixture will be too dry and might burn. Add a few drops of water if needed. Stir, stir, stir. Turn off the heat.
In a food processor, grind hazelnuts. Add poppy seed paste, zest, and process to mix well.
Mix room temperature egg whites and powdered sugar. Whip a medium-stiff meringue. Add it to the poppy seed paste, mix well.
In a small bowl, mix egg yolk and water with a silicone brush.
Divide the dough into two equal parts. You can make 2 rolls OR 8 pastries OR 1 roll and 4 pastries. Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll one half of the dough into a square 1/4" thick. Spread the poppy seed mixture 1/8" thick to within 1" of the edges.
Roll two ends towards the middle.
Secure the filling and turn it upside down.
Decorate with hazelnuts.
Brush with egg wash.
Sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for about 30 to 35 minutes.
Using scales, divide the second half of the dough to 12 portions, 36-37g each. Roll three at a time.
Spread some jam, or honey, or poppy seed filling on two of rolled portions.
Stack them so the one without a spread is on the top. Make a cut in the middle.
Shape a pastry.
Brush with egg wash. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes.