Poppy Seed Yeast Rolls

mini poppy seed rolls

WARNING: Do not eat these the day before taking a drug test. It’s true.  Eating poppy seeds can result in a positive reading. Check it out on Snopes.com.

But if you aren’t applying for a new job or on furlough from federal prison, I heartily encourage you to introduce yourself to these wonderful little yeast rolls.

Add these to your repertoire if you like poppy seed cake, muffins, or bagels. Try them spread with lemon curd or preserves.

poppy seed with lemon curd

Or take the savory route and make hot ham and cheese sliders–perfect for a party. Whip up these rolls for Easter dinner, and then later, make sandwiches using leftover Easter ham and some honey or Dijon mustard. I think I just planned my Easter menu!  (Which reminds me–I need to pick up a spiral-sliced ham from Costco this week.  They are the best and quite reasonably priced too.)

You don’t have to have a bread machine to make these but it’s easier if you do.  Dump all ingredients in pan and set on the dough cycle. Wait till the dough has risen to double.  Take out of the pan, form into rolls and let rise again until double.  Bake in a conventional oven. Voila!  You have just made yeast rolls you’ll have to tie down to keep from floating off like a cloud. If you prefer to use a heavy duty mixer, see these directions.

And one more thing:  Unlike most homemade bread, these rolls will stay fresh and delicious for 3-4 days.   This is important so I don’t feel compelled to eat leftovers the same day!

dough in bread pan


poppy seed dough sections


proofed poppy seed rolls

Poppy Seed Yeast Rolls
Recipe type: Bread (bread machine)
Serves: 16 rolls
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla nut butter extract or butter extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 cups bread flour (substitute at your own risk)
  • 2¼ teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
  1. Place ingredients in order listed into bread machine. Set for dough cycle. After machine has run about 7 minutes, open the lid and check the dough. If too dry, add water 1 tablespoon at a time. If too wet, add flour 1 tablespoon at a time. When cycle is finished remove from pan to floured board. (If you are a novice bread machine user, check out the mini-tutorial on this post)
  2. Divide dough in half. Cut each half into 8 pieces or 16 according to your preference. Form into balls. See video for an explanation how to form dough into balls. Place in 2 8-inch round or square pans sprayed with vegetable oil.
  3. Cover pans and allow to rise until double in a warm place. May take from 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 11-14 minutes until brown.
  5. Let rolls sit on counter for about 5 minutes. Then turn out onto a towel or plate. Flip upright onto serving plate or tear apart and pile into serving basket.


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Downtown Foodie December 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

Omg, I just made these and they are amazing!! I have made some great bread, but I only tried dinner rolls once (when I was very much a novice), and this is the texture that I have dreamed of achieving. Thank you so much for sharing! I am going to use the basic version of this dinner roll recipe for Christmas. Yuuuuum!!!


Ian May 29, 2012 at 3:35 am

Just want to say that these turned out amazingly well! Everyone enjoyed them at the afternoon tea. I liked them so much I’m going to do them again for a church event in two weeks time and I’ll probably use this loaf version of this at some point too. They worked fine without the butter extract in the end, thanks for the recipe and the advise.


Ian May 16, 2012 at 6:56 am

Hi Paula,

These look great! I’m going to make them for an afternoon tea on Saturday. What was the size and hieght of the square baking tin did you use for the individual rolls?

And will it make too much difference if I replaced the oil and butter extract with 1tbsp butter? (I don’t think butter extract/vanilla nut butter is readily available in the UK). Thanks.


Paula May 16, 2012 at 9:42 pm

I used 2 8-inch square pans that are 2 inches deep. You could also use round pans. I would replace the butter/vanilla nut extract with just vanilla extract, not butter. That extract gives a very specific flavor and also a bit of yellow color. They won’t be quite the same without it but they will still be fabulous. pr


Ela May 4, 2012 at 6:00 pm

The rolls look awesome but I don’t eat poppy seeds how can I adjust the recipe to make just regular rolls. Thanks.


Paula May 6, 2012 at 9:34 pm

I would just leave them out or you could try black sesame seeds. pr


Sue in CA March 19, 2012 at 11:17 am

Hmmmm, I’ve become addicted to chia seeds and wonder if they could be substituted for the poppy seeds? My concern is that chia seeds absorb moisture around themselves and might need to add more liquid?

Have you tried using chia seeds in recipes for breads?


maryjane July 26, 2010 at 6:18 pm

wow thanks now i am scrued!


paul July 8, 2010 at 5:33 am

Mmmmm, 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast.

2 1/4 teaspoons of a bread machine would make it a bit crunchier
and do nothing to make the dough rise 😉


PAUL July 8, 2010 at 5:30 am

WARNING: Do not eat these the day before taking a drug test. It’s true.



Sandy March 28, 2010 at 11:28 pm

I love all of your bread recipes. I will be printing this one out for my new recipe book I am creating with your recipes and the Pioneer Women’s. Keep them coming. I’m lovin it!!!


Elizabeth - Cake or Death March 26, 2010 at 6:27 pm

These look so good! I can imagine how awesome they’d be with lemon curd, yum!


Margaret March 26, 2010 at 8:26 am

I made these yesterday and they came out PERFECTLY. They are my go to roll recipe now.



Sis March 25, 2010 at 8:12 am

Too bad I have sworn off bread for a while. Guess I will just have to quit reading your blog so I won’t be tempted. These rolls look delicious, and I love poppy seed.
What do I have to do to resubscripe for the e-mail notifications?


Amanda March 24, 2010 at 7:16 am

These are completely gorgeous! And I had no idea about the drug test thing! :-O


mike March 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

I was fired from a job because of cocaine use. I kept telling them it was a Lemon Poppyseed Cream Cheese pound cake. Honest. Paula, these rolls, and bread loaf and ….. wow, very impressive. They look like they belong in a book. Were you not a professional chef in this previous life (I think you were). I love these…. copying the recipe!


brian b. March 22, 2010 at 9:46 pm

yummy poppy seed rolls!


Crystal's Cozy Kitchen March 22, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Yum… Poppyseeds! I really love those little things.


Gina March 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

Yum! These look good. You know I love all the bread recipes!


Susan March 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Great looking rolls! I knew about not eating poppy seeds before a drug test. Read about it several years ago. Crazy fact isn’t it!


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