yeast dough

Lemon Curd & Poppy Seed Rolls

Lemon and poppy seed is one of my favourite flavour combos for summer. Sometimes a straightforward poppy seed roll is just not enough and the lemon curd adds a lovely zesty kick. They’re really easy to make and if you might be a little bit intimidated by the idea of making yeast dough, this recipe is a good one to start off with.


Yeast dough:

  • 300g Plain Flour
  • 40g Caster Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 7g Dry Yeast / 21g Fresh Yeast
  • 1 m Egg
  • 100ml Milk
  • 50g Melted, Unsalted Butter

Lemon Curd:

  • 4 Lemons, Zest and Juice (ca 150ml)
  • 150g Caster Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Cornflour
  • 3 m Eggs
  • 40g Unsalted Butter

Poppy Seed Filling:

  • 100g Poppy Seeds
  • 50ml Milk
  • 20g Butter
  • 30g Sugar


  • 100g Icing Sugar
  • 1 Lemon, Juice


Heat the milk to about 28-30 degree C. This is the perfect temperature for yeast to grow. Add the dry yeast to 100ml of the luke warm milk and add a little bit of the caster sugar so the yeast has something to eat on while its being activated. Mix it in well and let it sit for about 5 minutes until it starts bubbling slightly. If you’re using fresh yeast or already activated dry yeast you can skip this step (but it won’t hurt if you do it anyway).

Add the flour, sugar, egg and milk yeast mixture to a large mixing bowl. You can start combining the dough either with your hands or with a dough hook if you’re using a stand or hand mixer. When the dough starts coming together add the salt and finally the melted butter (make sure it’s not over 30 degree C). Knead the dough for about 7-9 minutes until it’s come together to a smooth ball. If you find that the dough has already come to a firm ball after a few minutes of mixing, add another splash of milk. The dough is ready when it doesn’t stick to the bowl anymore and comes off the dough hook easily. Flour your work surface lightly and give the dough a quick knead by pulling it out with one hand before folding it back over itself and repeating the process with the other hand. Then form the dough into a ball by turning it in a circle in both hands while tucking the outsides of the dough under itself (watch the video if you find that description as hard to follow as I found writing it). Put some flour into the empty bowl, put the yeast dough ball in the bowl and cover it with more flour to prevent it from sticking. Cover the bowl with a cloth or a lid and let the dough rise in a warm place for about an hour until it has doubled in size.

To make the lemon curd, combine lemon juice and zest, sugar, cornflour and eggs in a medium sized saucepan and whisk it until there are no lumps of cornflour left and the mixture is well combined. Slowly bring it to a boil on a medium heat, whisking it at all times to prevent it from catching or the eggs to cook. When it comes to a boil it will start thickening and after about a minute, when it is nice and thick you can take the lemon curd of the heat. Push the curd through a sieve to get rid of the zest and any bits of cooked egg and then add the butter to it and mix it in until the butter has melted and is well combined with the curd. Cover the top of the lemon curd with cling film and let it cool down completely.

Grind the poppy seeds in a blender or spice mill for a minute until they become slightly sticky. Combine milk, butter and sugar in a sauce pan on a medium heat until it has melted and then add the ground poppy seeds. Cook it on a low heat for about 10 minutes so the poppy seeds can soak up some of that moisture and it can thicken. Make sure to stir it every now and then to prevent it from burning. When it has turned into a thick and fairly dry mixture, take it off the heat and let it cool slightly.

Grease and flour a 20cm sandwich tin (or a tin of similar size).

When the dough has doubled in size take it out of the bowl and put it onto a floured surface. Stretch it out into a rough rectangle shape before rolling it out to a large rectangle (about 40x50cm) with a floured rolling pin. You can lift the dough up every now and then to make sure it doesn’t stick.

Blob the poppy seed mixture onto the dough and carefully spread it out with an offset pallet knife. The dough rips easily and the poppy seed mixture is dry so be very careful and take your time with it. You want all of the dough to be covered in the filling. Then add the lemon curd and spread it out over the poppy seed filling, again using your offset pallet knife.

Roll the dough up from the longer side as tightly as possible without pushing all the curd out. Then cut off the two end bits and cut the long roll into eight equally sized smaller rolls. Stand them up so that the swirl looks up and arrange them in the prepared tin.

Either preheat the oven to 180 degree C and let the rolls rise in a warm place for another 30 minutes before baking them for about 35-40 minutes or put the rolls into the cold oven, set it to 180 degree C and leave them in there for about 45-50 minutes (the rolls can get their second rise while the oven is preheating!).

When they’re baked let them cool down completely.

Finally for the glaze squeeze a little bit of lemon juice into the icing sugar at a time and combine it. Keep adding lemon juice until the glaze has a nice and thick consistency that will run off a spoon but is still thick enough to not run off the rolls.

When the rolls have cooled down you can put them onto a plate or cake stand and then drizzle the glaze over them.

Enjoy xx

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