Mákos guba, a Christmas classic in Hungary, is bread pudding with poppy seeds. Poppy seed is a favorite ingredient all over Central-Europe and there are many dessert recipes in the Hungarian cuisine that call for poppy seed. In our family we love poppy seed and mákos guba has always accompanied our Christmas Eve dinner.
Mákos guba is easy and quick to make and the recipe below is very simple to follow. In Hungary we use day-old, dry kifli, a crescent-shaped pastry, but you can use any type of roll or bread. Traditionally honey was used instead of sugar.
(makes about 4 portions)
8 pieces of dry kifli or rolls
1½ cup of poppy seeds
3 cups of milk
1 cup of sugar
1 vanilla sugar
Fine-grind the poppy seeds in a coffee grinder, add to the milk and heat up the mixture. Add the sugar and the vanilla sugar. Bring it to a boil and set aside to cool. Cut the bread into small pieces (about 1 inch thick). Put the bread pieces into a large bowl and pour the milk over it. Set aside for about 10 minutes and let the bread absorb the milk. Serve with icing sugar or honey drizzled on top.
Even such a simple dish has many variations. For example, if you like raisins, you can add ½ cup of raisins into the poppy seed-milk mix. Another favorite version is to top it with vanilla pudding or custard.
Enjoy and bon appétit! (Jó étvágyat!)