2 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 lb butter
2 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon grated mace
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
6 cup (to 7) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 mary's poppy seed filling
1 (separate recipe)
1 1/2 cup ground nuts
1. Sprinkle the yeast over the water; add the sugar and let sit until bubbling, about 10 mins.
2. In heavy saucepan, heat the butter and milk over moderate heat until the milk is warm and butter is melted.
3. In a bowl, bread maker or in a heavy-duty electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is light and thick. Add the milk-butter mixture, yeast, mace, salt and lemon rind.
4. With wooden spoon, or in a bread mixer equipped with a dough hook, beat in the 6 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time. If the dough seems liquid, beat in some or all of the remaining flour. When the dough is too thick to mix with a spoon, or it pulls away from side of the mixer, turn it out on a floured board. Knead 8 to 10 mins until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky. Place in a butter bowl, turn to coat completely, cover with kitchen towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 1 to 1 1/2 hrs.
5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and cut into 6 large pieces. Divide each piece into 12 small ones.
6. Form walnut-sized balls by rolling dough on surface with your palm. Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheets. Brush each ball with melted butter. Let rise 30 mins or until almost doubled in size.
* Heat oven to 400 F.
7. With your finger, press a nest in the center of each ball, so that the dough forms a shell 1/2 inch thick. Fill with your poppy seed filling. Top with a sprinkle of ground nuts. Let rise until light, about 10 mins. Bake for 10 to 15 mins, or until browned.
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