Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls

Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls

We all love our sweet rolls, especially us food bloggers. We love to see them with savoury fillings, sweet fillings, candy fillings, it doesn’t matter. If it can be stuffed in a bread roll we will give it a go! But I have decided to be a little more normal this time and to celebrate the arrival of Spring I have gone for the classic flavour combination of lemon and poppyseed.

But these are not your typical sweet rolls, yes the recipe is pretty much the same, and the method for making them doesn’t differ greatly, but I wanted a sweet roll that was a little more portable and lunch box friendly. So with a little rethinking of things I came up with these Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls. 


Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls


Sweet rolls are one of the ultimate tear and share breads, but they are terrible for taking away and snacking on later at work. So to get around this issue, once I cut these up and left them to rise, I spaced them out far enough away from each other on the baking sheet so they didn’t really touch during baking.

The result? A sweet roll that can be taken away and eaten on the move! Heaven 😉


Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls


I added the poppyseed’s for a little crunch and because they add a nice earthy undertone to the bright zesty sweet and sour lemon. The lemony sugar filling boosted even more by lemon zest is bright and sharp and sweet all at the same time.

If you are a fan of lemon then these rolls are for you. Light enough to be a snack but filling enough to keep away mid morning hunger pains!


Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls


Lemon and Poppyseed Bread Swirls
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A slightly different take on sweet rolls, these are baked to be eaten on the run! Perfect for breakfasts on the go, mid morning snacking and lunch boxes. Dotted throughout with poppyseed and filled with a sweet lemony filling.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: British
Serves: 8 rolls
For the dough
  • 200 mililiters milk (1/2 cup and ⅓ cup)
  • 75 grams unsalted butter (3/8 cup)
  • 7 grams fast action yeast (1 scant tablespoon)
  • 500 grams plain (all purpose) flour (3 and ¼ cups)
  • 2 tablespoons poppyseed's
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 large egg lightly whisked
For the filling
  • 55 grams unsalted butter - softened (1/4 cup)
  • Zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 120 grams sugar (1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons)
For the dough
  1. Gently heat the milk and butter in a small saucepan, take it off the heat as soon as the butter has melted. Leave it for a few minutes until it has cooled a little then add in the yeast and leave it for at least 5 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, or using your stand mixer bowl add in the flour, poppyseed's, salt, and sugar and give it all a mix together.
  3. Return to your yeasty milk mixture and you are looking to have it all bubbly, this is showing you your yeast is live and active. Add in your whisked egg and very gently mix it into the mixture.
  4. Pour the liquid into the centre of the dry ingredients and work everything together.
  5. If you are using a dough hook and stand mixer it will take you between 5 to 6 minutes and if doing it by hand it will take you between 7 to 10 minutes to get the desired consistency of an elastic smooth dough.
  6. Leave the dough to sit for 10 minutes, this will give the gluten a little time to relax.
  7. When the 10 minutes are up, roll out your dough to a rectangle of approx. 24 x 48 cm in size.
For the filling
  1. In a small microwavable bowl, microwave your butter for 30 seconds. You want it soft but not boiling.
  2. Spread the butter all over your dough.
  3. Using the same bowl pour in the zest, lemon juice and sugar and give it all a good mix.
  4. Sprinkle this lemon sugar all over the butter.
  5. Using the long edge closest to you, gently roll up the dough into a long sausage. Using a sharp knife, dental floss or your weapon of choice cut the roll into 8 good size rolls.
  6. Place them on a large baking sheet at least 3 inches apart and allow them to rise in a draft free warm place. Till they have doubled in size, about an hour.
  7. Once ready preheat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4.
  8. Once your oven is at temperature pop them in the centre of your oven for 15 minutes or until they are a lovely golden colour, and have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.
  9. Take them out of the oven and allow them to cool right down before eating them.
  10. Like most baked good these are best eaten on the day of baking but can be kept for up to 4 days in an airtight tin.


Author: Emma

Always Vegetarian and sometimes Vegan. I'm a Sugar & Banana addict. I make healthy treats when I have just inhaled my body weight in sugar!

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    • Hi Maureen, thank you. There is something lovely about lemon and poppyseeds together.

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  1. Like most people I love a bit of lemon and poppy seed action, Shall be adding these to my to-make list. Love your recipes, their dead easy to follow!
    Emma Invites you to read…Simple Maple GlazeMy Profile

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    • Hi Emma, thank you I do try to keep thing easy, there are far to many fancy pants complicated recipes around without me adding to them!

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    • Hi Jessica, thank you. They do make a lovely breakfast treat 😀

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  2. Hi Emma, your rolls look beautiful, perfectly portioned and swirled! I am a big fan of lemon so I will definitely have to give these a go. Speaking of interesting fillings, now that Easter is fast approaching, how about a hot cross bun swirl? 😉

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    • Hi Julie, thank you. A hot cross bun swirl sounds amazing! I could definitely go for some of them 😀

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  3. Thank you Emma, for sharing this recipe with me. I would like to try and bake these with Glutin free flour and another kind of sweetner. What do you think?
    Ruth Invites you to read…Sweet Potato Veggie Stir FryMy Profile

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    • Hi Ruth thank you 😀 I am sure you could use gluten free plain flour! As for sweetner I am sure you could use another one but experimentation would need to be made.

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  4. You had me at “sugar”! 🙂 I’ve gotten really bad with midday snacking lately, and you’re right – it can be hard to find snacks to carry to work without continuously munching all day! Thanks for the new idea!
    Brianna Invites you to read…Puppy Chow CupcakesMy Profile

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    • Hi Brianna, thank you. I love on the go snacks and a lot of the best treats going are not very portable. Thats why I love these so much 😀

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