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Hungarian Poppy Seed Bread Pudding

Hungarian Poppy Seed Bread

This lovely Hungarian dessert is made of the crescent shaped Hungarian bread-roll “kifli”, but can be substituted with plain bread rolls, brioche buns or sliced milk loaf.  It is a favoured pudding at the Christmas festivities as the plentiful poppy seeds traditionally were believed to bring luck and fortune.


  • 300g (~ 11 oz) sweet bread, like milk loaf, brioche or just breadrolls – or 7-8 Hungarian “kifli” if available
  • 450ml( 1.8 cups)  milk
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 vanilla pod seeds and shell, or substitute with 1 tbsp of vanilla essence
  • 40 g (1.4 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 75 g (2.6 oz) poppy seeds grinded – check that they are not bitter, I bought a bad batch before
  • 75 g (~ 6 level tbsps) granulated sugar
  • grated rind of 1 unwaxed lemon
  • 1 cup of morello or sour cherry (jarred compote or preserve is fine)
  • vanilla custard to serve with – optional

How to make

  1. Grind the poppy seeds in a coffee or spice grinder together with the sugar.  Poppy seeds are oily,  the sugar makes  the process easier.
  2. Grease a medium sized ovenproof dish, approximately 1 quart/1 liter capacity,  25cm x 17cm size with a little butter, and start to preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  3. Slice the bread into disks and place in a mixing bowl or similar.
  4. Put the vanilla seeds and the pod shell into the milk, add the honey and warm to simmering point, add the grated lemon rind.
  5. Remove the vanilla pod shell and pour the sweet milk onto the sliced bread and carefully move the pieces around so they soak th milk up more or less evenly.
  6. Sprinkle with the grinded poppy seeds, carefully fold around to distribute evenly. Finally mix in the sour cherries if using, they are delicious with poppyseeds.
  7. Transfer the prepared mixture into your ovenproof dish, spread evenly.
  8. Dot butter shavings/cubes around the top and bake it 180°C (350°F) for about 15 minutes.
  9. Serve warm with vanillia custard, optional.

3 thoughts on “Hungarian Poppy Seed Bread Pudding

  1. I don’t usually post on recipe blogs, but I just had to say how delicious this was. I made it exactly as the recipe states, and it was just absolutely divine. Making it again this weekend for a friend who doesn’t eat dairy. Thanks so much!

    1. Thanks for the nice comment Hannah, pleased to hear the recipe worked well! Poppyseed desserts are one of my favourites.

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