Poland: Sweet Rolls

Posted by on Sep 16, 2014 in Recipes | 11 comments

Today on our VeganMofo world tour we visit Poland!

I travelled to Warsaw for the first time in November last year and absolutely fell in love with the city.  It’s dynamic and has an exciting energy (perhaps that’s because I spent time with some really awesome young feminists). But I would never want to live in Poland: the country is deeply Catholic and the church has way too much sway on politics. One of my dear friends is the deputy speaker in Parliament and she’s been struggling for women’s rights in this country for decades, but there is still a long way to go. For example, abortion is highly restricted and even when women are in desperate need of it because of threats to their health or life, it’s almost impossible to access. 

One of the things I love to do when I get to any city is just walk around and explore.

On the streets of Warsaw

On the streets of Warsaw

In the small windows of time I had to do that, I think I must have traversed half of the city! 

Old City Square

Old Town Square



The old town is gorgeous.

Berries & colorful houses in the old city

Berries & colorful houses in the old town

A bear with a shield with Tutenkhamun on it? Okay...

A bear with a shield with Tutenkhamun on it? Okay…

Art and sculptures adorn the city streets. 

Madame Curie Museum

Madame Curie Museum

Gorgeous, colorful old buildings stand with grace along its winding, maze-like streets.



Old Town

Old Town


One of the many old churches in the old town

And on weekends markets abound selling homemade foods, crafts, preserves and gorgeous polish pottery (I only wish I bought more!). 

Believe it or not, Warsaw is home to an amazing vegan movement. I ate like a queen at the catered lunches at my meetings there. And the number of vegan restaurants is astounding, with some of the best gluten-free vegan food I’ve eaten anywhere!  I made it my mission to hit as many as I could, but there were quite a few that I still didn’t make it to. 

Outside my favorite restaurant in Warsaw, Veg Deli

Outside my favorite restaurant in Warsaw, Veg Deli

Afternoon treat!

Afternoon treat!

Veg Deli, all vegan and gluten free, was my absolute favorite. They served mostly Polish classics and it was all really great. 

A meze platter at Marrakesh

A mezze platter at Marrakesh

Marrakesh Café and its sister restaurant Tel Aviv serve delicious Israeli and Mediterranean-inspired food, most of it gluten free. As you can see, I seriously indulged there.  The gluten-free bread alone at Marrakesh was worth heading there, but the spreads and shwarma were just stunning. 

Best vegan burgers ever!

Best vegan burgers ever!

And for the best vegan burgers ever, including with good gluten-free options, you can’t miss Krowarzywa!

Today, I’m bringing you a vegan, gluten-free version of a traditional Polish treat: sweet rolls.

Polish sweet bread!

Polish sweet rolls!

I saw these at the breakfast buffet at my restaurant and they looked spectacular, but of course were not vegan or gluten free.  They are similar to a danish, but with bread instead of puff pastry.  And to make them just a little more decadent they are usually topped with a crumble and powdered sugar or a water glaze. They could be eaten for breakfast or dessert, or a snack anytime really. 

Sweet bread with raspberry jam and water glaze

Sweet roll with raspberry jam and water glaze

I made half of them with a sweet cheese filling and half with raspberry jam. I made the cheese from scratch; it’s incredibly easy to do, it just needs to be prepared a day ahead. I provide the recipe below. But you could substitute it with a vegan store-bought ricotta instead if you like! Either way, they are really, really yummy!

Yum! Cheese sweet bread with powdered sugar

Yum! Cheese sweet roll with powdered sugar

The recipe does take a bit of time to pull it all together, but don’t let that put you off. It is really worth it! 

Polish Sweet Rolls
Yields 8
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Total Time
24 hr
Total Time
24 hr
  1. 1½ tsps yeast
  2. ¼ cup warm water
  3. ½ tsp coconut palm sugar
  4. 2 tbsps coconut palm sugar
  5. ½ cup warm vegan milk of your choice
  6. 1 tbsp earth balance buttery sticks, aroma-free coconut oil, or other vegan butter substitute
  7. Egg replacer for one egg (I used ener-g egg replacer)
  8. 1½ cups gluten-free flour mix*
  9. 1/4 tsp salt
Cheese filling
  1. 1 cup cashews, soaked 4-6 hours
  2. 2 tbsps lemon juice
  3. Contents of two vegan probiotic capsules
  4. Pinch of salt
  5. Up to 1/2 cup of water, as needed
  6. 3 tbsps of vegan powdered sugar
  7. 1/4 tsp of vanilla powder or 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  8. Equivalent of 1 egg yolk (I used 1 tsp of the Vegg powder mixed with 2 tbsps of water) (optional)
Jam Filling
  1. 1/2 cup any good quality jam
Crumble (optional)
  1. 1/4 cup of all-purpose gluten-free flour
  2. 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar
  3. 2 tsps earth balance, other vegan margarine or aroma free coconut oil
Egg glaze for pastry (optional)
  1. 1 tsp vegg powder
  2. 2 tbsps water
  3. 2 tbsps coconut milk
  4. OR
  5. Soy milk
Water glaze (optional)
  1. 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  2. 2-4 tsps boiling water
Cashew cheese
  1. In a blender, add soaked cashews, lemon juice, probiotics, pinch of salt and a 1/4 cup of water to start and blend until you achieve a cottage-cheese like consistency.
  2. Add more water as necessary to get the right texture.
  3. Place cheese in a ball jar, cover with cheesecloth, and allow to sit in a warm place for up to 12 hours.
  4. The cheese should be ready when it has bubbles, that show signs of fermentation, and when the curds and whey have begun to separate. You could leave it for a couple of hours longer, if needs be.
  5. When the cheese is ready, place the curds in a nut-milk bag or cheesecloth, and strain to remove excess whey. You want the cheese to be fairly dry.
  6. Take half a cup of the cheese, add powdered sugar, vanilla powder and egg yolk equivalent, if using, and stir to combine.
  1. Place yeast in warm water, along with coconut palm sugar and set aside to allow it to activate and become nice and fluffy.
  2. Mix together the coconut palm sugar, vegan milk and earth balance until sugar has dissolved and vegan butter has melted.
  3. Combine gluten-free flour mix and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Add yeast mixture, milk mixture and egg replacer and stir to combine. The dough should be nice and sticky.
  5. Set aside in a warm place for an hour or two to allow the dough to double in size.
  1. Add flour, sugar and earth balance to a small bowl and mix together using your hands until it begins to stick together and form a crumb.
Egg glaze
  1. Combine all ingredients and stir until smooth.
Water glaze
  1. Combine icing sugar and boiling water, a teaspoon at a time, until the sugar completely dissolves and it forms a nice paste. You can add more or less water to make the glaze thinner or thicker, but be careful not to add too much!
Putting it together
  1. Once the dough has doubled in size, turn it out onto a heavily floured surface and with floured hands shape into eight round buns.
  2. Place the buns on a parchment lined baking sheet with plenty of space between them and set aside for 30 minutes or so to allow them to rise and again about double in size.
  3. Using the bottom of a floured soup ladle, make a depression in each of the buns.
  4. Add a generous amount of the sweet cheese to half and jam to the other other half.
  5. Top with crumble, if using.
  6. Allow to rise for another 30 minutes while you preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Brush "egg" glaze on to the edges of the bread.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the bread has lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into one of the edges comes out clean or with just a few large crumbs.
  9. Allow to cool completely.
  10. Drizzle on water glaze using a spoon or icing bag or sprinkle on powdered sugar.
  11. Eat right away!
  1. * I use a gluten-free flour mix that is made up of 2 cups of Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour, 1/2 cup of arrowroot starch and 11/2 tsps of xanthan gum and I find that works nicely for just about everything! Alternatively you could use any gluten-free all purpose flour mix you like, just make sure to add a tsp of xanthan gum too if it is not already included!
  2. You'll have a bit more cashew cheese than you need for this recipe, but that's okay. It's a very mellow tasting cheese that is great on or in any number of things!
Vegan Sweet and Simple http://vegansweetandsimple.com/
Like most gluten-free treats, they are best when eaten right away.  They will be a bit harder the next day, but you could just put them in the toaster oven for a few minutes to warm them up and they’ll be super yummy (although the glaze will melt!). 



What a treat! 

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  1. the sweet rolls look really good, something i would enjoy with tea!

    i like wooden horse/unicorn sculptors. i also like the road side shrine and old church – thing i like to seek out on walks.

    • The perfect treat with tea! I adored the horse sculptures. I wanted to bring one home with me!

  2. Great pictures & the sweet rolls look delicious! :)

    • Thanks! :)

  3. That all looks beautiful! My husband went to poland years ago and was introduced to the jam-in-beer drink :)

    • Jam in beer? I would *never* have thought…

  4. wow, I had no idea Warsaw had such a happening veg scene! how cool. Your sweet rolls look so lovely. :)

  5. OMG the bear, I love him! Reminds me of the armored bears in His Dark Materials.

    The sweet rolls look good too!

    • The bear is awesome! And so are the sweet rolls!

  6. What’s the Polish spelling of the jelly filled rolls? Sounds like POONSCHKI.

    Thanks, MATT

    • Not sure! I think these ones are called drozdzowki.

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