Elegant Poppy Seed Bread Rolls Made Easy with a Bread Machine

Sneak Preview: These Poppy Seed Bread Rolls are light and airy yeast rolls with a touch of sweetness. Use a bread machine (or stand mixer) to mix and knead the dough, then bake them in your oven. (A dairy-free and egg-free recipe.)

Poppy Seed Rolls split open with lemon curd on the side.Pin

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If you are a poppy seed fan, you will want to add these Poppy Seed Bread Rolls to your repertoire. Try them spread with lemon curd or preserves.

Three Reasons Why This Recipe Belongs in Your Repertoire

  1. These are simple poppy seed yeast rolls without a filling, glaze, or fancy shaping. Instead, shape your dough into simple balls (see the video below).
  2. Use them to make hot ham and cheese sliders. Perfect for a party. 
  3. Whip up these dinner rolls for Easter dinner. Later, make sandwiches using leftover Easter ham and some honey or Dijon mustard.
  4. These rolls are dairy-free
  5. Make these with the DOUGH cycle on your bread machine. If you don’t have a bread machine, see the recipe notes for alternative instructions.

Happy Bakers Speak Up

“I made your Poppy Seed Dinner Rolls recipe this morning. Oh my. They are soooo delicious. I followed your recipe to the tee. The extracts, especially the Cake Batter extract, truly shine through. I cannot say enough of how wonderful this recipe is. “JOAN G.

How Can I Use a Bread Machine To Make Rolls?

You don’t have to have a bread machine to make these, but it’s easier with a bread maker.  First, dump all ingredients into the bread machine pan and select the DOUGH cycle. Wait until the dough has doubled in size before removing the dough. This is how I do all of my bread machine recipesmix the dough in a bread machine and bake it in my oven.

Next, remove the dough from the pan, form it into rolls, and let them rise again until almost double. Bake in a conventional oven. Don’t worry. All the details are in the recipe.

Voila!  You have just made yeast rolls you’ll have to tie down to keep from floating off like a cloud.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • WATER: Tap, filtered, or spring water will all work. The water doesn’t have to be warmed. The friction of the bread machine blades will warm the dough in a hurry.
  • OIL: Vegetable oil could include canola, avocado, or other lightly-flavored oil.
  • CAKE BATTER EXTRACT: This secret ingredient gives the dough a golden color and sweet flavor. It’s readily available in most large grocery stores under the McCormick brand. This extract is also specified in my Hawaiian rolls.
  • SALT: I use table or sea salt in my bread recipes. If you use Kosher salt, add ¼ teaspoon more. Please don’t cut out the salt entirely, even if you’re trying to reduce salt in your diet. Cut back slightly and see how it goes. Salt is important for flavor and as a partner with the yeast.
  • SUGAR: Use granulated white sugar.
  • POPPY SEEDDS: Did you know that freezing poppy seeds significantly prolongs their freshness? Otherwise, they can go rancid in a hurry.
  • FLOUR: The recipe specifies bread flour, but it’s fine to substitute all-purpose flour. Your rolls won’t be quite as chewy. I have not experimented with whole wheat flour.
  • YEAST: If possible, use bread machine or instant yeast. It’s the easiest.

poppy seed rolls on a white serving dishPin

One more thing:  Unlike most homemade bread, these rolls will stay fresh and delicious for 3-4 days. This is important– then I don’t feel compelled to eat all the rolls the day I make them.

Using a Bread Machine To Make Poppy Seed Bread Rolls

Poppy Seed Rolls--dough in bread machine panPin
Weigh the ingredients, and add them to the bread machine pan. Select the DOUGH cycle.
Poppy Seed Rolls--before making ballsPin
When the dough doubles in size (usually when the DOUGH cycle is done), please remove it from the bread machine pan to a floured surface. Divide the dough into 16 equally-sized portions and form into balls.
Poppy Seed Rolls--rising in the panPin
Arrange rolls into a 9-inch square pan. Allow the shaped rolls to rise until almost double before baking.

Bake at 350˚F (180˚C) for 11-14 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 190˚F (88˚C). After removing them from the oven, turn the rolls onto racks to cool. Otherwise, you might get soggy bottoms.

Answers to Your Questions About Poppy Seed Bread

What do poppy seeds do for a recipe?

They add texture and nutty flavor and lend an interesting appearance.

Can I make the dough for these rolls a day ahead of time?

Yes. After the DOUGH cycle finishes, place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, take the dough out of the refrigerator and let it warm slightly, then shape the balls and let them rise until puffy and almost double their original size. Bake them as directed in the recipe.

Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.

poppy seed rolls on a white serving dishPin
Yield: 16 rolls

Elegant Poppy Seed Bread Rolls Made Easy with a Bread Machine

Poppyseed Bread Rolls are lightweight dinner rolls with a touch of sweetness. The seeds add interest and texture. Make with a bread machine, stand mixer, or by hand.

Rate this recipe

(5 stars if you loved it)

5 from 6 votes


Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Rising Time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 45 minutes


  • 1 cup (227 g) water (cool)
  • ¼ cup (48 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cake batter extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon table or salt
  • 3 tablespoons (36 g) granulated sugar
  • tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 3 cups (360 g) bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast


  • Place ingredients in the order listed into a bread machine: 1 cup (227 g) water (cool), ¼ cup (48 g) vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 teaspoon cake batter extract, ½ teaspoon almond extract, 1 teaspoon table or salt, 3 tablespoons (36 g) granulated sugar, 1½ tablespoons poppy seeds, 3 cups (360 g) bread flour, and 2 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast Select the DOUGH cycle.
  • During the first minute, the lid and check to ensure the paddle(s) are installed correctly and the dough is clumping.
  • After 15 minutes, open the lid and recheck the dough. It should stick to the sides, then pull away cleanly. If too dry, add water one tablespoon at a time. If too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time. When the cycle finishes, remove the dough from the pan to a lightly floured surface. See the video to find out how to fix the dough if necessary.
  • Leave the dough in the machine until the end of the DOUGH cycle. It should double in size. Pull the dough from the bread machine pan onto a lightly floured work surface. I like to use a silicone baking mat because I can toss it into the dishwasher when I’m done.

Shaping the dough:

  • Lightly knead the dough and shape it into a smooth ball. Divide the dough in half. Cut each half into 8 pieces. Form into balls. See the video for an explanation of how to form dough into balls. Arrange the balls into two 8-inch round or a 9-inch square pan sprayed with vegetable oil.
  • Cover the pans and allow the rolls to rise in a warm place until almost double in size. The proofing period may take from 30 minutes to 1 hour. (Don’t watch the clock. Let the rolls be your guide.)
  • About 15 minutes before you think the rolls will be ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350˚F (180˚C).
  • Bake rolls for 11-14 minutes until golden brown. The internal temperature should reach 190˚F (88˚C).
  • Let rolls sit on the counter for about 5 minutes. Then turn out onto a towel or plate. Flip upright onto a serving plate or tear apart and pile into a serving basket.


  • To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer:  Add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using a dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3. Continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic (about 5-10 minutes). Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • If making by hand: Combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Knead with your hands until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. This will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate the dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
  • Please note: You can substitute active dry yeast. Dissolving it first is optional. It tends to rise slower in the beginning but will catch up eventually.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 135kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com

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Recipe Rating


  1. Hi Paula!
    just finished my third batch of these wonderful rolls (although the batch before this one I just made into a loaf… wonderful with Irish butter and raspberry preserves!)
    such a GREAT recipe! followed it to a “T”.
    Question: I love the combination of poppy seed rolls with lemon. I’m thinking a lemon/butter/ powdered sugar icing? or would you recommend lemon extract added to the bread dough?

    1. I love these, too. Combining lemon with poppy seeds is one of my favorites. Have you seen my lemon poppyseed scone recipe?

      I’m not crazy about lemon extract, but you might like it. How about some lemon zest in the dough combined with lemon juice in the icing? That would be my recommendation. But have fun trying anything you like.

  2. Lindsey Miller says:

    Can I bake the bread as a load in the bread machine?!

    1. Hi Lindsey,

      It’s so nice to hear from you.

      Yes, you can try baking this loaf in your bread machine. I can’t make any promises about the quality of the crust, the texture of the crumb, and the overall appearance. But maybe you’ll get lucky, and it will work just fine in your machine. You just have to try it. Be sure to follow my tips about checking the moisture content as the dough kneads.

  3. Does the full recipe make 16 rolls or 32? I only want 16, so wondering if I need to halve the recipe.

    1. Hi Betty,

      A full recipe makes 16 rolls. Thank you so much for taking the time to write and ask. I have corrected the recipe. I think you will love these rolls. Have a good week!

  4. 5 stars
    These rolls are the BEST I have ever tasted. I am an experienced bread maker and must say, these will WOW you over. I did not change a thing. If you follow the recipe, you will be so pleased and will want to make them again tomorrow. In my opinion, the extracts in this recipe bring out the extreme flavor of perfection. The texture is remarkable and the dough is very easy to work with. Paula, this is superb. Thank you, thank you for sharing. 10 star rating. Joan

  5. Hi Paula, I made these poppyseed rolls this afternoon and they have come out exactly as in your excellent photos. I’m having so much fun with my bread machine again since finding your lovely site, so thanks once again for another delicious and easy recipe….half of them already eaten, and half in the freezer for another day. x

    1. I’m thrilled to hear this Elaine. This is one of my favorite recipes, especially for chicken salad sandwiches.Thanks for writing.

  6. Where do I find just vanilla, can I omit it and just put vanilla extract? Also, how can I make this using the oven, since I don’t have a bread maker?

    1. Hi Mimi,
      You can definitely bake this bread in an oven. I always do that, even though I use a bread machine to mix and knead it. I added specific instructions for people who don’t have a bread machine in the notes of the recipe.

      You can use vanilla extract only. However, the vanilla butternut is easy to find at Walmart or you can order it online. It really makes these rolls special.

  7. Downtown Foodie says:

    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!!!

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

    1. Ian,
      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

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

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

  11. Sue in CA says:

    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?

  12. wow thanks now i am scrued!

  13. 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 😉

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

    IS FALSE!!!

  15. 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!!!

  16. Elizabeth - Cake or Death says:

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

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


  18. 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?

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

  20. 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!

  21. yummy poppy seed rolls!

  22. Crystal's Cozy Kitchen says:

    Yum… Poppyseeds! I really love those little things.

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

  24. 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!