Joyce Shane of Avon recently visited Hungary where she tried a poppy seed cake. She was hoping one of our readers had either a German or Hungarian version. Holly Meeker sent in this recipe that she says is not a true cake as we Americans think of cake, but a yeast bread. She also notes, "If anyone is interested in buying the right tool to grind poppy seeds, you will find it in the King Arthur Flour Baker's Catalogue or online at www.bakerscatalogue.com. This isn't a cheap tool; it's more than $50 dollars. ... I don't know if any other kind of grinder will work. I'd say the best bet is to buy canned poppy seeds in the baking isle at your local grocery store and skip the thickening and sweetening steps in the recipe and just use the canned filling. For those that want to be true to the recipe you'll have to buy the grinder to break the tough outer shells of the poppy seeds."
To make filling, heat 2 cups milk in saucepan. Add poppy seeds; let stand 10 minutes. Dissolve cornstarch in remaining 1/4 cup milk. Add cornstarch mixture, butter and sugar to poppy seed mixture. Cook slowly until thickened; cool. Add in egg yolk, peel and nuts. Or just substitute 2 cans of poppy-seed filling and add in the egg yolk, peel and nuts.
To make dough, grease a baking sheet. In a large bowl dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in the water. Let stand until foamy. Beat in butter, 1/4 cup sugar, eggs, milk, peel and salt. Beat in 2 cups flour. Let stand 10 minutes. Add enough flour to make a soft dough. Roll out dough to a 15-inch by 12-inch rectangle, 1/2-inch thick. Spread filling over dough. Mark lengthwise the center of the dough. Roll each side to center. Place on baking sheet. Cover and let rise 25 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake 1 hour or until golden.