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Ricotta Cream Poppy Seed Pull-Apart Bread

This a delicious pastry filled with rich creamy ricotta, bright orange marmalade, and savory poppyseeds will make a visually beautiful centerpiece to your brunch spread or dessert table. It brings a lot of visual flair while adding flavor to your holiday spread, although it is wonderful enjoyed any time of the year with coffee!

Time: 30 minutes

Poof Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10-inch to 12-inch round loaf

Serves: Party Size



Braided Bread:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk lukewarm
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 5 tablespoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 large egg, whisked, for brushing on top

Ricotta Poppyseed Filling:

  • 1 cup Frigo® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
  • ¼ cups orange marmalade
  • 1 (1-ounce) container poppy seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Orange Rum Glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 1 orange zest


In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt together. In a medium pan, warm the milk up to lukewarm. Turn heat off and add the yeast, sugar, egg, and vanilla. Pour the milk mixture into the flour and knead for a few seconds until the dough starts to come together. With the mixer on low, add the butter tablespoon by tablespoon. Scrape the edges of the bowl down and continue to knead the dough about 5-7 minutes (or approximately 10 minutes by hand) until the dough is smooth and elastic. Shape the dough into a ball, brush with a bit of oil and allow to proof in a lightly oiled bowl covered with oiled plastic wrap. Place in a warm area of your kitchen and let rise for 2 hours or until it doubles in size.

For the filling, mix the Frigo® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese and marmalade until well combined in a bowl. Stir in the poppy seeds, cardamom, nutmeg, and salt. Keep off to the side until the bread has proofed.

For the glaze, mix the powdered sugar, rum and orange zest in a small bowl. Set to the side for the final step.

Once the dough has doubled, knead for one minute quickly. Flour your work surface and roll the dough into a ¼-inch rectangle. Spread with filling onto the dough, leaving a ½ inch around the edge. Starting with the long side, roll up the dough like you would a burrito. Then use a knife to cut down the center, leaving a 2 inch intact piece at the top of the dough, careful not to slice parchment. Take one end in each hand and twist them one over another until the ends meet. Pinch both ends together and tuck underneath the twist. Transfer the dough to a parchment lined sheet pan.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and then cover the twist with oiled plastic wrap and allow it to rise in a warm space for 30 minutes.

Whisk an egg in a small bowl and brush on top of your twist. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Be sure to check the twist 15 minutes before the end of baking time to make sure it isn’t browning too fast. You can cover lightly with foil to prevent it from burning.

Remove the twist from the oven and let cool slightly. Mix up your glaze just before you pour over your warm bread. Serve promptly.

Rad Remix:

Braid into a star.  After the dough has proofed, divide the dough into four equal parts and shape into spheres. Roll three of the four dough balls out on separate pieces of parchment paper into a roughly 10-inch circle. Spread the surface with 1/3 of the Ricotta Poppy Seed Filling, leaving a 1-inch border empty, then set aside.

Layer the three layers of Ricotta Poppy Seed Filled dough on top of one another. Roll out the fourth and final dough ball onto a piece of parchment paper, then flip it upside down on top of the third sheet of dough, peeling off the top layer of parchment paper and pressing around the edges gently to seal the two layers of dough together. *Do not spread the Ricotta Poppy Seed Filling on the top layer.

Place a 3-inch bowl or lid of a jar in the center of the circle as a guide, and cut the circle into 16 equally-sized slices, leaving the center 3-inch connected. Twist the slices in pairs away from each other. Then pinch the ends of each pair together. Set the star aside to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place. Transfer the braided star onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and lightly brush the star with the egg wash. Bake in the oven until deeply golden and puffy, about 30 minutes.

Filling inspiration:  When you feel inspired to change up the filling and make variations of this bread look no further than your pantry and refrigerator.

      • Savory: Mix Frigo® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese with pesto, marinara, fresh herbs, and/or sliced cured meats.
      • Sweet:  Mix Frigo® Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese with any jams or jelly, lemon curd, chopped nuts, dried fruit, sliced or small diced fresh fruit.