Babka and Mackowiec are East European bakery favorites of mine. Sadly, in today's New York City, where neighborhood bakers are now just a memory, these pastries are usually relegated to hazy nostalgia versus the experience of an actual savory bite. What's a person to do? Make some at home.
Recently I made a batch using a sourdough challah formula from Michelle Eshkeri of The Lavendar Bakery. Look up her challah photos on Instagram. They're amazing, especially those with sourdough. Anyway, wanting a Mackowiec similar to the poppyseed rolls still baked freshly in Brooklyn's Polish Greenpoint neighborhood) I made hybridized version that combined the poppyseeds with honey, walnuts and raisins.