In Lithuania, the main celebration is on Christmas Eve. The meal, known as Kūčios, consists of 12 meatlessdishesand typically includes herring, sauerkraut, potatoes, mushrooms, beetroot, carrots and stuffed eggs. For dessert there is a stodgy cranberry drink known as kisieliusandbite-sized biscuits called kūčiukai made with poppy seeds.
Since childhood many of us have called these yeasty tidbits “šližikai”, although strictly speaking, this is not a Lithuanian word. They are eatenfromdessert bowls with poppy seed milk poured over them. “Šližikai” are easily made ahead of time, as are most “Kūčios” dishes.
450 g flour 180 – 200 ml warm water (not hot!) 2 tablespoons poppy seeds 6 tablespoons sugar 10 g fresh yeast 2 tablespoons oil pinch of salt
Add salt, the rest of flour, oil, poppy seeds. Mix everything. Knead the dough until it stops stick to your hands. Place the dough in bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm place until it has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place kūčiukai on the baking sheets lined with baking paper and bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.