Place the poppy seeds in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for 1 hour.
Stir together milk, sugar, shortening, and salt. Stir until shortening melts. Cool mixture to lukewarm. Mix yeast with 2 cups flour; mix into milk mixture. Stir in eggs. Work in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth. Place in a well oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover, and let rise until doubled in size.
Drain poppy seeds well, and put through the finest blade of a grinder 3 times. Cream butter or margarine and honey. Add cream, and stir in poppy seeds, nuts, raisins and grated peel. Add more cream if necessary to spread thinly over dough.
Deflate dough, and divide in half. Roll each half to a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Spread with poppy seed filling. Roll up, jelly-roll fashion, from long edge. Slice each into 12 pieces, and place cut side down in greased 9 inch round cake pans. Let rise until doubled in bulk.
Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 18 to 20 minutes.