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Cooking With Poppy Seeds

Updated on September 4, 2014

Poppy Seeds

Before cooking with poppy seeds, lets talk a little about what a poppy seed is. Poppy seeds are the tiny, slate blue seeds of an annual poppy plant. Poppy seeds are so small that it takes about 900,000 to make a pound. Although they appear to be round, these tiny seeds are actually kidney-shaped.Although the poppy from which poppy seeds come is thought to be native to Asia, most of the seeds imported today come from Holland. Some come from France, Poland, Germany, and England, too. These seeds come from the same poppy plant that gives opium; however, because of the plant structure, the ripe, dried seeds have no narcotic properties and are perfectly safe to eat as a food.Poppy seeds have been enjoyed as a food for hundreds of years in Greece, India, and Europe. And they are still in wide use today. Occasionally, the seeds are crushed for the oil that they contain, which is used in the production of some margarines. Most often, however, poppy seeds are used as toppers for breads, mixed with noodles, or ground or crushed and sweetened for use as filling for rolls, sweet breads, and desserts. When the seeds are toasted, the nutty flavor is enhanced, as the heat brings out the flavor of the oil. Because of their oil content, poppy seeds that are not used right away should be stored in the refrigerator to prevent rancidity from developing at a rapid rate.In addition to the whole seeds, prepared poppy seed fillings are available on the market. These fillings are ready to use in cakes, coffee cakes, and sweet breads.

poppy seed
poppy seed

Poppy Seed-Lime Dressing


l/3 cup vinegar

1/4 cup lime juice

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon poppy seed

1 teaspoon paprika

1 cup salad oil

1/2 teaspoon onion juice

In saucepan heat vinegar and lime juice to boiling. Combine sugar, salt, dry mustard, poppy seed, and paprika. Add to hot mixture in saucepan. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add salad oil and onion juice. Beat with rotary beater till thoroughly mixed and slightly thickened. Chill thoroughly. Spoon the salad dressing over fresh or canned fruit.

Makes 1 3/4 cups dressing.

poppy seed
poppy seed

Poppy Seed Torte


1/3 cup poppy seed

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup butter or margarine

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

2 cups sifted cake flour

21/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 stiffly beaten egg whites


Soak poppy seed in milk for I hour. Cream butter and sugar till fluffy. Mix in vanilla and milk with seed. Sift together dry ingredients; stir into creamed mixture. Fold in egg whites.Bake in 2 well-greased and lightly floured 8x1 Which round pans at 375 till cake tests done, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans. Cool. Split layers.Spread Filling between layers; chill. Sift confectioners sugar atop the torte.

Filling: In saucepan mix 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch.Combine 1 1/2 cups milk and 4 slightly beaten egg yolks. Stir into sugar.Cook and stir till bubbly; cool.Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/4 cup chopped walnuts.

poppy seed
poppy seed

Stroganoff With Poppy Seed Noodles


1 pound beef sirloin, cut in inch strips

1 tablespoon shortening or oil

1 medium onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 10 ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup

1 cup dairy sour cream

1 3 ounce can broiled sliced mushrooms, untrained

2 tablespoons catsup

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

4 ounces medium noodles, cooked

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1 teaspoon poppy seed

In a skillet, brown the meat in hot shortening. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the onion is crisp but still tender.Blend the next 5 ingredients together. Pour this over the meat. Cook and stir over low heat until hot. Drain the noodles and toss with the butter and the poppy seed.Serve the sauce over the noodles.

poppy seed
poppy seed

Poppy Seed Swirled Bread


2 packages active dry yeast

5 to 6 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 cups milk

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup shortening

1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

Poppy Seed Filling

In a large mixer bowl, combine the yeast with 2 cups of the flour. Heat together the milk, the sugar, the shortening and the salt just until warm, stirring to melt the shortening. Add to the dry ingredients. Add the eggs next and beat at low speed minute, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough.Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny. Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size.

Meanwhile, prepare the Poppy Seed Filling: Pour 1 cup boiling water over cup poppy seed, then drain. Cover with 1 cup lukewarm water and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly. Grind the poppy seed in a blender or use a food grinder. Stir in cup chopped nuts, 1/3 cup honey and 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel. Fold in 1 stiffly beaten egg white.

Punch down the bread dough. Divide the dough in 2 equal parts. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. On a lightly floured board, roll one part of the dough to a 24x8 inch rectangle and spread with half of the filling. Roll up, starting on the 8 inch side. Seal the long ends. Place, seam side down, in a greased 9x5x3 inch loaf pan. Repeat with the second part of the dough and filling. Cover the loaves with a cloth. Let rise until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove the loaves from the pans and cool on a rack.


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