My Grandmother used to make these at Christmas and Easter. And would give as gifts. If you use brandy make sure it is something you would drink. My grandma believed 1 in the dish, 2 in the cook. This is a little difficult but well worth it. If well wrapped in plastic and then bagged, freezes well for up to 3 months.
Dough: Cream butter w/sugar until light and fluffy, gradually add eggs beating well in between each addition. Add pinch of salt and heat milk until lukewarm. Dissolve yeast in the milk and add to the other ingredients. Sift the flour and knead dough until smooth and elastic. When kneading dough, be sure to stretch it well and work on a lightly floured surface. Flour hands if necessary.
To test if dough is kneaded enough, press lightly with 2 fingers. If dough springs back quickly it is ready to rise.
Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a cloth and let rise about 1 hr. until doubled in size. Prepare filling while dough rises.
Bring milk for the filling to a boil and mix in the poppy seeds. Cook over low heat about 30 min, stirring frequently. Drain poppy seeds well and blend to a paste in food processor or blender, you may also just leave poppy seeds as is after draining, but is better as paste.
Melt butter and add honey, walnuts, raisins and peel. Add poppy seeds and cook about 15 min. stirring frequently over med. heat
Beat eggs w/sugar until light and fluffy and combine w/ poppy seed mixture. Cook over gentle heat stirring constantly until thicken. Add brandy and set aside
After dough has doubled, punch down and knead for 2-5 min.Divide in half and roll each half out into thin rectangles on a lighlty floured surface. Spread filling on each rectangle and roll up as a jelly roll. Roll up tightly, pinching ends together to seal
Place on a lightly buttered baking sheet and either curve as a horseshoe or leave straight.
Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 40-45 min. or until golden brown. Cool and serve with or without glaze.
Glaze: powered sugar, milk and vanilla or a dash of brandy. Stir until wanted consistancey.