Poppy seed bread pudding (Mákos guba)

Photographer: Adam
Serves 8

And here is Balint’s second recipe…
“Pronounced “MAH-kosh GOO-bah”, this no-fuss Christmas dessert combines simplicity with Hungarians’ love of consuming poppy seeds in quantities that would be considered bordering on the illegal in some other countries… but the powerful taste of these tiny black seeds is nicely offset by the lightness and sweetness of milk and honey. Great if you want a foolproof dessert that feeds many and requires no complicated techniques or fancy ingredients.”


1.5 loaves of French stick bread (slightly stale and dry is best)
650ml milk
20g butter
150g poppy seeds
grated zest of one lemon
a few drops of vanilla extract
150g icing sugar
liquid honey (approx. 4 tbsp)


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C on Bake or Fan Bake. Grease a deep baking pan or glass baking tray with half the butter.
2. Melt the other half of the butter in a saucepan, then add the milk, icing sugar, a few drops of vanilla extract and the grated lemon zest. Warm it up on a medium heat, stirring often.
3. In the meantime, slice up the French stick bread (approx. 1.5 cm thick slices). Arrange the slices in a flat container and pour the hot milk over them. Soak the bread until the slices are soft, but not mushy. If necessary, turn the slices over to ensure they are evenly soaked through.
4. Remove the slices and arrange them in the baking pan. Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, or until the bread becomes slightly drier.
5. While the bread is in the oven, grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder.
6. Remove the bread from the oven, sprinkle the poppy seed mixture on top, drizzle with about half of the honey, then put it back to bake for another 5 minutes or so. Serve warm, drizzled generously with honey or a dusting of icing sugar.