Sweet • Sour • Savory

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Smørbirkes - Poppy Seed Roll

Bread, Breakfast, BrunchTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Smørbirkes - Poppy Seed Roll

Smørbirkes - Poppy Seed Roll

Smørbirkes or poppy seed rolls is a classic roll found at most bake shops in the eastern part of Denmark. In Jutland a smørbirkes is a completely different thing.

The rolls are much like a brioche, just without the eggs. It's sweet and soft and pairs perfect with butter, jam and cheese.

Makes 15-18



  • 100 g butter, cold
  • 500 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 50 g fresh compressed yeast (or 4 teaspoons dry yeast)
  • 300 ml milk


  • egg wash (1 egg +2 tablespoons milk)
  • poppy seeds


In a large bowl mix the cold butter with the flour, sugar and salt until the butter is fully incorporated. 

Heat the milk until finger warm and dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add the warm milk to the flour and knead the dough for 5 minutes on the stand mixer, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Let the dough rise covered for about 30 minutes at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 435℉ (225℃).

Gently ease the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough in 15-18 balls, even in size. Roll the ball to a 9-inch (22 cm) log. Using a rolling pin, roll the log longer and flat. Fold dough piece in half, and place it on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the balls. 

Let the smørbirkes rise covered for 10 minutes.

Brush the top part of the smørbirkes with egg wash and sprinkle with a nice layer of poppy seeds.

Bake the smørbirkes for 12-15 minutes until golden brown.

Let the smørbirkes cool on a wire rack and serve them freshly baked, or slightly reheated next day.