Poppy seed and walnut potica

This enriched nut and seed bread ring from Jane Lawson makes a great addition to afternoon tea
Poppy seed and walnut potica
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8-10
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 30 g yeast
  • 60 ml warm full-fat milk, plus 2 teaspoons extra
  • 95 g soft brown sugar
  • 450 g plain flour
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 125 g soured cream
  • 40 g unsalted butter, softened
  • extra walnut halves, whole or roughly chopped, for decorating
  • whipped cream, to serve (optional)

For the seed and walnut filling

  • 100 g poppy seeds, (see Cook's note)
  • 60 ml full-fat milk
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ' tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 55 g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp golden rum
  • 60 g toasted walnuts, very finely chopped
  • 1 egg white, whisked until thick and foamy

For the coffee glaze

  • 185 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 3 tbsp freshly brewed coffee, chilled
  • ' tsp natural vanilla extract

Tips and Suggestions

Buy poppy seeds from a good spice shop or health food store, not from the supermarket, as they need to be really fresh for optimum flavour and texture.


1. Crumble the yeast into a small bowl, add 60ml of the milk, a pinch of salt and ½ teaspoon of the sugar and mash together until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place for about 15 minutes, or until it becomes frothy.

2. Sift the flour and remaining sugar into a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the centre, pour in the yeast mixture, then add the egg yolk, sour cream and butter and mix thoroughly until you have a soft, slightly sticky dough. Add the extra milk if needed.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 10-15 minutes, or until smooth and no longer sticky. Place in a bowl, cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.

4. To make the filling, finely grind the poppy seeds in a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle until the oils are released and aromatic. Put in a saucepan with the milk, butter, vanilla, cinnamon and lemon zest. Cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the poppy seeds have softened. Remove from the heat, then stir in the honey, sugar, rum, walnuts and egg white. Return to the heat and cook on low for a further 8 minutes, or until the mixture is thick. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

5. Butter a kugelhopf or bundt tin. Punch down the dough, then roll out into a circle with 50cm diameter. Spread the poppy seed filling over the circle, leaving a 2cm border at the outside edge. Roll up the dough as tightly as you can into a log, then place around the prepared cake tin, ensuring the seam side is facing the centre of the tin. Cover and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour, or until puffed up.

6. While the cake is resting, preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan/gas 3. Put the cake in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and hollow when tapped. Cool slightly and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

7. When the cake has almost finished cooling make the coffee glaze by combining all the ingredients in a bowl and mixing until smooth and runny, adding a few drops of water if needed. Pour the icing over the top of the cooled cake and allow it to naturally trickle down the sides. Sprinkle the walnuts over the top and allow the icing to set. Serve slices with a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

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