Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Polish Nut Roll

In my area of the world, these rolls are served at every holiday.  When I was a little girl, my mother made this recipe and I always loved it.  I made 8 of these a few days ago and sent them off to friends and sent a bunch to the after school kids.  Interestingly, they had never heard of them before.  Another eye opener for me.  That's like saying you live in Philadelphia and never heard of a cheese steak or you live in Maine and never ate a blueberry.  I was shocked but then I thought about it and you know, walnuts are very expensive. Maybe they've never had them because of how expensive they are to make. They know what they are now!
 First you make the nut mixture.  This recipe makes 2 rolls.

2 lbs. ground walnuts
1 cup milk
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 T. butter
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mix this in a heavy pot and cook for 5 minutes stirring constantly.  Cool before using.

 I sit mine by a slightly opened window to cool while the dough rises.

 For the dough:

2-1/2 tsp. rapid rise yeast
1-1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup softened butter
2 eggs well beaten
4-1/2 to 5 cups flour

Pour milk, eggs, yeast, butter and sugar in your mixer bowl. Gradually add the flour and salt and knead it until you have a smooth dough.  This dough is sticky and does not rise much.  Place it in a buttered bowl, cover it and let it rise for about 1 hour.

 Divide it in 2 pieces and roll each one out to about 1/8 inch thickness.  Brush it with melted butter.

 Spread it with half of the nut mixture.

 Roll it into a log.
 Place it seam side down on a parchment covered cookie sheet, cover it and let it rise another 30 minutes.

 Bake it in a 375 degree oven for about 50 minutes until it registers 190 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven, brush with butter and let it cool on a rack.

 These rolls are huge so you can really cut them in half if you are giving them away.

 My first batch came out pretty dark.

 So, I covered the next batch half way through with foil and they came out much lighter.

You can freeze these easily.  Also, wrap them in plastic and keep them in the fridge.  The flavor actually gets better after a day or so.