by Anke Perez
(San Antonio, TX)
This is a Silesian recipe, that is traditionally served only on Christmas and maybe New Year. I think it is sometimes also called Mohnklöße, or Mohnkließla, but I know these as something altogether different, a dumpling. The word "pielen" is a dialect word for "rounded", the form the individual serving has when scooped out of the dish.
My Great-grandmother, Emilie Steiner or Steiner-mila as she was called, was from Kotzenau, Silesia and this is her grandmother's recipe, with some variation in the bread, for taste and availability.
She eyeballed the measures but I figured out measures...more or less.
This is a layered bread pudding type dessert and the poppy seeds MUST be ground or the result will be sandy, or grainy and the seeds can't release their oils a nutty flavor.
Note on poppy seed buying:
Go to one of the bulk food stores and before buying, taste a few seeds, if they taste bitter and rancid, or smell unpleasant, they are.
Good Poppy seeds smell Slightly musty and have a nutty flavor. Not bitter or harsh. Grind within a day if using, they turn rancid quickly.
Needs to be made 24 to 48 hrs in advance, so plan ahead. Great to make in advance, one less thing to worry about during hectic holiday prep.
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