Russian Nostalgia is Maximum, Poppy-Seed Roulette (Roulette s Makom)
I suck at baking so I’ve been trying to force myself to do some. Roulette with Poppy Seeds (Roulette s Makom) was something my mom used to make for us when I was growing up so I wanted to try it out and put a recipe out there. If you’re Russian this should give you nostalgia like crazy, this is one of those throwback dishes that I had to go digging through the old recipe-cards that my mom used to keep in the Rolodex that was written by her mom type dishes. If you’re dating a Russian, know a Russian, want to feel Russian, or whatever…making this will immediately put a smile on any true Russians face.
You’ll have em like
Note – This will make you fail a drug test, so if you’re on probation or are a nurse or something, be careful.
All baking is just a matter of balancing ratios, the ingredients are almost always the same, its just a matter of how much flour to how much fat to how much blah blah. If you’d like you can use a puff pastry and skip making dough, it wont be NEARLY as good so don’t come crying to me when you do it, but it is doable. You will need a meat grinder for this though so if you have one that’s been collecting dust, time to dust it off and bring it out.
Ingredients – Dough
- 2 Sticks Butter/Margarine
- 1/2 Cups Milk (warm)
- 2 packs yeast
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar/Splenda
If you don’t want as dense of a poppy seed flavor then increase the numbers above slightly and make 2 separate roulettes using 3 sticks butter, 3/4 cups milk, 3 tablespoons sugar. 2 packs yeast.
Ingredients – Filling
- 2 Cups Poppy Seeds
- 8 oz, Condensed Milk (just over half a can, taste it as you go for sweetness)
- 4 Egg Yolks
- 1 Cup Raisins (more if you want, personal preference here)
- One egg for the egg-wash.
The reason I use condensed milk instead of just sugar is that it helps make the filling more moist, the more traditional version of this dish just uses 1 1/2 cups sugar, if you’re going for the complete original version (or lower calorie) then sub out the condensed milk for sugar/splenda.
Making the Dough
I’d advise making the dough the day before so it has time to rest and really let that yeast go to work.
Hopefully you have a stand mixer, you don’t need one but it just makes things alot less work. Cube up your butter/margarine into smaller chunks, toss it in the flour, and get mixing.
If you have a mixer, turn your back on it and get the milk, microwave it for around 15-20 seconds to make it warm to the touch, then throw the yeast in and give it a good mix (dont microwave the yeast).
Slowly pour it into the butter/flour mixture, add your sugar/splenda, and let it finish mixing the dough into a nice semi-sticky ball like this.
That’s it. Cover it, throw it in the fridge, let it rest overnight (if you’re in a pinch for time let it rest at least 1 hour).
Preparing the Poppy Seed Filling
…aaand here we go. Preparing the poppy seeds is by far the biggest pain in the ass of this whole process, fortunately you can do it way ahead of time if you’d like, and just bust it out when you’re ready to bake.
Take 2 cups of poppy seeds. (roughly 3 cups in a pound)
Put them in a pot, add a bunch of water. Boil the water. You want the seeds to boil for 30 minutes. We are getting any sort of funk out of them, and we are moisturizing them so the next step in the process works.
When you’re done, pour the seeds/water out into a cheese cloth (or anything that seeds wont pass through) and let them drain/cool off.
Once they’ve drained and aren’t steaming hot it’s time to get busy. Pull out that meat grinder and set up a bowl underneath it. You will need to pass all those poppy seeds through the grinder. You may be asking “Hey can’t I just use a blender or something?”. You might be able to get a really ghetto version by using a blender but it will more than likely powderize the seed which inst what we want, we just want them broken. Once you’ve passed them through the grinder, its time to grind them again. Yes it requires two passes through the grinder, don’t cry about it, just do it.
For reference I took a closeup of three poppy seeds. On the far left is no grinding, middle is once ground, right is twice ground. You can see the unground seed is very birdseed like. It doesn’t stick together well. The once ground is looking better but not quite what we want. The twice ground seed has the consistency we want where if you squeeze it, it will cling together.
Put the poppy seeds in the mixer (or a big bowl and get ready to be messy). Add your condensed milk/eggyolk/raisins etc. and let the mixer do its thing in combining it. Once its all spread out then you’ve made your filling and its time to make a roulette.
Baking the Roulette
Pretty basic, just need a couple tips so its not a complete failure. Put some flour down on whatever surface you are using and use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, make sure its not wider than the pan you’re going to use to bake it. The flour will keep the dough from sticking to your surface, so keep a good amount of flour handy to keep throwing around.
Once you’ve got it to the length you want, then just evenly spread the poppy seed filling across it.
GENTLY roll it up, this is kind of the moment of truth so be really careful with tears. It’s not a big deal if you have a small tear in the middle, no one will see it.
Transfer it ever so carefully to a pan that has alittle spray oil on it.
Get a small bowl, beat an egg into it, and using a brush give the roulette a nice wash with the egg. Coat it all over.
Using a fork, poke alot of holes into the roulette (all the way through), just be gentle when pulling it out. It has a tendency to hit a raisin and want to rip the raisin through the dough. Just put two fingers on the dough along the fork so you can use some leverage to keep the raisin under the dough.
That’s it, preheat your oven to 350 degrees, toss it in, and let it bake for 45 minutes. It should come out a nice golden brown like this.
This is one of those dishes that is best served room temp, so let it cool off. I almost prefer it a day later after its been sitting around for a bit, but I’m weird like that.