These knotted lemon poppy seed rolls are lovely, light sweet rolls, filled with lemon sugar and topped with a tart and sweet lemon glaze.
If you are a lemon lover, these knotted lemon poppy seed rolls are a fun and delicious bake.
These pretty lemon sweet rolls are filled with lemon sugar and poppy seeds, baked up in moist, light dough, tied into pretty knots and topped with a lemon glaze.
- Note that this recipe calls for a “starter dough”, that is a small amount of dough that is mixed up and allowed to sit for a few hours. So you’ll want to plan for this and prepare the starter dough early in the day, then you’re ready to shape and bake in the afternoon. This process develops great flavour in the dough.
- You can make these ahead and freeze them, if you like. I would probably freeze them without the glaze, then glaze before serving.
- If you prefer, you can skip the glaze and dust with icing/confectioners’ sugar, instead.
Shaping the Knots
Don’t be intimidated by the shape. It’s super easy and I’ve included some shaping photos below for you, as well to show just how easy it is!
Get the Recipe: Knotted Lemon Poppy Seed Rolls
- 1 cup (125 g) flour
- 1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- All of the Starter Dough
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) milk
- 1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 1/4 cup (57 g) butter, softened
- 3 cups (400 g) flour, plus more as needed
- 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- 3 Tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
For brushing dough:
- 4 Tablespoons (57 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup confectioners’/icing sugar
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- For the starter dough: Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 4-5 hours.
- For the final dough: Add the starter dough to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading hook. Add the yeast, milk, sugar, salt, egg and butter to the bowl. Mix to combine. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix to combine. Add additional flour 1/4 cup at a time until you have a smooth, moist dough. Remove dough to a greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 45-60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine sugar and lemon zest for filling in a small bowl and set aside.
- Prepare a large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Remove dough to a floured surface and roll into a rectangle 12x16 inches. Brush dough with melted butter, then scatter sugar/zest mixture evenly overtop. Sprinkle poppy seed over-top. With the short edge of the dough closest to you, fold the top half of the dough down and over the bottom half, making an 12x8-inch rectangle. Using a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, cut the dough into twelve 1-inch wide strips.
- Take one strip of dough and holding both ends, twist 5 or 6 times. Tie your twisted strip into a knot, then take the two loose ends and tuck them underneath, pushing one end up through the centre of the knot to secure. Place on parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining strips of dough. Cover baking sheet with a tea towel and let rise until puffy, 30-40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375F (190C). When buns are puffy, bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- For the glaze: Stir together icing sugar and lemon zest until smooth. Add additional juice/sugar as needed, to make a glaze that will easily fall off a spoon. Drizzle over cooled buns and allow to set.
More Lemon Baking Recipes to Love!
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
I would really like to make these, however, the 4-5 hour won’t work for me. Could I put the starter in the fridge overnight and continue from there? How would you suggest I continue from there?
Hi Karen and you can just leave the starter out on the counter overnight and pick up the recipe from there the next day.
Hi there! Can these be frozen?
Hi Denise and yes, these should freeze well!
Hi Jennifer, we love your recipes. For this one should I warm the milk for the starter dough?
Hi Nardene and thanks :) No need to worm, but room temperature would be ideal if you think to take it out ahead before adding the yeast. Enjoy!
what type of flour should be used? All purpose or self-raising? Xx
Hi Katherine, you should use regular all-purpose (plain) flour for these knots :) Enjoy!
How would you recommend freshening a frozen roll? Freeze before baking? Or after? Thanks so much!
Hi Shana, I always thaw frozen (baked) rolls in the original packaging, then a few seconds in the microwave to just warm. I usually freeze after baking.
Such delicious knots! These look irresistible and would be perfect for Easter! :)
Thanks Laura :)
Awww, these sum up spring in a second! Can’t believe we’re there already. These look absolutely amazing. Can’t wait to try them!
Thanks Cindy :)
These are everything I want right now! And so perfect for Easter!
Thanks Annie :)
I would love to eat the whole tray Jennifer! Love the step by step instructions! These look incredible!
Thanks Mary Ann!
What gorgeous rolls Jennifer! I love the lemon sugar filling and that glaze too. Such a perfect addition to the upcoming Easter weekend :) Scheduled and pinned!
Thanks Tricia :)