Holiday Nut Rolls

Polish Potica

This is my Christmas tradition! Baking these nut rolls. The funny thing is my mom made these when I was growing up. Every year it was a tradition. It was an all day long project for her! I think she must have doubled the recipe and made 12 rolls! I know she used a different recipe than this one. This one is my mother in law’s recipe. I am not even sure if my mom’s recipe was written down. Both are equally good, but my mom’s recipe didn’t use egg whites in the filling, she used milk. I think this is one of those recipes that has changed and can still change over time and yet still be delicious. I would like to think my daughter’s might make them someday, so I am glad to have finally put together a written recipe that is legible! My mother in law’s handwriting was hard to decipher, and I think she left out some parts. She made them every year too. And even made them with poppyseed filling on occasion I am told. I love traditions. This one is my favorite because it always reminds me of my mom and my mother-in-law! Enjoy!

Where to start

Begin by making the filling first. Start with grinding the walnuts in the food processor, making sure they are finely ground. Put them in a large bowl, and set aside. Next, separate the eggs. This recipe uses 6-8 large eggs. You will need one cup of egg whites for the filling, about 6 large eggs. Beat the egg whites until frothy add the cream of tartar and vanilla. I use a whisk attachment for my mixer. Add the sugar and continue whipping until fully incorporated, about 5 minutes. Remove from the mixer and fold into the reserved walnuts until completely mixed. Set aside.

Filling

  • 2 pounds ground walnuts (I use a food processor for this, you want the nuts to be finely ground)
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 6-8 egg whites (enough for one cup)

How to make the dough

Start by measuring out all of your flour into your mixer bowl. Next in a 2 cup measuring glass, measure one cup of luke warm water (not hot) and sprinkle both packages of yeast into the water and stir. I add a tablespoon of sugar to the yeast mixture to help it activate, set aside and let this rise until it measures to 2 cups.

In a small sauce pan, warm the milk (don’t let it scald) and add the butter and 2 TBSP of sugar until it melts. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature before you add it to the flour. In an other separate bowl, beat egg yolks with a whisk and then add the sour cream and beat well.

In your mixer, fitted with the dough hook, add 6 cups of flour, the egg mixture and the yeast mixture and milk & butter. Keep mixing until the sides come clean. You may need to add more flour until it comes together, but not too much or it will be too elastic.

Dough

  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 6-8 egg yolks beaten
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 packages of yeast

Do you let the dough rise?

After the dough is mixed, turn it onto a floured surface and roll into a shape of a log. I use a large plastic knife and separate the dough into 6-8 evenly measured dough balls depending on how big you want your nut rolls. Try to make them all about the same weight and size. The dough has already been kneaded, so you don’t have to worry too much about doing that again. Once they are separated, put them on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cover them with a towel. Let them rise about 20 minutes.

The tricky part-rolling out the dough

The dough is soft, and rolling it out is not that hard, but the tricky part is measuring the filling to make sure you have enough for all of them! You can use about 3/4 to 1 cup of filling for each roll. Roll out each dough ball into a rectangle on a floured surface. Roll it out as thin as you can get it. Carefully spread the mixture so you don’t tear the dough. I usually put about 5 dollops around the dough so it makes it a little easier to spread. Then with your fingers, begin rolling the dough beginning from the long side. Start with a tight roll, and slowly roll it to a log form, and place it on a parchment lined cookie sheet seam side down.

Baking the nutrolls

Preheat your oven to 350°. Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the nut roll seam side down. With the leftover egg yolks, mix with 1-2 TBSP of water to use to brush on top of the rolls. This will give them a glossy top and help them brown on top. Then poke about 4-5 holes in the top of each with a sharp knife so the steam can escape. Otherwise they will explode in your oven and the filling will fall out! (Believe me, this has happened to me before!) Brush with egg mixture and bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown on the top. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack until completely cooled. Slice into one inch rolls and enjoy!

Do they freeze well?

Absolutely!! This is the best part! They take a lot of work to make, but do freeze well. Wrap tightly in freezer paper, and they can be frozen up to 3-6 months. Take out and let defrost on your counter before slicing.

Ingredients
  • 2 pounds ground walnuts (I use a food processor for this, you want the nuts to be finely ground)
  • 2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 6-8 egg whites (enough for one cup)
  • 6-8 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup warm whole milk
  • 6-8 egg yolks beaten
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 sticks of softened unsalted butter cut into cubes
  • 2 packages of yeast

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the filling. Ground 2 pounds of walnuts with a food processor. Put into a large bowl, and set aside. Place one cup of egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk egg whites until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, and the vanilla. Slowly add the sugar until it is mixed thoroughly and it is bright white and thick. Pour the egg whites into the walnuts and mix until combined. Set aside.
  2. For the dough, measure 6 cups of flour in your mixer bowl. In a 2 cup measuring cup, measure 1 cup of warm water and sprinkle 2 packages of yeast into the water, along with one tbsp of sugar, mix well and set aside.(Let the yeast begin to activate before you put it into your flour, I let it rise to 2 cups before I put it in the flour) In another bowl, whisk together 6 egg yolks and sour cream and set aside. In a small pot warm the milk and add the butter until it melts, add 2 TBSP of sugar and mix well. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  3. Next, with your dough hook attached to your mixer, mix the flour, add the yeast mixture, the egg mixture and the milk mixture to the bowl. Continue mixing until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add more flour up to another cup until it comes together.
  4. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and roll into a log. Separate the dough into 6-8 equally measured balls, place on a parchment lined cookie sheet and cover with a towel. Let rise 20 minutes.
  5. Roll out each dough ball into a rectangle shape. Spread about one cup of filling on each one. Roll up and pinch the ends closed. Brush with egg, and poke about 5 holes in each. Bake at 350° for 20 to 30 minutes, rotating once in your oven. Slice and serve, or freeze.

Published by Patchworks.studio

Hello! My name is Lori. Welcome to my blog! I love comfort food! The old fashioned recipes that I grew up with! I love DIY projects! Refinishing something in my house, or finding antiques or something at the thrift shop and turning into something new again. I hope I can inspire you to try a renovation, craft, or recipe in your home.

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