Babovka (Poppy seed tea rings)

    9 hours 15 min

    A Czech specialty that is delicious and easy to make. If desired, you can ice or glaze these and top with flaked almonds or other nuts. You can use apricot filling instead of the poppyseed filling. Also, if you don't have the round tins, you can bake the rings on regular baking trays (just be sure to place the seams of the rings are well sealed and placed downward on the trays).

    9 people made this

    Serves: 16 

    • 4 tablespoons warm milk
    • 1 (7g) sachet dried active baking yeast
    • 110g (4 oz) caster sugar, divided
    • 250ml (8 fl oz) milk
    • 110g (4 oz) butter
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 pinch ground mace
    • 1 pinch ground ginger
    • 500g (1 1/4 lb) flour
    • 1.2kg (2 1/2 lb) poppy seed filling (see footnote)
    • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

    Prep:45min  ›  Cook:30min  ›  Extra time:8hr  ›  Ready in:9hr15min 

    1. Place 4 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan and warm over a low flame. NOTE: BE SURE THAT MILK IS WARM, NOT HOT, TO THE TOUCH. Add the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Cover and let rise until creamy.
    2. Heat the 250ml milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Add butter and stir until melted; let cool. Add remaining sugar and salt and stir until dissolved; then add beaten eggs, yeast mixture, vanilla, mace and ginger and mix together. Add 400-450g flour and stir until smooth.
    3. Place dough in a large lightly oiled bowl. Cover tightly with aluminium foil and set in the refrigerator overnight.
    4. Preheat oven to 190 C (gas 5).
    5. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Roll out on floured board like a swiss roll, large and oblong. Evenly spread poppy seed filling over each piece of dough, then roll up each piece and pinch the ends together to form two circles. Place each ring in a lightly greased round cake tin with a hole in the centre; press rings down to flatten.
    6. With kitchen scissors, make about 22 cuts in the ring, each 2cm deep. Twist each piece slightly so that the rolls fan out from the centre of the tin. Brush or drizzle melted butter or margarine on top of the rolls, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, or until doubled in size.
    7. Bake at 190 C (gas 5) for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden.

    Poppy seed filling

    You can find tinned poppy seed filling in Polish and Eastern European shops.

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    Reviews in English (5)


    Very Yummy, thanks  -  25 Jan 2012


    I've been looking for this recipe. It is like my deceased mother-in-law, a lady that taught me to bake. Thanks.  -  25 May 2000  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    Definitely worth the (relatively small!) effort. The dough is very soft and rises well. I microwaved the milk (both times) rather than bothering with a pan. Substituted allspice for mace. Because we only had one 13.5 ounce can of poppyseed filling (the only one I could find, checking several European delis! you can find the finished cakes everywhere here, but not, apparently, the ingredients), we made one roll with that - the can was plenty, wouldn't need 21 ounces - and one roll filled with a cinnamon/brown sugar/butter/walnuts mixture. Yummy!  -  05 May 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)