Posted in : Bread on by : MikeZ

Sweet Slovak Dough Balls

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Sweet Slovak baked balls of dough. They are a favorite for Christmas Eve (Velija) and during Lent. Delicious any time of year.
Difficulty: Easy
Cuisine Eastern European
Keyword Breads
Method Oven
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 32 Balls


  • 1 Medium SaucePan
  • 1 Large Mixing Bowl
  • 1 Baking Sheet & Parchment Paper


  • Vegetable Cooking Spray


  • 6 cups AP Flour
  • 2 pkgs. Active Dry Yeast - about 4 1/2 tsp.
  • 2 cups Water
  • 3 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 tsp. Salt


  • ½ cup Ground Poppy Seeds
  • ½ cup Honey


Make the Dough Balls

  • In a medium saucepan, bring Water to a boil. Add Sugar, Salt, and, Butter. Cool to lukewarm.
  • Dissolve Yeast in 1 Tbsp. Sugar and 1/2 cup Warm Water.
  • Preheat oven to 375° F.
  • Place flour in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. Add lukewarm water-sugar-oil mixture and yeast-sugar-water mixture. Combine thoroughly and knead until smooth, about 7 minutes in a stand mixer or 10 minutes by hand. Cover and let rise until doubled.
  • Punch down dough and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough 1/2" to 1" thick and cut into 1" wide strips. Then cut those strips into 1" pieces and roll into balls using the palms of your hands.
  • Place on a parchment-lined or well-floured cookie sheet with the sides of the dough balls touching.
  • Let rise, covered with oiled plastic wrap until nearly doubled.
  • Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  • Spray tops of balls lightly with Cooking Spray and let cool completely.

Make the Syrup and Assemble

  • Grind poppy seeds in a mortar and pestle with a little water or milk and set aside.
  • When the Dough Balls are cool, break them apart.
    If the balls are not crisp and dry on top, you may skip the rest of this step. Place the balls in a colander. Pour just enough boiling water over them to soften but not turn them into mush. Drain well.
  • Transfer the balls into a serving bowl. Pour warm honey and ground poppy seeds over all. Stir lightly and serve immediately.


To make a savory version:  Substitute Sauerkraut and Onion for the poppy seeds and honey.  Rinse 1 Lb. of kraut and squeeze out all moisture.  Sauté a medium Onion in Butter and mix with kraut and baked dough balls.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Substitute Canola Oil for Butter if observing a strict fast.

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