New This Month

Poppy-Seed Twists

Good taste that tastes good: These savory poppy-seed bread twists are not only delicious, but they can also anchor place cards at each setting.

  • Yield: Makes 16 twists



For the Dough

  • 3 packages (2 1/4 teaspoons each) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 1/4 sticks cold unsalted butter

For Filling and Topping

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 generous pinches flaked sea salt, such as Maldon
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons poppy seeds


  1. Make the dough: Whisk yeast into milk in a small bowl until dissolved. Add egg, sugar, and salt. Gradually stir in flour. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 5 minutes.
  2. Roll out dough into an 11-inch square. Cut 6 tablespoons of butter into very thin slices and place on bottom two-thirds of dough. Fold top one-third of dough over (like a business letter), then fold over again to make three layers. Transfer to a baking sheet, drape with plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Place dough with a short side facing you and opening on the right, like a book. Roll out dough to a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Cover bottom two-thirds with 6 tablespoons butter, fold into thirds as in step 2, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough again; repeat process with remaining 6 tablespoons butter.
  4. Add filling: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to an 11-by-16-inch rectangle. Spread 8 tablespoons softened butter on bottom two-thirds of dough and sprinkle with sea salt. Fold top one-third of dough over, then fold over again to make three layers.
  5. Add topping: Place dough with a long side facing you. Brush top with egg, then sprinkle with poppy seeds to cover, gently pressing seeds into dough. Cut dough in half crosswise, then cut each half into 8 slices. Twist each slice, pulling slightly to form a tight spiral or a loose knot. Place on parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets, pressing on ends to secure shape. Drape with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm spot until puffed, about 15 minutes.
  6. Bake, one sheet at a time, until a deep golden brown, about 18 minutes, rotating once halfway through. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks before serving.

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