Being a woman over 50, I find myself starting to reminisce about food from my childhood. It was bound to happen, right? Nut rolls and Poppy Seed rolls, along with Kolachi’s filled with apricot, cherry, or plum jam, were a part of the Holiday season for me growing up. My Mom and Dad used to make them just about every year, and it was a BIG project. I can remember that my 3 brother’s and I stayed clear of the kitchen when this was going on, because it was just so intense! They had to be made just right; the dough had to be rolled out thin (which was not easy), and there was no scrimping on the filling. Sticking with the basic recipe was important: no raisins in the poppy seed filling! Once my Mom put coconut in the nut filling, and well, let me just say that Christmas was not very special that year.
I spent months trying to get the perfect recipe; from my old boyfriend’s Mom, to hours online researching all the many and complicated recipes that are out there, watching YouTube videos of these rolls being made, studying old cookbooks on my shelves, until finally, my Mom came through and gave me a recipe that she used which was given to her by her best friend’s cousin’s Mom, who made my Mom swear not to give it to anyone until she died. This is the recipe I want to share.
I hesitated for many months. I thought they would be so time-consuming and difficult. Being the baker that I am though, I decided it was high time to try. And besides, my Dad really wanted me to make them, and even bought me a grinder online that cost a lot of money. It didn’t work at all, so please don’t order it! They emailed the company, Otto’s Import Store and Deli, asking for a refund and are still waiting to hear back from them, so don’t use them! I ended up grinding the poppy seeds with a small amount of the sugar in my inexpensive Black and Decker blender and guess what? It turned out fine.
Oh, before I forget, I also ordered bulk poppy seeds online from a company and they were rancid. The company is called NutsOnline and they were not very nice when I called them to ask about their return policy. I hate returning things, and of course, I had to pay the postage. I am happy to recommend Mountain Rose Herbs though, which is an online source of many quality herbal products, teas, and oils. What a pleasant experience ordering from them! I did put the poppy seeds in the freezer when I got them, which I think is a good thing, since they do tend to go bad quickly.
So here is the recipe: Good luck! Have fun because they are so good and they are not really difficult!
Sally’s Poppy Seed or Nut Roll Recipe
In a big bowl, whisk the following together:
7 cups Flour
1 t. Salt
¼ cup Sugar
Then cut up 8 ounces Butter and with your hands, incorporate the butter into the flour mixture until it is mixed in.
Now add in 8 ounces of Sour Cream, and blend it in.
Then, add ½ cup lukewarm milk (a little at a time), and mix in.
In a separate bowl, whisk:
1 ½ packages of dry Fleishman yeast,
½ teaspoon sugar, and
3 ounces warm water
Wait about 5 minutes until it foams & then add this to the flour mixture.
And lastly, add 3 beaten eggs, a little at a time, mixing in. Let dough stand for about an hour, covered and in a warm spot.
Then cut into 6 parts and put a tea towel over the dough to cover for another 1 hr. (or double in size)
Roll on flour and powdered sugar surface and fill with either of the following:
FOR 6 rolls: use 5 lbs. ground walnuts OR 2 lbs. grounded poppy seed
(You can add yellow raisins to the nut filling: soak in hot water first)
In a big bowl, for every 1 pound (around 4 cups) of ground Walnuts or Poppy Seeds,
add 1½ cups Sugar, and
2 T. Butter, melted
Scald 1 cup Milk & add little at a time to the filling mix until you get a nice, spreadable consistency.
If it thickens before used, just add more milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
ROLL OUT each dough ball on a little bit of flour and spread filling to edges. Roll up like a jelly roll. 3 rolls should fit on a pan. Cover each pan until the rolls rise a bit.
Then poke the tops with a toothpick. I washed the tops with an egg yolk wash. If you don’t, then sprinkle powdered sugar on top when they come out of the oven, after cooling a bit.
Bake for around 40-45 minutes. Enjoy and share!