With slight variations, this versatile dough recipe is used for many baked goods all over Ukraine. The same dough is made for savory garlicky pampushky served with borsch and for sweet, plain or filled with fresh berries, jam (povydlo), poppy seed filling, and dusted with sugar powder. Pies, braided and intricately decorated loaves of sweet bread, rolls — it is good for all of them. Try it this holiday season! This snowflake-shaped sweet bread makes a light, fluffy, nutty, and delicately sweet gift to remember.
How to Shape Snowflake Bread
Let It Snow!
White poppy seeds are used in Indian cooking and obviously are available at Indian grocery stores. They are used to add thickness, texture, and flavor to savory meals, sauces, lentil, and rice dishes. They are known to be less sweet than blue poppy seeds.
Sprinkling the top of the bread with white poppy seeds is optional. If you like how they look on a glossy golden brown soft crust, don’t be shy and generously sprinkle them on top. Otherwise, use powdered sugar.
In a bowl, measure and combine with a whisk all dry ingredients — flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.
Add an egg, 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 large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough double at room temperature. 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 an electric coffee grinder, grind poppy seeds to a powder.
In a saucepan, melt honey and butter over low heat. Add poppy seeds and brandy and cook for 5 minutes, continually 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.
Add almond meal and brown sugar and mix well.
In a small bowl, combine egg whites and powdered sugar and whip a medium-stiff meringue. Add it to the poppy seed paste, mix well. Divide the filling into four equal portions, two per bread. Keep the filling covered to prevent overdrying.
In a small bowl, mix egg yolk and water with a silicone brush. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Divide the dough into 6 equal portions (3 per one bread). Preheat the oven to 375F.
Roll 3 portions of dough into the rounds 1/6" thin. Roll 2 portions of the poppy seed filling into slightly smaller rounds between two sheets of parchment paper and refrigerate. Alternate the layers of dough and the filling and pinch the edge.
Follow the instructional video to shape the bread. Brush it with the egg wash, cover with a large bowl, and let it rise at room temperature for about an hour. Repeat with the second bread.
Sprinkle your bread with poppy seeds (optional). Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the rack.