Nut Roll Recipe
This nut roll recipe hails from an old family friend and is a Christmas staple. It only requires one rise, so it’s easy to churn out a ton of nut roll!
It’s Christmas week and we need to talk nut roll!
I’ve seen this called nut roll, Hungarian nut roll, Slovak nut roll, Polish nut roll, kolache, even Pittsburgh nut roll, which blew my mind when I saw it! I didn’t realize they were so synonymous with this region, but that makes me just plain giddy. Whatever name you go by, traditional nut roll is a soft sweet dough that is filled with a sweet walnut mixture. It basically tastes like Christmas and it wouldn’t be the holidays without devouring an embarrassing amount of nut roll.
I originally shared this nut roll recipe with you nearly six (SIX!) years ago, and SO MANY OF YOU have made it year after year for the holidays, which just makes me so ridiculously happy. In that time, however, I’ve received a lot of questions about two very specific components of this recipe: (1) the use of cake yeast; and (2) some issues with the dough splitting open and filling oozing out during the baking process.
I’ve gone back and re-worked the recipe a couple of times to help troubleshoot those issues, and I’ve got you covered!
My mom gave me the recipe card for nut roll, which hails from her best friend of a gazillion years, Cheryl. I just adore old handwritten recipe cards 💗
Okay let’s dig into the specifics of this recipe. First up, the yeast…
The original recipe calls for cake yeast, which is typically sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery store near the butter. When I first began making this recipe, I bought cake yeast all the time, however, it hasn’t been stocked in my regular grocery store for some time now, and it sounds like the same is the case for many of you.
I recently made a batch of this nut roll substituting active dry yeast and I had no issues whatsoever. One fresh cake yeast is equivalent to three packages of active dry yeast, so you’ll see that substitution option listed in the recipe below. The most important difference to keep in mind is that the temperature of the water needs to be different based on the type of yeast you use. For fresh cake yeast, you’ll want a lower temperature to activate the yeast, while the active dry yeast requires a higher temperature.
Next up is the issue of the dough splitting and the filling oozing out. I think I have this one figured out!
The last time that I made this, instead of adding all of the flour, I added a little at a time and then stopped once the dough was no longer sticky, and I still had quite a bit of flour left. And what do you know? Those rolls had perfectly smooth dough from start to finish on ALL of the rolls – no cracking, splitting or filling spilling out. I’m convinced that the issue had to do with the dough being too dry and, as a result, cracking and splitting, which can cause the filling to come out.
The exact amount that you use will vary wildly depending on the time of year, the ambient air temperature and humidity levels, but definitely go with a little flour at a time, and then stop periodically to feel the dough as you near the end of the flour. It shouldn’t be sticky, but should still be quite soft and supple.
So that’s it! This is my go-to nut roll recipe and has been for years, and I hope I’ve made it a little bit easier for you to tackle it. At first glance it might look like a lot of work (8 nut roll!) but it’s really not a lot of hands-on time and they only require one (long) rise, so totally doable. I made my Christmas batch last week and managed to get them totally mixed and assembled in an hour while Joseph was at preschool and Dominic was napping. I left them to rise and baked later that afternoon. Done!
You can buy nut roll from bakeries and tons of churches in this area around the holidays, but I’m always surprised once I dig in and tackle them at how uncomplicated they are. If you’ve been too intimidated to try nut roll before, have no fear! I’ve also successfully scaled this recipe, so if you don’t need this many nut roll, feel free to cut it in half.
In a word, this nut roll recipe is spectacular. Too often I’ve had nut roll that are doughy and dry and/or don’t have enough filling. The dough for this recipe is very, very soft, and the filling is supremely moist. Plus, the filling-to-dough ratio is very high, which keeps everything from drying out and packs a ton of flavor into even the smallest of slices.
I hope you’ll give these a try and that they become one of your Christmas traditions as well!
Five years ago: Ho Ho Cake
Six years ago: Chocolate Bourbon Balls
Nut Roll Recipe
For the Dough:
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ cup (125 ml) warm water
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) cake yeast or 3 packets (6¾ teaspoons) active dry yeast
- 6 eggs
- 16 ounces (453.59 ml) sour cream
- 2 cups (454 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- 9 to 10 cups (1.13 kg) grams all-purpose flour
For the Filling:
- 3 pounds (1.36 kg) walnuts, finely ground
- 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
- ¾ cup (170.25 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- ¾ cup (192 ml) evaporated milk
- ½ cup (122 ml) whole milk
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- Make the Dough: Dissolve 1 teaspoon sugar into the ½ cup warm water (if using fresh cake yeast, the water temperature should be between 90 to 95 degrees F; if using active dry yeast, the water temperature should be 120 to 130 degrees F). Crumble the fresh yeast or sprinkle the active dry yeast and stir to combine. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes, or until foaming.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the sour cream, melted butter, sugar, vanilla, salt and the softened yeast. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well-combined, about 2 to 3 minutes. Switch to the dough hook, reduce the mixer speed to low, and add the flour a little at a time, until the dough does not feel sticky but is still soft and supple. Continue kneading until the dough does not stick to the sides of the bowl. Cover with a damp dish towel while you prepare the filling.
- Make the Filling: In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the filling, stirring well to ensure that it is completely mixed and all of the ingredients are incorporated.
- Assemble the Nut Roll: Line four baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Divide the dough into eight pieces. On a clean work surface and one at a time, roll each piece out into a 9x14-inch rectangle, using flour if necessary to keep from sticking. Spread one-eighth of the filling to within ½-inch of the edges. With the long side in front of you, roll up gently and pinch the seams shut. Place on the prepared baking sheets, 2 rolls per sheet. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Repeat with all eight pieces of dough. Place the baking sheets in a draft-free area and allow to rise for 3 hours (the rolls will puff and swell but will not look huge).
- Bake the Nut Roll: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake one pan at a time for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are lightly browned. Cool completely before slicing. Wrap leftovers tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 week. The nut roll can be frozen by wrapping in plastic wrap, then again in foil, and stored in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature.
- If you do not have a stand mixer, you can mix and knead this dough by hand.
- You can cut this recipe in half to make only four rolls instead of eight.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This recipe was originally published on January 10, 2011.
My aunt Karen used to make these at Christmas time when i was young. She also made an apricot roll. I made these and the turned out wonderful. Thanks for the memories.
Coming from an Italian family and a mom who loved to bake, I can be a bit of a baked good “snob”. (No store bought pies allowed in my house-ha!) This is officially my go to recipe. THE best! And I love that it makes enough to share with my family and that it turns out perfect every time. It’s an Easter treat for everyone this year!
I have an old recipe from my 89 year old aunt from Pittsburgh. This is very similar, however mine did always split. I live at high altitude. Will that make a difference. Please respond before I venture into this again.
I have a question. I’m not very good at making dough, so I substitute refrigerated pizza dough instead. It works well but the dough being rolled up is either too doughy on the inside or the outside of the crust is “stiff” and difficult to cut. I bake it at 350F for 25 minutes. Can you recommend something that will make the dough bake well but not become stiff or hard.
Quick question! I made this and while the taste was great, I found the dough to be really oily to work with. It never seemed to reach that “soft” dough phase, but I was too worried about adding too much flour, so I stopped at the 9 cups. Has this happened to you before?
I used Rhoades frozen bread dough and saved a lot of time! Let the dough rise then rolled it out. Mixed the walnut mixture and spread on dough. Rolled up and used a little melted butter to help keep dough together once rolled then brushed melted butter on top. Bake two rolls for 25 minutes. Delish! May Add cinnamon to nut filling for an extra spice!
My mother in law has been making Kolache for years, and it’s the only Christmas sweet my husband will eat. I came across your recipe and thought I’d try it out during Covid, when I knew we wouldn’t be seeing his family. I substitute pecans for the walnuts as I have a little sensitivity to the oils in the walnuts and it still tastes great! My husband thinks that this recipe is almost as good as his mom’s!
I have used this recipe for the last several years! My family loves this recipe. The only thing I changed was add another 16oz of walnuts and another cup of sugar for filling. I only let sit for about 1 hour so the dough is thinner. And I get more of the filing taste then dough. Ty for sharing this recipe years ago!!
Hands down best tasting dough I’ve made many of your recipes and they’re always fantastic
My father had a recipe for a nut roll that he used to make with his mother. Dad would visit his mom in Germany and return with 4 or more nut and poppy seed rolls in his suitcase. I had the recipe for ingredients; however, next to nothing in the way of instructions. As I look over the recipe and the pictures it appears to be very close to what I remember as a kid. Thanks to the brown eyed baker I am going to try to reclaim a piece of our family’s Christmas table that has been lost for years.
Could u please put the recipe for half this way it will be perfect for me not good at doing it myself thank you so much.
Something Is wrong with this recipe. I weighed all of the ingredients to the recipe. All of the rolls split open at the sides oozing the filling onto the pan. After 25 minutes I removed them from the oven , a medium brown, none of them were cooked through. A waste of time and money.
Hi, I have made this recipe for Christmas every year since 2018.
It is a great recipe. I do make 16 nut rolls instead of 8, easier for me to handle and then I’m not giving someone 1/2 a nut roll. I have also made this recipe using 1/2 the ingredients, very easy to do so. I have a friend who cannot have walnuts so I make the filing with pecans instead. I also use ready made poppyseed filing that I buy at a Polish market. I also wrap the rolls in parchment paper before I bake them, that helps to hold them together and helps stop cracking during baking.
I’ve been using this recipe for 4 years and it has become a staple for the holidays. Absolutely delicious recipe with easy to follow directions. My family anxiously awaits my baking day.
I made this recipe last year it turned out great. I’m not sure what I did wrong this afternoon, this year I used my new stand mixer that I got for a gift, the dough was really sticky no matter how much flour I added.I had mixer on medium before I realized it, put it on low after could that have done it? I threw out the dough, I want to try it again but kinda nervous about it.
I would like to try this but only 1/2. So it would be 1/2 of the listed teaspoon amount of yeast?? Also do you need to prick rolls with fork prior to baking?
avoid using brown sugar that has been softened using apple slice i ruined 6 nut rolls because they were dry
I’ve made this every year for the Christmas season and it’s absolutely incredible and perfect in every way! I need to make a version without dairy, refined sugar, and gluten for guests this year and am wondering if you think I could pull it off still, referencing your recipe- any suggestions?
I made there yesterday, made a 1/2 recipe let me tell you they are Definitely Delicious 😊I did add more vanilla then it called for ! The texture and the nut feeling is fabulous oh and the last one I rolled up
I did add some honey, we will be enjoying theme on thanksgiving day with my family …. I can’t thank you enough for this recipe there so close to the ones my mother in law use to make 🎄😊🦃
This recipe is really good and I like only 1 rise, I made it last year, I kneaded it by hand and it came out wonderful,my son got me a kitchen aid stand mixer that Christmas. I’m looking forward to making it for the holidays. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe. Marie
I have been looking on Pinterest for a nut roll recipe for two years. My mother was Slovak and her previous church women made these rolls with nuts, poppy seeds, or lekvar. They were beautiful and delicious. Each one of my siblings got to choose their special flavor. The nut roll slices always had a place on my mom’s holiday tray. This recipe is the only one I could find with exact ingredients and clear cut instructions. Thank you so much. I will comment again after I make them this Christmas 2022!
Our company has been flipping homes in Federal Heights for years and it’s getting harder to sell houses
Can you use instant dry yeast in these nutrolls
I have a different recipe from you for nut rolls that I had issues with everytime. I would lose a good bit of filling even though my filling recipe wasn’t as wet as yours. Now I’m seeing a different recipe online and can’t find the original. Why have you changed it? I contacted you about the splitting and you told me the splitting adds character. I use cake yeast and your old recipe has it dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water. Thats it. No sugar.
This recipe is THE BEST recipe. My 89 year father in law, who is my heart, says they taste like his mom’s. I make poppy seed roll for him with this recipe. Thank you for sharing and helping me to bring a memory to him!
I have made this recipe wth every flour on the market only King Arthur reg all purpose flour produced rolls that did not split following this recipe EXACTLY. I have since learned through MANY OTHER baking attempts NOT ALL FLOURS are the same. Now I use ONLY KING ARTHUR which is the closest to Old World flours our Grandmas used.
do i have to prick the tops of the nut roll before baking
I have made a different version of nut rolls several times over the years but used this recipe this year instead, and I was delighted by the results. The nut rolls came out better than any I have ever made in the past and everyone who received one from me had been raving about how good they were. I made a bath of 8 nut rolls, but today I am about to bake a second batch because they are just that good.
One thing I would note is my nut filling came out way to stiff following the recipe, and I added some milk beyond the recommended amount, in order to make it more easily spreadable. If that happens, it’s no big deal. You have to get the proper consistency in order to be able to spread the filling without pulling the dough out of shape after it’s rolled out.
Additionally, I appreciated how the author made note of how to tell that the dough is not too dry, so as to eliminate the problem of the loaves splitting open during baking. This has always been a challenge in the past. I found that I had to add a little more flour than the recipe called for, because my dough was still clinging to the sides of my mixer bowl after I gradually added the specified amount. For each batch of 4 loaves, I had to add about an additional half cup of flour to get the dough right, using about 5 1/5 cups. But my nut rolls came out perfect, with no splitting. This recipe will be the one I use from now on. Thank you for a really great recipe.
Oops. (typo in the last paragraph above):
It should say I used 5 1/2 cups (not 5 1/5)
yes I made this and we loved it, was so afraid it would not turn out or stick to the counter, after I got the nuts on rolled up beautifully, printed and keeping recipe, made 4 nut rolls,and we loved them
I made this nut roll recipe twice and both times they did not turn out for me. After baking, the dough was crumbly and the rolls split. The first time I made them, they split while baking. I had always liked the recipes on this site, so I decided to try to make them again. The second time I made them, they split before I even put them into the oven. I followed the recipe like a chemist, measuring each ingredient perfectly. I was happy with the dough – it was nice and easy to roll out. I really don’t know what happened, but I will be looking for a different nut roll recipe.
I made these for the first time today and they are delicious! I rolled too thin at first and those split a little but then I got the hang of it. The filling is to die for and I don’t even like nuts.
My Polish grandmother always made nut-roll during the holidays. I’ve always been afraid to try it until a few years go when I came across this recipe. It is delicious and easy to make. I made the recipe as written but have learned a few tricks while making it this year that worked for me. Before my dough completely pulls away from my mixing bowl, I take it out and knead additional flour into it just until it’s no longer sticky but soft and elastic. I used just over 9 cups of flour but ended up making only 7 rolls. My first few rolls, I rolled the dough to thin and ended up “patching” the thins spots. I love a fuller nut roll so I had a fairly thick layer of nut filling. When I applied the filling, I patted it onto the dough rather than spreading it. That way, I wasn’t pulling or tugging on the dough. This dough was so easy to work with. I didn’t have any problems making the rolls. I didn’t have any of them break open during the baking process. I believe the fact that my dough was soft and elastic helped keep them from splitting open.Thanks for an awesome recipe. This is one I’ll be making for years to come!
This is the 2nd time I have made this recipe. Just as good the 2nd time. Thank you
I made this today and it turned out fantastic! Tasted just like the ones my grandmother made when I was little.
Flavor is great but I’ve never made anything that looked so ugly! Dough rolled out nicely, filling was yummy but after proofing they were rather flat and didn’t get any better with baking.
Unfortunately, I made the 8-roll recipe!
I will try it again only the 4 roll recipe!
I’ll keep you posted…
I have searched so long for this recipe! I live in Pittsburgh but grew up in Cleveland. Something happened to the Hungarians here because what they pass off as an Hungarian nut roll is bread and not at all what I remember it being! THIS recipe is what I remember getting at my gramma’s house. Thank you, thank you! I was beginning to think I was crazy. I can’t wait to make this.
Jackie, I’m with you! My grandparents immigrated to Cleveland from Poland. This recipe is spot on to what my grandmother made or what we could buy at Hough Bakery. All my polish aunts also made the best nut roll. I have a friend who lives in Eastern Ohio who would buy nut rolls from Pittsburgh bakeries and they are NOT the same!!!
I wanted to comment on my first time making the nut rolls and the problem with them splitting during baking.
By the way this is a wonderful detailed recipe. I moved from Pittsburgh Pa 15 years ago and every Christmas I miss the nut and poppy seed rolls. So with your recipe I felt confident I could do this. I mixed up 1/2 recipe of the dough, ended up with between 3/4 to 1/2 cup flour left over, dough was soft and not sticky, so was very confident they would turn out. Careful weighed out the dough and nut mixture in grams so they would be equal. The dough rolled out easily hardly needed any extra flour. Made my 4 rolls, let them raise, baked the first pan of 2 rolls, took them out of oven, they were perfect, so lovely with no split. Baked the next pan, took them out of the oven, oh,no, both of them were split. Since everything was equal concerning amount of dough and nut filling, what did I do different with the second pan? Then I remembered after rolling up the nut roll on the second 2, I pulled the edge around the finished roll to make sure nut filling was encased and then pinched the dough together. On the first 2 rolls I did not stretch the dough at all, just pinched the dough together where it rolling ended. So I’m thinking that the stretching of the dough caused it to be stretched too thin and tight and it had no give as it rose and baked, causing it to snap open, kind of like an overstretched rubber band. So now I will need to try another batch to see if this is true. Which isn’t really a bad thing to have to do! Thank you for add a bit of fond holiday memories with this recipe!
Love you blog and all the photos of your beautiful family. I have been a avid follower since the beginning.
Delicious, although no matter what I do they split. This year I thought I had the dough perfect- it felt just perfect!- and yet they split yet again. But they taste just like I remember, so I can’t be too upset. Trouble is I am too embarrassed to share them when they look so bad… so we’ll be eating all of them at home… There are worse problems to have?
I mark my board with a magic marker to the size I need for this recipe. It could be some may be rolled to thin causing them to crack. Sylvia
Try piercing the rolls bf putting them in the oven, to let steam escape. Use toothpick or cake tester. Pierce all the way thru to the bottom.
I’ve had no problems with splitting since doing this.
I love this recipe. I’ve been using the recipe printed in 2016.. I see there are some differences in this one and the older one. I’ve never had a problem with the 2016. I use the cup of sugar, and 10 cups of flower. Though I do save about a quarter of cup for using on the board for rolling. I use 3 1/2 cups of nuts per roll. Thank you, Sylvia……
Absolutely love these. Growing up in Pittsburgh and moving away you never realize how much you miss stuff until they are gone. I now live in Arkansas and make these each year for the holidays. ONE addition and I did not see it in your recipe listing, but in addition to Nut Rolls, I also make Apricot and Prune versions. I’d love to see your take on those. I’ll send pics after my next batch.
My husband and I have been making this recipe for about 3 years. Prior to that, we used my Mom’s recipe for 2 long Nut Rolls. We needed to make them for gifting and for some reason Mom’s recipe did not seem to work well if we multiplied it. When I can across this recipe for 8 long rolls I went for it.
This is a nice recipe, easy to assemble and follow through, nice smooth and flexible dough with which to work. It does blow out and leak on occasion and I was told that’s probably the best roll and we keep that one (sometimes two) for our own use.
Everyone we have gifted with these rolls tells us how good they are and we agree! Best recipe all around, no doubt about it!
Has anyone toasted the nuts to bring out their flavor?
Always! So delicious.
This recipe sounds delish!
I had forgotten that my Hungarian grandmother used to whip the eggs whites before someone mentioned it in the comments. She also used whiskey or brandy instead of the vanilla extract. And soaked about a cup of golden raisins in whiskey and dotted the nut mixture with them before rolling up the dough. It was always a nice little bite of sweetness in each slice!
These freeze beautifully!
I make 3 nut rolls slightly smaller so they fit inside the USPS priority mail box and send 3 to my MIL. I reinforce the box with additional cardboard and wrap the wrapped/sealed nut rolls in bubble wrap. So far they have arrived in perfect condition.
I make these every year and love them as gifts.
– with your hands, form each ball of dough into an even flat rectangle prior to rolling. It will make it easier to achieve a 14”x9” final rectangle.
– The dough is easily torn. If the filling is at warm room temperature it will spread more easily. Once the dough is rolled out drop the filling in tablespoon globs throughout the rectangle a couple of inches apart. Then sort of smash and carefully spread the filling with the back of a flexible scraper of the back of a large spoon carefully so you don’t tear the dough. Have spare filling in hand to fill in the gaps rather than trying to spread the filling too thin and tearing the dough.
Last year I made these and they turned out great maybe beginner’s luck? This year failure. I really wish you would add more information or pictures on the step of making the dough and what it should look like in the bowl when enough flour has been added. So many of us do not have experience necesseary to know this so a picture would be very helpful. Also when you finish mixing the dough and cover it with a wet cloth is there a time limit on how long it can sit? because I think mine sat too long as I prepared the filling. Thank you.
Hi Michelle! Thank you for sharing your nut roll recipe. I read the entire recipe and instructions and am convinced this is the best recipe I’ve come across! Your instructions as well as tips are very helpful. Would you be able to share the amounts to use when cutting the recipe in half?
what can i do to keep the filling from ozzing out the sides? The dough is perfect it rolls out beautiful. But, I’ve made 12 of these nut rolls and no matter what I do the filling comes out the sides. They’re not splitting on top or anything like that.
Don’t put the filling all the way to the end of your rolled dough. Leave about 1” on all sides of the rectangle with no filling. After it is rolled, with the seam on the bottom, I sort ofgive the ends a mild karate chop and fold those ends under the roll.
Someone asked about other fillings, but I didn’t see a response. I grew up in Pittsburgh but got acquainted with these phenomenal nut rolls when I started dating my husband. It is very common in Pittsburgh to find sesame (I think with honey) rolls and also apricot filling ones. I think the apricot filling can be found in the baking aisle in small cans. I’ve never made them because My MIL never used a recipe she just made them and they were perfect every time. I look forward to trying this recipe.
And yes every recipe I’ve tried from this site has been fantastic!
I think the alternate filling you describe is poppy seed filling.
I remember my grandmother making them with Nuts, Apricots, Prunes, poppy seed and I vaguely remember a Raspberry version as well, but she was pretty inventive. A whole addition to this recipe with other fillings would definitely rate this recipe toward the top of my list.
I’ve tried this recipe and the dough comes out perfect, they look just like the picture. But, then they crack..any suggestions? The dough is not dry and rolls out perfect. Drives me crazy because I keep making them to see what I’m doing wrong and can’t figure it out.
Made it many times and it always turns out fine. I have shared it many times and they appreciate how easy it is.
Which oven rack is the best to bake these nut roll?
I made these last year. They were amazing. I want to cut the size of the rolls in half, to give as gifts. Will that affect the baking time?
Not at all, same time, enjoy!
Can you use premade dough for this recipe?
I’ve never used pre-made dough; I’m not sure what type of dough you would use, since it’s a pretty specialty yeasted soft dough.
forgot to give my rating (five stars)
This is the recipe makes nut roll just like the kind I had growing up – I never got a copy of my mom’s recipe before she passed away but I think this is exactly how she made hers. And she learned from my German/Austrian Aunt who learned from her mother.
It is an excellent recipe and I’ve used it for 3 years now and I get very good results with it.
One comment is, if you are just making enough for your household and don’t plan to give as gifts or need enough for a large gathering, then I recommend making 1/2 the recipe.
I am trying for the firat time to make my aunts nut roll recipe but, as usual, these old recipes leave out details. My current hurdle is how thin to roll the dough. Any help would be appreciated!!!
About how many individual cookies would this equal when you slice?
We used to leave the roll whole and let people cut whatever size they wanted from it. They are generally pretty soft and not like cookies, more like a danish.
Hi Michelle, how long do you let the dough rise after mixing/kneeding? Above your Ingredients section, it says 4 hours 20 mins, so just curious.
I hope I can find this again. My cell is acting up. My Mom passed on her Birthday Nov 14, 2014. She would have been 80. She made this every Xmas. My Hubby, Kids and I had to move from PA to TX and Xmas has not felt the same without her nut roll. I want to try to make it. I need to practice a few times before Xmas. Please send me this recipe just in case my cell dies. Thank you! You will give me a wonderful Xmas.
Can you use instant yeast in this recipe. Sorry if this has been previously asked,
Delicious! I cut the recipe down to 1/3, and made 2 rolls. Added the flour slowly, and had no problem with my dough. I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the filling. I made slashed on top of the rolls to let steam escape, and brushed with an egg wash. They were done by just over 20 minutes. Beautifully browned, and no filling leakage. Just ate a warm piece, and both the dough and the filling are just perfect.
I followed the directions exactly and they all split. They are delicious.
I love this recipe and it’s the only one I ever use!! My only question is have you tried any other filling? The dough is so easy to work with that I was wondering if you ever tried fruit like apple cinnamon or strawberry or cream cheese fillings?
Hi Paula, I’m so thrilled that you enjoy this recipe! I’ve never done another filling; if you try one, let me know how it works out!
The first time I made the nut rolls they were absolutely five star. And the reason I’m writing this is that the second and third time I made them I don’t know what I did wrong but the dough came out very dry. I tried to use and I think I did use all the same ingredients so if you can give me any guidance as to what I did wrong the second and third time I would truly appreciate it. I know there are a lot of unanswered questions as to what I did but I followed the recipe very closely and I used a dough hook to need the dough. Thanks in advance for any help you can give me I really really like your recipes. Ps… Michelle, I know this is on me.
Hi Denny, Ahh that’s so frustrating! If you used all of the same ingredients and didn’t alter the recipe at all, I’m wondering if the weather was a bit different the second and third time? When I make bread, I often find that I need to use much less flour during the winter when the weather is cooler and drier than in the summer when it’s warmer and more humid. I would maybe just pay close attention to the dough when you’re mixing and only add as much as you really need. I hope that helps!!
Thanks you Soooo much!
I tried making it again because a year ago when I tried making it I had problems slicing the logs without it cracking and falling apart and my granddaughter and son-in-law really enjoyed it. This time everything worked out well but I found after 25 minutes interiorly it still seemed a little soggy or not quite baked. So I sliced it and put the slices back on the tray and baked them for another 15 minutes on each side. Any ideas where I may have gone wrong.
I am making these for the third time since Christmas (halved the recipe each time) and they are delicious and just as I remember the way my mom’s nut rolls tasted. As I recall, the one ingredient that was key was the evaporated milk used in the filling which seems to give it a creamy texture that most recipes don’t call for. Many thanks for sharing this recipe and I hope readers looking for a great recipe will try this as the dough is easy to work with and the filling delicious. For the longest time I tried to reclaim memories from long ago to bake nut rolls like my mom’s and this recipe is as close as it comes since she baked from memory.
I do a lot of baking, and this is the best nut roll recipe I have ever used. My family and friends are wild about them! The dough is perfect every time and rolls out very smoothly. I have used this dough with poppyseed, apricot and lekvar filling also. I make my own apricot filling which is so easy and better tasting than jarred filling. I know that the dough can be refrigerated overnight, but am curious if the dough can be frozen before rising. and if so, should the dough be divided into 8 sections first. I will be using active dry yeast.
I thought my Ukraine Grandmother made the best nut roll in Pittsburgh, however, I was mistaken. Michelle’s recipe is the best ever!
Grandma”s dough could sometimes be a little tough, and a lot of filling ran out. This recipe was perfect in all ways.
It made my family and I so happy to have a taste of home and remember my grandmother.
I have made these since the recipe was initially posted several years ago. Since then, I have probably made 30 batches and after every batch, someone tells me it is the best nut roll they have ever tasted. Here are some things I have found which have helped over the years.
– Invest in a food scale. Weigh the dough and filling and divide accordingly to be precise.
– For the filling, combine the milk, evaporated milk, butter and vanilla and then add the sugar. Whisk it all together before adding the nuts. The sugar seems to dissolve better and avoids some grittiness.
– Add a pinch of fresh nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to the filling to give it a little boost.
– This year, I made a cream cheese roll as part of the batch. I whipped 8 oz room temperature cream cheese, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 cup of sugar. It was a huge hit. I divided the nut filling by 7 instead of 8 to
make 7 nut rolls and 1 cream cheese roll. As a result, I had more nut rolls split, even after scoring the tops of the rolls. They still came out amazing and were very moist.
Could I freeze leftover nut mixture from my nut rolls
I think that would work!
Thank you for this recipe. I searched and compared recipes for awhile for nut roll and finally settled on yours and I’m glad that I did. It’s really moist and delicious!
I’m an experienced baker but had never made anything with yeast before., so I really appreciated the detailed instructions!
Some of the reviews talked about the rolls splitting so I did try to put slits in each roll and also made sure that the dough was not too dry. But they still did split a bit on one side. I will try to address this next time and hopefully will get it right. Also when I make them next time I think I will try an egg wash to make the top a little browner.
Thanks again for this recipe!
In researching many recipes for nut roll I came across a suggestion to wrap the unrisen roll in parchment paper, leaving approx 3/4 inch room for rising…bake with parchment on..I am going to try this , hope it works
Here’s a remedy to prevent the rolls from splitting open.
I was having a problem with the rolls always spliting open during baking and I spoke to a friend who is a baker to ask for suggestions. He told me to use a paring knife to pierce each roll several times on both sides before baking. Just push the knife straight in about an inch or so, 4 or 5 times on the sides of each roll. This will help let the steam out if it builds up enough to split the rolls. I tried this and it worked, so I wanted to pass along the tip in case anyone else wants to try it.
I understand that adding too much flour might be the cause of the splitting, but if you are not sure you have the dough mix exactly right, this can help.
This is the second time making your recipe for nut rolls and they were just as perfect both times. The filling is scrumptious, the milk in the filling exactly what I was looking for as that is one ingredient I remember my mom used and her rolls were perfection. As baking more of a science than savory preparations, the dough was amazing to work with, easy to roll up with the filling and tender when baked, 25 minutes the perfect bake time for me. It’s always interesting to read reviews and how results vary. In my opinion this was the perfect recipe if one gets the dough texture correct and the amount of prepared filling was exact when divided to fill the nut rolls and an enhancement to the dough. I know it was a great comfort food for family and neighbors and the treats we received were delicious. I plan to make these with my granddaughter as her junior year in college will be remote and we can have some time together. Lastly, I made a second half recipe and used canned apricot filling (Solo™). While very good a bit too moist and wonder if something could be added to “tighten” filling a bit as dough was a little too moist after baking while appeared baked. Again, many thanks for a great recipe.
I made these today. I split recipe in half. I make bread all the time so used to handling dough.This felt good and rolled out so nice. Today had rain and high humidity. After 3 hours rising they had split on top. When I cooked them it split and spread a lot. Then I also cooked little longer because they were not brown on top. After all this, We tried it. Dough like bread flavor and cunchy. It did not have doughy texture like we are used to. I wonder if I had too much flour and think rise time too long. What do you think.
First of all READ the entire recipe before you start! Cut in half or quarters. Next I found that too much filling did not roll well or cook well. I put in half the require amount, those loafs were better. Take was good, think I need a better yeast mone never bubbled. Overall good.
I made this recipe last year for Christmas Eve dinner, my grandmother always made Makowiec, but I am not a fan of poppy seed roll. I made 1/3 of the recipe to try it out, we liked the walnut filling but then I tried it with pecans and everyone went crazy! 3 batches of dough are in the fridge for forming and baking tomorrow for gifts for our friends and neighbours, and of course one for us!
I just stopped back to look at the recipe I’m glad I did. I copied this recipe in 2014 and have been making every Christmas since instead of kolachky. This is so much easier. Back in 2014 the water for the dough was 1/4 cup I see it increased to 1/2 cup. Love this recipe will now increase water to 1/2 and also put slashes on top of rolls. I will usually have several that also explode but obviously does not affect taste. I wonder if people added something to the poppy seed filling to make it a little thicker if it wouldn’t get so runny maybe a little cornstarch?
If baking one tray at a time, won’t the remaining 6 rolls raise too much before they are baked?
Hi Rosemary, I haven’t had an issue!
I’m a ‘Pittsburgh girl’ and sadly lost most of my grandmothers recipes. Your site is where I’ve found so many similar ones, it certainly must be a ‘Pittsburgh’ thing, although I would’ve never guessed initially and only came to the conclusion after scouring the internet for some nostalgia. This recipe is incredibly delicious and very simple to put together. I was dreaming of my grandmothers biscotti recipe which used butternut flavoring, and I found it here as well! Thank you so much for making my childhood recipes all come true again!!❤️❤️
Aww this made me so happy to read!! I love that someone else’s grandma used the butternut flavoring in their biscotti!! xo
Wow! Thank you for this recipe! We made it today and it is delish!
Love nutroll! Just made some myself.
My Polish foster mother (I’m now 62, so that was a long time ago) used to make nutrolls using a dough that was refrigerated overnight. Her filling was comprised in part of egg white meringue, sugar, and finely ground walnuts. It was delicious. I scoured libraries (prior to the internet) and later the internet for a refrigerated dough recipe and the meringue based walnut filling. I never found anything close to it and my foster mother (long since deceased) didn’t have a traditional recipe. She was one of those bakers whose mantra is….just a little bit of this, some of that, etc. This year, I decided to see what recipes were out there. I came upon yours. I am proud to say I have 8 long rolls of perfect nutroll on my kitchen island. My coworkers are in for a treat. My husband has already devoured the two ends of one nutroll already. Thank you so much, Michelle, for a fail proof nutroll recipe.
Hi Debbie….. I also remember a nut filling using whipped egg whites. It was delicious. I have not been able to find a recipe either!
Here is an excellent recipe for walnut filling with egg whites
RECIPE…1 lb. ground walnuts …. 1 cup sugar….6 stiffly beaten egg whites….1 tsp. vanilla…1 tsp. almond flavoring Note: This is enough filling for 4 nut rolls.
Also,…I use 6 egg yolks in my recipe for 4 nut rolls and use the 6 egg whites for the filling. This is excellent!
This certainly is a recipe I want to try – sounds yummy! I make Rollup Cookies (aka Nut Roll Cookies) at Christmas from a recipe I have from my favorite Aunt. Your recipe is very similar. Something you may want to specify for this recipe, for those who are not familiar with fresh active yeast, is that it comes in two sizes. The large cake is 2 ounces, while the smaller size is 0.6 ounces. So three of the small cakes equals approximately one of the large cakes. This might help someone trying it for the first time. Though I too have trouble finding the fresh yeast and have substituted the active dry instead.
Can regular butter be used instead of unsalted?
I use only salted butter, and so just give a quick shake more to make up for the salt in the butter… perfect!
Yes, that would be okay!
Hi! My mom’s family is from south of Pittsburgh and these nut rolls look just like my grandma’s! We have been trying for years to recreate her recipe! I’m so glad I found yours! We also make poppy seed rolls… praying we can get the cake yeast to rise! Thanks so much for your tips!
Great recipe. I made these this year for the 3rd time, and they taste just like my Slovenian relatives made. I have my mother’s old recipe card, and her directions for the filling were “2 pounds nuts, 1 can evaporated milk, sugar, honey”. Needless to say, I didn’t know where to start! Thank you for this. I make a half recipe every December, cut each roll in half, wrap and freeze. (Nobody in my own family likes them.) Over the course of the next year I slowly eat them all up, and then it’s time to bake again! Yum.
about how many cups of nuts is in 3 lb of nuts
Hi Judith, It’s about 12 cups of ground nuts.
I have made this for a few yrs. now and we love it. The issue I have is that the dough always breaks while baking. My Mother in Law used to make nut cookies& the recipe was about the same. but so time consuming! You have to cut little squares& make little pouches of dough with filling.This is so much easier but tastes the same.
Hi Lori, Try cutting back on the flour a bit and see if that helps!
I grew up in a Hungarian neighborhood in Bethlehem, PA. For years I made these with my mother to sell at our small grocery store. It wasn’t unusual to make 100 plus rolls each Christmas season. Then, we would make a quadruple batch for home to share with family and friends when they visited. This past weekend I spent the day making apricot, poppyseed, and nut rolls (kolač). The recipe I use is very similar to the one posted here. Anytime I make these I feel like my mom is looking over my shoulder. (There are several different versions of this recipe in FCSLA Slovak-American Cookbook – which can be purchased from the FCSLA website.)
We always purchased dry, ground poppyseed by the pound and mixed it with sugar, warm milk and vanilla. )Sometimes my mom would use whiskey instead of vanilla.) Unfortunately, this year I found it difficult to get the poppyseed in dry form and had to settle for a pre-mixed poppyseed sold at a local grocery store.
Hi JH! Nuts.com sells poppyseed (unground) by the pound. Check them out next year. Great little company for nuts, seeds, dried fruit and other baking supplies.
Do you happen to have a good perogie recipe? Seems like you would have the background for one! :)
OMG – Here researching the filling for nut rolls. Recipe from my Grammy who lived in Hungarian neighborhood in Bethlehem PA after they escaped Hungary in 1956. I have a few of her recipes stating a handful of this type measurements LOL. Great bakers <3. I have gotten as close as I can to her Hungarian Kiffle pastries and Apple Sturdel. Now just trying to get these nut rolls correct. So glad to have run into this exchange. And a big wave to my fellow Hungarians – I’m only 1st generation, but spend many summer weeks and holidays with my Hungarian Grandmother
Try a family run marker, they usually carry this for the holidays.
These look and sound just like the Nut Rolls that my Polish Grandmother used to make and They were delicious! I would love to try making them, but yeast rally scares me. I can’t seem to find your video for them, cann you tell me where to look?
It should just start playing as you scroll down the page, and will pin either to the side (if you’re on a desktop) or bottom (on mobile) of the page.
I too was afraid to use the yeast recipes. This is what I do every time I use yeast. If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup water, I use a candy thermometer to get the right temp. called for on the package of yeast, once it gets to 110-115 I ADD A TEASPOON OF SUGER AND THE DRY YEAST. In a few minutes it will start to foam, this tells you that the yeast mixture is just right for the recipe. Good luck, Sylvia
Thank you, Michelle.
I’m from Pittsburgh and another great addition to my nut rolls is a line of apricot preserves running down the beginning of the short side on top of nut mixture.
Oooh that sounds amazing!
I am 92, I have made nut roll many years. My mother in law told me to make about 3 diagonal slits across
the dough just before baking. I have no problem with it cracking. Hope this will help.
Thank you so much for that tip!!!
How can I freeze a baked nut roll?
We freeze our nut rolls every year. Once they’re completely cool, we wrap in Saran wrap and then in Aluminum foil. They freeze nicely and taste just as good.
Yes absoutely! Just like Kelly mentioned, I wrap in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil.
First time making nut rolls and they turned out great! I half the recipe to make 4 rolls and they taste awesome! On some rolls the filling is a bit skimpy but these are just perfect. 👍
Is there anyway to make just 2 rolls? When I change the amount to 2, the measurements are all off.
Hi Liz, Just divide all of the measurements by 4.
Could you substitute a cup 4 cup or 1-to-1 gluten free flour?
Hi Meredith, I think that would work okay! I’m not familiar with it, so you may ending up needing more or less flour or water.
Can you give directions on how to handle the dough for a novice? I assume it needs to rise but there are no directions on how long to let it sit or how much it should rise before rolling it out.
Under instruction #4 it says to let dough rise for 3 hours
I cannot wait to try your recipe for nutroll. May I ask if you have a recipe you can share for the poppyseed roll?
My Bubba used to get poppyseeds from a grocer in Braddock. I have yet to find a recipe that almost mirrors her fabulous poppyseed rolls.
I wish I had a time machine so I could write down every step from shopping for supplies, to prepping the fillings and doughs, to the wonderful fragrance of the freshly baked rolls, to taking the first sweet and tangy bite. Most of all, getting a hug for just sitting with her and watching her mix, knead, and bake.
I am looking forward to the nutroll and wouldn’t be surprised if I shed a happy tear if this recipe is anything like Bubba’s. Would you help with the poppyseed filling in this dough please?
Thanks again Michelle for bringing this girl from the ’Burgh a bit of culinary hope in 2020.
Awww I love this! Unfortunately, my grandma never made poppyseed rolls, only the nut rolls, so I don’t have a recipe for the poppyseed variety :(
I used to see poppyseed filling in the baking section at the grocery store. I haven’t looked lately, but it’s probably still there. May not be as good as homemade poppyseed — but who knows!
I find it difficult to use that poppyseed filling. Have tried multiple times with a couple dough variations and it ALWAYS oozes dramatically. I ran out of nut filling this year and decided to go for it, yet again, and had even more dramatic results. I blame 2020. It looks like the rolls intestines were oozing out the side. Thankfully, my mom isn’t picky and will be happy to eat it. But I agree, need to find a recipe for the poppy filling!
MIMI, I loved my mother’s poppy seed roll. I found poppy seed filling in the grocery store and was so excited. The brand name isSolo. I’m going to give ie a try……
Solo makes a rally good poppyseed filling!
1 cup poppy seeds, grind in coffee or spice grinder
1/3 cup boiling water, add to ground poppy seeds to soften while you prepare dough
1/4 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
Zest from lemon, to taste
When dough is dry to fill, add all above to the cooled poppyseed & continue as for nut or apricot roll. I don’t use lemon zest but this is my grandmothers recipe and she always did or orange zest. It is good with or without the zest. Hope this works for you.
It should read when dough is “ready” to fill NOT dry :)
My mother and I have used this recipe for poppyseed rolls.
1 cup poppyseed
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. grated lemon rind.
combine all ingredients bring to a boil stirring constantly about 5 min. It will start to thicken remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.
I double the recipe, we like a lot of poppyseed on our rolls. Sylvia
I made this nut roll recipe last week for Thanksgiving, after several failed recipes over the past 2 years. Thank God I did! It is the best nut roll ever!! I only have 1 roll left! I have to make more for Christmas! Everybody just loves it. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It will always be a staple in my family for years to come!
Made the 8 but didn’t brown on the bottom plus the sides blew out with filling what can I do??
Left in for 25 /30 minutes …HELP … can I put back in oven next day and turn bottom side up
I know lots of your recipes have measurements in grams…but for this one the flour says 9 – 10 cups grams of flour. You might want to take out the grams in that ingredient
My mom and aunts made this but roll and poppy seed roll at Christmas and Easter every year. It was always a favorite treat. They put the nuts through a meat grinder along with some coconut. I’ve lost the recipe and don’t know how much coconut they used or what the purpose was. It really didn’t add the flavor of coconut to the filling. Other than that her recipe is the same as your, I think she cooked the filling a bit.
I want to print this recipe but it doesn’t go to print
I cut the recipe in 1/2 – they were fantastic – nice soft crust – I will be making this “an old family recipe”
How did you divide the egg measurement? I would like to half the recipe since this year will only be our household. Thank you.
I tried to make these but they raised them I put
In oven they went sorta flat
WgT did I do wrong they smelled good looked good
Let them raise 3 hours
Please help me
aBOUT HOW MANY CUPS IS 3 LB OF NUTS
Recipe calls for 3 pounds walnuts finely ground How many cups of the finely ground do I need > I have a bag of finely grounded already. I am thinking 12 cups?
I made the nutrolls and they were wonderful. I do have a question, baked on a sheet pan and they spread out during baking. How do I avoid this? I’d love to give to friends. Thank You!
Hi, Michelle! (Romanian here :) I really loved your recipe and the images really made me want to bake a cozonac ASAP. I have posted my mothers’ walnut roll recipe on my blog, which is the recipe form Transylvania region, very similar to yours. If I may, I leave a link here so you can check it out. Thanks a bunch! :) https://www.pro-recipes.com/romanian-walnut-roll-recipe-cozonac-recipe/
You might try piercing the rolls fully through with a fork six times before baking. This allows steam to escape and keeps the filling from bursting out during baking.
I made this roll last year with pecans for Thanksgiving. It was such a hit with even the young adults who remembered their grandmother making it. I made it again for Christmas. It felt so good to carry on a family tradition!
I’ve been trying to find a recipe for my husband’s Oma’s nut bread. This bread and filling sounds and looks the same – but she baked it flat, not rolled, and cut it into squares. Before she passed I would ask for the recipe and she would just say “it’s just a yeast dough, and a nut topping!” I need more than that! I’m excited to try this in square form.
Am trying to make these nut rolls but no one has any yeast….can they be baked without yeast???
Hi Val, I’m sorry but unfortunately you need yeast for this recipe :( Hopefully it will be back in stock soon!
This is my second attempt at this recipe. I am either putting too much filling or making dough too thin. Every roll exploded. UGH!! Smell wonderful and I am sure taste great but they are flat and exploded.
Great recipe girl! Thank you. It tastes just like my Baba’s. I am a Pastry Chef and own a cooking school and teach our family recipe at Christmas to home cooks. If you poke the roll with a fork all the way along the top and few pokes on the sides it will help keep your rolls a more uniform shape as the steam created inside the loaf will have somewhere to vent. It’s the same reason why we score bread before baking – the steam needs somewhere to go or it will find the weakest spot and bust its way through.
I always make Poppy Seed Roll for Ukrainian Christmas, but I am not really a fan, this year I decided to make this nut roll instead. I am so glad I did, it is delicious! I made 1/3 of the recipe to fit in my bread machine, for the filling I used pecans as I am not a fan of walnuts. I made one large roll, which baked in 45 minutes. It looked beautiful, no splitting or leaking,. This will be on my list next year as all my guests loved it. I found the filling a little sweet so I will reduce the sugar a bit next year
Would you share the poppy seed recipe? I love that one too! Thanks
Your recipe is almost exactly like my grandmother’s Kolace recipe which she brought with her when she emigrated to America in the early 1900’s.
Baba passed the recipe on to my mom and then it was given to me.
I make several of them to give as Christmas gifts ( always a hit!)
The one thing xtra in my recope is cinnamon added to the nut mixture.
Thank you for sharing this recipe with viewers!
THANK YOU so much for sharing this recipe!! I’ve been making nut roll for many, many years using my husband’s Croatian grandmother’s recipe. I mailed some to my father-in-law and he said it was the best I’ve made and asked for the recipe. Now mind you, he’s been eating nut roll for over 80+ years. This will now be my annual Christmas nut roll recipe.
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!!! I made this last week for my famiy
I am going to have to try this recipe! My grandmother passed away and only left her hand written recipe. We had strudel every Christmas. I have tried to follow her introductions but they keep bursting. This all makes more sense!!
I am from Pittsburgh, but I live in California now.
I was so hungry for a Pa Nut Roll, but shipment would not be feasible. This recipe is rocks!. Taste just like the Pennsylvania Nut Rolls I used to eat as a kid. I would 110% recommend this recipe.
I was looking for a Pittsburgh nut roll and I think this is it – it is fantastic
Thèse nut rolls are so beautiful and inspiring that I decided to make the recipe. I used to make nut roll and of course, my mom was a wonderful baker. But it seemed to me that 25 minutes was not enough baking time. Maybe the nuts were too wet since the rolls were doughy. I baked them for 40 minutes, but they still had soft and almost raw centers. Could it be too many nuts or a filling that was too wet. Maybe the only way to salvage the disaster is to toast the slices aggressively..
The recipe is wonderful and taste is just like my mom made. I was over generous with the filling on the first 4, so I ended up just making 6 not rolls total, but all are nice size. I guess my only advice is be careful on use of the filling.
Can you tell me the measurements for half of this recipe?
Just made 4 they are rising now I have made your rolls for years and my mom says better than her mothers thats amazing
Thank you for this recipe! I grew up in eastern Ohio and remember nut roll at all the holiday gatherings with family. It had been almost a decade since I had eaten any. I moved away and my grandma passed, so it was no longer in the rotation. Last christmas I surprised my family using your recipe, and it brought back so many wonderful memories! I am about to make it again this year. I usually split the nut part and do half the rolls with walnuts and half with pecans.
I am confused. Does the dough have to rest before assembling the nut rolls. Also, why bake only two rolls at a time?
Hi Michael, It does not. Two at a time because that’s usually all that will fit on a baking sheet.
Hi! I know why had issue with flour. With our older recipies have to keep in mind flour was kept in bulk and keeping it compacted made it last longer. So when you would get flour, would siftbefore measuring. Try your recipe with the original amount, but sift the flour before measuring it. (Even fluffing the flour with a spatula or whisk and easing it, never packing or tapping to settle will be like sifting).
Hi, Michele – I made your recipe last year and the rolls were perfect! My questions is this: the rolls are very large, and I wondered if you’d have any suggestions for making smaller rolls? Would I just divide the dough into more pieces and then bake for less time? I would like to give a few smaller ones to a few of my neighbors (I think that’s a nicer presentation than cutting the larger ones into pieces). Thanks!
Hi Sherry, So glad you enjoyed them! Yes, dividing the dough into more pieces and the filling accordingly would work just fine.
Michele, I have made this recipe two years ago and just loved it so I decided to make it this year. Well I did not read the recipe all the way to the end when I started did not remember that there was a 3 hour rising time, well it is 10:00 pm so that won’t work . I have decided to put the dough in the Fridge and continue tomorrow. My question is after I make the nut rolls should I let them rise for 3 hours. Hope it is going to be Ok made the entire recipe!
What was the end result? I made my dough yesterday but got tired and stuck it in the fridge overnight 😬
I have been making nut roll for years,always willing to try a new recipe…..no need to anymore,have been using and sharing this for a few years now ! I have been told by many friends how they look forward to receiving the roll as a Christmas gift! Thank you for sharing…..your recipes are awesome!
I just finished making my Christmas rolls. I found a way to assemble a roll in less than three minutes. I lightly buttered two sheets of waxed paper. I put the amount of filling on the waxed paper, buttered side up. I put another buttered sheet of waxed paper on top of the filling then rolled the filling and flipped it on the rolled out dough. Maybe you already knew this but spreading the filling on the soft dough is an opportunity to create a couple problems and this method is super quick. Wish I had thought of it years ago.
Would it make a difference if I used 2% percent milk rather than whole milk in the filling?
I’m pretty excited to be trying this recipe!
Hi Jess, That would be fine, enjoy!
I believe I started baking this roll when you first published my grandmother always made these and poppy rolls she lived south of Pittsburgh small town called Fairchance but the big compliment came when my mother said these are better than her mothers WOW thank you also alot of your recipes I bake goes to Home Depot where my wife works they are now askng when will my Christmas baking start so Thank you Michelle for all you do and Merry Christmas
Thank you so much for the kind words, Merry Christmas to you!
I’ve been making Potica for 50 years. I make 36, 12” rolls every Christmas. I make 4 batches & use 5# plus of flour per batch along with 5# of ground walnuts per batch. My only problem that I can’t quite solve is my top pulling away & gaping from the next layer so when I slice it the top layer kind of falls off or pulls away from the next layer of dough. My spirals have approximately 5 turns of the dough. I’ve tried, pricking the dough, oven temps, less rise/more rise, less flour, water/egg white the dough before filling) to try to alleviate this problem but nothing has worked for me this far! Frustrating!
Hi Carla, this may seem simplistic, but I have having that trouble this year with the top layer cracking into pieces. I switched to a sharper/better knife and didn’t have that problem. Usually I just cut with a butter knife.
I have been baking these for the last 4 years and the flavor is outstanding. My Croatian father says that they always taste just like his mother’s old recipe! I, too, usually have trouble with them splitting/ filling coming out, so I will try your flour trick this year. My other question is this– about how much filling do you usually add to each roll? Sometimes I think I’m overstuffing them. This Saturday is all about nut roll baking and I can’t wait!!
Hi Angela, Unfortunately I don’t measure the filling out, I just divide it up once it’s mixed together, and then scoop each section out and spread it on the dough.
Well first time making them. After baking them they split open on top.
Hi! Do these have to be made into rectangular rolls? Can you make them into a round, wreath-like shape? If so, would anything need to be adjusted in the recipe? I was born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, half Slovak and half Italian. I now live in the high-altitudes of Colorado. However, the tradition is alive and well in our home. Grandma and mom made Kolache rolls every holiday—and I ate more than my fair share!
I think a wreath would be beautiful! I see no reason why it wouldn’t work.
My Mom always made this. But when she baked them she put them in round cake pans. So we always have them kinda horseshoe shaped (not quite the wreathe shape you mention.)
Have you ever substituted Pecans for the Walnuts? I’m slightly allergic to walnuts, and always pay for it when I eat my mother’s nut roll. Thanks for your insights!
I haven’t, but I imagine that it would still be delicious!
Pecans are just as good as walnuts for this recipe. Another great hint is to substitute a bit of the sugar for honey. It really kicks it up to whole new level.
Good morning!! Do you think I could get away with suing 2% milk instead of whole? Thank you!
Hi Hannah, Yes that should work.
Where is a good place to put the dough to rise for your kolache recipe
Hi Trish, Anywhere that’s warm and free from a draft. You can put the oven on for like a minute to get some warmth going, and then pop it in there.
Love these. My first nut roll success ever!
How do I freeze the log?
Hi Christine, Wrap well in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil and place in a freezer-safe ziploc bag.
Question regarding the dough: After making the dough I would like to refrigerate it overnight and prepare the rolls for baking the following day. Foresee any issues with refrigerating the dough?
Hi Jan, I don’t think there would be any issues with that. Enjoy!
Thank you, Michelle, for input!
Simply spectacular.. got so many compliments.. reminiscent of my mom’s baking.. thanks for sharing..
Cut recipe in half and made 3 rolls instead of 4.
Also used all evaporated in the filling instead of both types of milks didn’t see the point of using both types.
One more important note I did NOT do a 3 hour rise – my yeast wouldve blown out! I did one hour turned out great- I always use fast acting yeast to save time.
Also would recommend an egg wash on top the bottoms got way darker than the top and I had to pull them
i have baked nut rolls for years but am going to try this one for the holidays .i see on line how much they sell for and i tell people its so much cheaper to make your own and its really not that hard a little time consuming thats all
I have used other but nut roll recipes but this is by far the best. I did make adjustments to make half the recipe. I will definitely make this again.
i would like to try your recipe but one important direction is missing.
how thick to roll out the dough and how thick is the filling needed to be.
also i feel the sugar amount is like 3/4 to much.
The directions are there. Roll each piece thin enough until it reaches 9×14 in., and spread the filling to 1/2 inch from each edge (so 8×13 in.).
My Pittsburgh grandmother has always made nut and apricot kolache at Christmas and Easter, but now at almost 95 she is finally slowing down a little and the past few years hasn’t wanted to deal with it, so the tradition has been passed on to me. Like so many other grandmothers, she never actually used a recipe and that made it really hard for her to tell me how to do it (for example, “well, you add enough flour until it feels right. I don’t know, like 4 cups. Or maybe more. Maybe like 10 cups? I don’t know, just enough to make it feel right” – that’s pretty hard to emulate!!) so I was looking for some help. I found your recipe 2 Christmases ago and I’ve used it faithfully since then – it isn’t exactly the same as my grandmother’s, but it’s close enough that even my dad, who has been eating her kolache his whole life, enjoys it at holidays. Anyway, the moral of this story is, I love your recipe and my whole family has been enjoying it for a couple of years now. Thank you for sharing it!!
I’m a seasoned baker and have a few questions to clarify. I am of Polish descent and have my mother’s original recipe for nut rolls. However, it makes 15 long rolls and since I am over 70 no longer have the stamina for making that many rolls. I have always used the cake yeast in the past but you just cannot buy it anymore. In your recipe you state that if you use the cake you put it in liquid and also the same for the dry yeast. I have always heard about sprinkling the dry yeast and not having to mix in liquid. What can you tell me about this. I need to learn to use the dry yeast and forget about the cake. Also, if you make 1/2 of your recipe do you still use the 3 packets of dry yeast or a whole cake? I would say yes but again just want to clarify. I’m hoping this recipe works for me as I am looking for a nice soft dough to roll and these look and sound really nice. Thank you in advance for the information. I need to teach this old dog some new tricks. Happy Easter !! P.S. we’re neighbors in this area of the state. I’m from Uniontown 50 miles south. Lorraine.
Hi Lorraine, Yes you could sprinkle the dry yeast over the liquid, it will still “bloom”. If you make a 1/2 recipe, then you will need to use half as much yeast. I hope you enjoy the nut roll! :)
Thank you for posting such an easy to follow recipe! I’ve been so longing to try to make these at home, it looked so difficult it scared me. You made it very easy.
This is just like my cousin’s late Gramma K used to make! So thrilled! It came out pretty well! Making some to take in my luggage for my family to enjoy while on vacation! Thanks so much because Gramma K’s recipe card was pretty sketchy with the info.
i had a problem .rising three hours my rolls went vey flat i looked at other recipes and mow of them said to rise only about 20 minutes and one recipe said after kneading rise in bowl i hour what did i do wrong.
i noticed you dont rise the dough before you roll up nut rols .i have a recipe where you let the dough rise an hour and a half befroe you roll them iw a swondering if you elft it out or not
could soemoen tell me about how much flour you really need.i made the dough and i added almost all of the flour and had to throw the dough away becasue it waas too dry.it says 9-10 cups but i think that is too much
Judith, you will not like this answer but no one can give you an exact measurement of the flour. Everything affects how much you will use. Temperature at home, humidity outside, the flour itself, if your wet ingredients are measured exactly etc. I remember when I first made home made bread and I asked my mother the same question and she said you will be able to tell. Well, that didn’t help me I didn’t know what it should feel like so here is the best answer I can give you. I’ve been making these and dough for 50 years and if the recipe calls for 5 cups of flour it will take most of it but start paying attention when you start using that last cup. You want the dough to be just not too sticky. If it sticks to your fingers then add a little more flour. Easy on the flour. If its still too sticky then add a little more. You want to stop when it isn’t real sticky. When you put it on the board and if its still a little tacky then add a little more sprinkle till it no longer sticks to your hands. But go easy. You can always add more but you can’t take it out. Don’t give up. Try this a few times and you’ll get to know just when the dough “feels” right. I wish you the very best and if I can help you at all contact me at email@example.com. I’d love to see you succeed at this. Once you learn this step you can make anything with dough. And its a wonderful feeling to make your own fresh bread and rolls.
I cut the recipe in half and used 4 1/2:c flour which seemed to be perfect. I would use 9 c if I made the full recipe.
Absolutely delish!!!!! Been searching for a nut roll recipe forever. Originally from the ‘Burgh, but live in NY now. Tried a different recipe that uses bread flour. I liked the texture of the dough, but the filling was gritty. Yours was MUCH better, and I will be sticking with it. I literally groaned in nut roll heaven when I tasted it, haha. Have you ever tried bread flour with this recipe? The other recipe also called for an egg wash prior to baking, which I liked, and instant yeast instead of active dry. That didn’t seem to matter much for me, although instant yeast was nice not to have to proof. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!
This is the second time I’m making these now. Everybody loves them. I give them to my mother in law, my coworker and neighbor. I tried to lower the stuffing to 3/4 because they open the first time I made them. But I think that’s because of lack of experience because it was my first time to make them. Next time I will use the whole measurement of the stuffing. Thank you so much for the recipe. I’m becoming a master of nutroll.
Wow! Your photos look so much like my family recipe for potica., aka Slovenian nut roll, with the long flattish rolls. My family is from Cleveland–and a few generations back, Slovenia. We have five generations of potica bakers in the family. Sour cream in the dough for us too–but ours is refrigerated. And the walnut filling is uncooked–and it includes lots of honey! But whatever you call it, it is terrific!
I am trying to figure out how many cups 3 lbs of ground nuts would be? Wish it would have told in the recipe.
My 3 lb bag of nuts says approx 12 cups.
This was okay but IMO needs a few adjustments to make it 5-star-worthy:
1) filling is too sweet. Next time I will forgo the CM and will start with 2 C sugar and add additional sugar to taste. 2) Filling needs spices- cinnamon and ground clove. I tried the filling once everything was mixed and felt that it was missing something. Adding those two spices created a better flavor profile. I just started adding these in by the 1/4 t so not sure exactly how much I added but I would say 1/2 – 1 t cinnamon and 1/4 – 1/2 t ground cloves; 3) Too little filling per roll leaving end product with too high a bread-to-filling ratio. Next time will do what another reviewer suggested and make only 6 rolls instead of 8. 3) Egg wash before baking. Also, it’d be very helpful if you could include in the recipe how much filling goes into each roll since it’s really hard to accurately divide a wet mass into 8ths.
Pat, I divide my nut mixture equally into two bowls. It’s a lot easier to measure one fourth the amount onto a roll!
I have used this recipe for years now. I thought the bakers should know that the consistency of the nut filling is paste-like. I drop large spoonfuls of the filling ono the rectangular dough and spread it with the back of a spoon. The dough should stand up to the spreading.
i’ve somehow never made nutrolls before somehow…my dad always orders them from the Buttonwood Bakery in either WilkesBarre or Scranton, but this year I tried your recipe and I am always going to make them from now on. I ran out of filling after 4 – mine were SO filled and delicious. I ended up throwing in some sweetened cream cheese and amarena cherries and now my family wants me to make half like that next time, today I picked up some poppyseed filling that was somehow for sale in my little NE town grocery store and I’m thinking poppyseed bread next!
My great aunt used to make these when I was a kid and I haven’t had one since! I bought one today from a Polish store and it was good but NOT the same. I should have searched here first! lol I’m definitely going to try this!! Thanks for all the great recipes and for sharing your adorable family!
My great grandma is from Poland and would make this every Christmas. She has since passed, and my nana, my mom and now me, make this now for the holidays. My recipe from my great grandma is hard to read, so I am excited to try this one and see if its close to hers.
Thank you for the updates! This is a great recipe that I have used for the last several years. I do have a hard time finding cake yeast and the place I usually get it is out until next week! I also have had issues with the splitting but it always tastes good so it never really bothered me! I am excited to try this again!!!
I made your nut roll last year for the first time. You are right, it is soft and deliciously sweet, just like my Mom’s used to be. The one addition I made was to strew golden raisins across the nut mixture before rolling it up. They freeze well, and I thawed one out for my sister’s visit in May. She agreed it was the real deal!
Thanks from a Slovak-Russian girl originally from Akron!
My mom also used to put raisins . Thanks for reminding me. Will add that to a few.
I was going to make this for my son’s international feast. Can I make it ahead of time and freeze it or will it not be as good? Or, should I just make it the afternoon before and put in a ziplock?
Also, I have learned that in Croatia this is called Orehnjaca.
Oh, and I forgot! We raise the dough till doubled, then we roll out, put in filling, and then raise again before baking. That is another difference between your recipe and ours. :)
Hi! I was looking for recipes for what we call Kolachi- My husband is from the Youngstown area and that is what these are called up there. (we live in central Ohio). My husband’s maternal grandfather immigrated from Italy as a child in 1920. This is part of their Italian heritage and food customs for holidays. Kolachi is sold in bakeries all over Youngstown for Christmas and Easter. My sister-in-law makes and sells these to co-workers for Christmas and Easter.
I learned how to make my mother-in-law’s recipe the Christmas of 1983. Her recipe also calls for a 2 ounce cake yeast, which I can no longer find in my area. I was actually looking for recipes for yeast conversion and saw yours is the same as what I had figured out.
The recipes are very similar- but I am going to use some of your ideas as my recipe does not melt the butter and I do not like working with the softened butter as it does not mix in the eggs well. Also, our nut mixture is 1 pound (though I use two) of walnuts ground (I just run mine through a nut mill), 1 1/2 cups sugar, 2 Tbls of butter and enough hot water to make a paste. Our recipe also uses 10 cups of flour (about=like you said, flour amounts vary) and I get 7-10 loaves every year from the same recipe.
It is interesting how many variations of this recipe I have found.
Thanks for letting me comment! And now I am going to use your idea and melt my butter!
I grew up on this (as well as it’s brother…poppy seed roll). I haven’t had it since I left Pa over 40 years ago. I was feeling nostalgic and thought I could make this, but I don’t think I could may make my family’s “pepper cookies” instead.
I have 4 rolls rising right now! I can’t wait to bake them! Will write again and take a picture!
Can this be made with a sweet poppyseed filling?
Hi Rachel, Yes absolutely!!
Thanks for posting this excellent recipe! My mother used to make nut rolls during the holiday season but sadly she passed away before she could pass it along to my wife. So, we are thrilled to try this!
One thing that might help us is to have a YouTube video showing the main steps in the process. While I have found and subscribed to your channel, I can’t seem to find a video for nut roll.
Hope you may consider posting one!
Thanks again and Happy Holidays,
Hi Timothy, There is now a video! You can view it right above the recipe. Enjoy!
Love this filling. Tried several and this is the winner for Christmas traditions in our family. Thank you for sharing
My grandmother used to make these all the time… I especially loved the apricot roles. Going to get proactive and try to make them for Christmas. It will be the first time so wish me luck.
Can you use fat free milk? We don’t drink whole milk. Have you ever added graham crackers to the nut mixture?
Hi Mary Jo, Skim milk should work, although I do love the extra fat that whole milk gives. I’ve never added graham crackers to the nut mixture.
Oh my gosh, we have a recipe that me and mom use to prepare like this. Me and my brother loved it, but the last time I made it the filling went everywhere. Going to try it with your changes, we used pecans instead of walnuts. Thank you for the improvements.
You mentioned you have the cottage cheese recipe also?? It wasn’t mentioned. Grammy made a cheese with white raisin roll. Recipe please.
Hi Deborah, Hmmm I don’t have a recipe for that, don’t think I’ve ever had one!
I can remember when I was a little girl ( I’m 46 now), a family friend of my grandparents used to bring over this nut roll. I’ve never forgotten this special treat! I saw your recipe and shared the memory with my 18 year old son. We are going to make this Nut Roll recipe together for our enjoyment and some to give away…… my son can’t wait to “bake” up some memories. ❤️
This recipe sounds like the one my grandmother used to make, but I didn’t really want to make 8. Do you have the recipe for 2??
Hi Michele, You can divide all of the ingredients by 4 if you just want to make two rolls.
I previously made a great nut roll using a recipe from the Columbus Dispatch. I cant find my hard copy at home and it may not have been archived. 3 key items…1. Use 2 to 3 graham cracker cookies to the nut filling. The taste and texture is a great upgrade. 2. Use an egg white in the nut filling cause it binds it all together. 3. Cut 3 slits about 3 inches long on the surface of the roll to let steam escape and 4. Use an egg white wash over the top of the nut roll. These changes will be readily noticed in your final product. The graham crackers take the nut filling to a whole new level. Ted
I’ve left a comment for these twice, but never reviews… They are Delicious! YUM! Freeze well and are easy to make! I highly recommend them for any holiday or just for fun. I’ve been using this recipe for many years.
This nut roll recipe is a winner! I have made it many times as a present to my mom. She grew up in Ohio and loved nut rolls growing up. I was able to fix the cake yeast issue, and I have had the problem of the nut rolls blobbling out everywhere. They were still totally delicious, but a blobby mess. Thanks for the updated instructions. I will follow them for my Christmas rolls. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
I have made the same nut roll for 45 years. We always called it potecia. I always make four at a time and give them as Christmas gifts. Christmas would not be the same without Potecia .
If I want to halve the recipe, how do I handle halving the 3 yeast packets? (I cannot find cake yeast).
Hi Barbara, Each yeast packet is 2.25 teaspoons, so half of three packets would be 3 and 1/3 teaspoons.
Has anyone ever heard of using self rising flour in the dough. It was mentioned to me one time, I never tried it.
Hi Vicki, I don’t know how that would work, since there is already yeast in the dough. I’ve never combined the two!
Can this recipe be halved?
Hi Marc, Yes, it can!
I would like to make a nut roll using almonds ground the same way as the walnuts, almond paste, and almond extract. Do you see any problems with this idea? Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Fred, I think that should work just fine!
This recipe is just like the recipe my babcia used. I grew up in Northeatern Pa and my mom’s family is Slovak/Polish and they would always make kolachi at Christmas and Easter. I made this over the weekend and it reminded me of those times being at their house for the holidays. Thanks for the awesome recipe!
I followed your instructions so wouldn’t crack….the side still did and I even lowered temp to 325.
At least tops didn’t blow apart!
These are homemade so they are not going to be perfect. I could see if they were done in a bakery they would just right. Enjoy what they look like, they will still taste delicious. I’ve been using this recipe for years and they have never been perfect.
These nut rolls are the absolute best I have ever tasted.. no need to search for a recipe when you can make these. You will not be disappointed.
I have never made kolachi before, not ever ! I did half of the recipe and they Absolutely delicious!!! The tops split open, but taste heavenly, thanks for sharing recipe, which was very easy to follow.
I also lived in Pittsburgh, PA for my entire life until we moved to SC 7 years ago to be closer to our children & grandchildren.
I have made your nut rolls & they are delicious.
My question is that I have used this same recipe & just substituted apricot filling instead of the nuts. The filling will come out on the ends if I’m not careful but should I be adding something else to this so it won’t run. My mom used to make these but she has since past & no recipe for her apricot rolls. I do remember her using tapioca.
Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!
Hi Andrea, Apricot rolls sound delicious! I’ve never made an apricot filling so unfortunately I can’t say if you need to add anything else to thicken it. I hope a reader who has made them has a suggestion!
I am making these today!! Wish me luck!!
This recipe is excellent. I made two poppyseed and two nut rolls on a Saturday afternoon. The dough is the shining star of this recipe. Any roll I’ve ever eaten in my 44 years has the dough tasting like bland white bread. Not so with this recipe. I was also left with a tremendous amount of leftover dough and made the best cinnamon rolls on the planet too. Thank you for sharing.
Can you please tell me if these nut rolls can be made ahead of time and frozen? Or if made one week ahead, can they be refrigerated for the week?
Hi Cindy, You can definitely freeze these! One week might be long to refrigerate, I would probably freeze them.
I made this recipe and had those problems gonna try again for Easter
My grandmother used to grind the walnuts by hand and took the recipe to her grave
Please tell me why my nutrolls come out doughy inside. Looks like they didnt cook through. I take out when bottom is nice and brown so I know they are done.
Hi Margaret, Hmmmm I haven’t had that issue at all. Are you talking about this recipe in particular, or nut rolls in general?
This recipe is the closest I have found to my Grandmother’s. She would make it for Easter and Christmas, besides the using the nuts she would make poppyseed, and apricot. Her nut filling was cooked on the stove. Looking at the pictures brings back so many memories my eyes filled with tears. So glad I found this and also the raisin filled cookies.
I have my grandmother’s recipe for Kolochi that she brought over from Poland. It does not have cream or milk in the recipe. Does call for more butter & eggs. In the filling you use honey. We make about 16 rolls at a time for the holidays.
I tried these a few years ago and they were delicious even though they split. Looking forward to trying them again with your tips! I found cake yeast at Pine Twp Market District this week…it’s no longer with the eggs/butter, it’s with the refrigerated cookie dough. Thank you for all your hard work and looking forward to more recipes in 2018!
I made this nut roll recipe and it turned out delicious. I think i used a little too much filling because the dough split a little: however, everyone I gave them to said they were great. I will make them again next year.
When this recipe was reposted, I had the urge to try it out. Made 2 days before Christmas. My first attempt with nut rolls & they came out great. I made half of the recipe. I baked them after the 3 hour proof- the only problem I had was they grew together on the trays when baked so they were split on the edge. No filling spilled though. I also used the recommendation from one on the reviews about making a belly button on the ends. I think my kitchen was too warm that day from doing other things. We ate some & froze the rest. The dough was really nice, not dry at all.
Definitely will make again.
I am so glad I found this recipe! My grandfather was Hungarian/Slavic and yet we never had these growing up. In fact, I had never heard of them until I met my Irish husband (he comes from eastern PA). Every year his family sends us one or two because you cannot get them where I live. Now I get to try to make them on my own. I may have to try it later this week. Just because! I have bookmarked the post for next year.
Use raw walnuts instead of conventional walnuts.
It will be mild and gooey compared to roasted walnuts.
Awesome post, Michelle. I’m so glad I stumbled across this recipe. Definitely going to have to make it for Christmas dinner!
Thank you! Enjoy!! :)
Wow! Thank you so much for writing this! My partner just moved from Pittsburgh to Seattle – and we’re planning a Christmas Eve dinner with his favorite foods when the idea of a nut roll came up. Now I have an authentic recipe to use!
Hi Laura, Oh how fun! You’re welcome, I hope you enjoy the nut roll!
This is the 5th or 6th time I’ve made these, maybe even more. My mom grew up with this kind of nut roll and the recipe she gave me was a bit sketchy and limited. This recipe turns out great every time that I’ve made it. In fact, I’m in the middle of rolling out the dough and decided to look up the recipe because I always forget to make the dough rectangular. My rolls seem to be more like ovals. I remembered that I had seen good pictures of The Brown Eyed Bakers rolls before they were filled with the nuts. To my excitement, the nut roll was right on the front page. Happy holidays and happy baking to all who undertake this recipe. I used to give my mom one nut roll for Christmas, then I learned that she won’t share with my dad, so now they each get their own. ;)
Hi Wendy, I’m so thrilled that you’ve been enjoying these for years! And so funny about your mom not sharing, ha! Glad your dad gets his own now :)
You recipe confirms to my Hungarian family’s NE Ohio directions. I used it to make my first rolls. I make 50% excess pecan nut filling due to my preference. My aunts instructions make for rolls that are twice as large. Next time I’ll knock the size down. I’ve printed your recipe as my handwritten instructions are scribbles. Thanks.
You’re welcome Bob! And more filling is never bad! :)
These are called potica in my Slovenian/Italian family. A yearly Christmas tradition. My mom used to make these for us for the holidays and our weddings. Simply the best! Thanks for posting this recipe!
I just spent the day making these nut rolls. I decided I would usevrhis recipe instead of my mom’s because I lived the idea of the sour cream in the dough. It’s my first crack at nut roll.
I followed the directions and the only mistake I made was rolling from the bottom up instead if side to side. Everything was beautiful until I started the baking. Every roll was huge and split on the side, with the nut filling exploding out. When cooled and cut you can’t even see that it is a roll with layers – just looks like lots of nut filling in the middle with an outside crust.
I’m trying the last 2 rolls at a lower temp and longer baking time.
I’d appreciate any feedback on what could have gone wrong. I am at about 2900 feet so I’m thinking altitude could be the culprit. I looked it up but it’s hard to find directions as everything varies.
Well I won’t be giving these as gifts but I think my family can still eat them. I tried!
Hi Sharlene, I’m not sure what you mean by bottom up instead of side to side… maybe you rolled from the short side instead of long side? That could have absolutely played a role, as well as altitude. I’ve never baked at high altitude, but I do have a troubleshooting page that might help: https://www.browneyedbaker.com/high-altitude-baking-tips/. I hope you still enjoy them!
To cut this recipe for Nut roll in half, how much yeast would that be? Original recipe says 3 packets, so should 2 packets work? My Polish grandmother always had these at Christmas and Easter, so delicious, and I am excited to see this recipe!
Hi Kathy, Each packet is 2 1/4 teaspoons, so I would do 3 teaspoons + a heaping 1/4 teaspoon to halve the recipe.
My grandfather used to make nut roll and poppy seed roll (my personal favorite!) every year for Christmas. Since he’s passed away my mom has been buying the rolls from a German bakery each year. Maybe I’ll have to try to make one myself now!
Aww I hope you enjoy these if you give them a shot!
Where, here in Pittsburgh, do you purchase “cakes of yeast”? I also need them for an original pizza dough recipe and I have never purchased them.
I live in NE Ohio and get cake yeast at Giant Eagle. It is near the egg section.
Hi Michele, I always got it at Giant Eagle or Shop n’ Save in the dairy section near the eggs, but I haven’t been able to find it for a couple of years now.
I am excited to give this a try, even though yeast and I don’t usually get along. My mother grew up in a predominantly Hungarian neighborhood (and we are Hungarian). There was a bakery in that neighborhood that would make many delicious things, including Hungarian Nut Roll. As I grew up, we would go to that bakery every December to buy fillings for making Hungarian cookies and a couple nut rolls. It was heavenly. Needless to say, the neighborhood is not what it used to be, the bakery is long gone. I have missed our Hungarian cookies and nut rolls. I MUST try this! Thank you, thank you, thank YOU!
This looks amazing. Can’t wait to make it. Yum!
Nut rolls remind me of any holiday and my Buba whose birthday just happens to be today, even though she is celebrating from heaven.
Her secret to the best nut roll was a bit of maple extract in the filling. Brings out the walnut flavor and makes a world of difference!
Hi Andrea, Happy Birthday to your Buba xo. Thanks for that tip, makes so much sense, will try it next time!
So I want to tell you a funny story about Pittsburgh nut rolls. I was living in Pittsburgh in the 70’s and I had an Italian friend in the area. There were 7 kids in the family. The parents had died and the oldest sister basically was raising all of them. I went over to their house one Christmas and I noticed there was a chest type freezer in the dining room. I asked if there was anything in there and my friend opened it up. In there must have been at least 30 frozen nut rolls. Apparently all the aunts made them for the kids every Christmas and they felt bad about throwing them out (and all of them hated nut rolls) so they just threw them in the freezer chest year after year. I have no idea why they didn’t re-gift them or something, but that was their solution. They offered me some, but truthfully it’s not my favorite either.
Oh my gosh that’s hysterical! My grandma had a deep freezer chest in her basement, but it wasn’t full of nut roll, haha!
It looks just like my Hungarian-Slavic Oma’s Christmas strudel! She also makes a poppyseed one. Unfortunately, her recipe is written in half English and missing key steps and ingredients. I’ve tried to recreate it so many times and have never succeeded.
Awww! I hope you’ll try this one and see how it compares!
Why use unsalted butter and then add salt. What is the difference in the two butters and what happens if you use the salted butter? After losing many a batch, my mom gave me the solution to a way to make sure the yeast is going to work. Water should be as it states on package. 110-115 I use a candy thermometer to make it right. Then add the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar. Let it set in warm area until it foams about 10 min, You know it will work. If you have to add and add more flower, your yeast was not right. Your dough will continue to stay sticky. this method is full proof. DON’T FORGET THE TEASPOON OF SUGAR.
Hi Sylvia, Different brands of butter use different amounts of salt, so by using unsalted butter and adding your own, you know exactly how much is being added to the recipe.
I have made your recipe ever since you posted it several years ago. AMAZING. Due to requests from family and friends, I have to make 3 batches at Christmas.
2 questions. I noticed in this recipe, you add a teaspoon of sugar to the yeast. What change does this make to the nut rolls? Also, I can never get my nut rolls to brown as nicely as yours. I have tried an egg wash but they look golden and a little streaky. Any suggestions to get them more uniformly brown? Merry Christmas!!
Hi Tom, The addition of the teaspoon of sugar helps to give the yeast a little bit of a boost. I don’t brush my rolls with anything before baking, so it’s just the natural browning from the oven. You could try leaving them in a few minutes longer to see if that helps, or try brushing with butter, if you haven’t yet. Merry Christmas to you! :)
Once you roll the filled nut roll on a clean surface, how do you move to the baking sheet? I know you rolls don’t fall apart, but there are some of us who will no doubt be faced with a crumpling roll.
The last recipe I used had me cooking the nut filling and was very wet and liquid-y. I can’t wait to try this one.
Hi Joy, I just picked them up with my hands and gently moved them, had the baking sheets sitting right next to the counter where I was assembled, so didn’t have to move far.
I’m so excited to find this recipe…been a blog follower for years but somehow missed this! My Polish dad from Scranton always orders these from the buttonwood bakery (we don’t live anywhere near scranton) and distributes them with glee, since his have already arrived i think I will surprise him by making these after the holidays, I can’t wait!
YUM! This nut roll looks just perfect – can’t wait to try it!
This is very close to my families receipt that we make every year. Here are a couple of tips, skip the mixer and mix by hand. The dough gets too tough otherwise. Also, divide the dough into balls and wrap in wax paper and place in refrigerator over night. Roll them out the next day and fill them. This makes working with the dough so much easier. Enjoy!
My wife and I have made this recipe for the last 3 years. Each year the nut rolls split open. I’m wondering if there is a step missing in the dough prep as listed above. We carefully watch the oven temp. We make sure the dough is not too thin. We have even decreased the amount of filling but they still split. Otherwise they are delicious. Can you help
Hi Dennis, I actually worked on this recipe last week and will be posting an update this week. I didn’t change the recipe much, but I held back a bit of the flour, and none of my rolls split oven. This may be the key! I’m wondering if it’s a bit too much flour and it’s making the dough too dry and more prone to cracking/splitting.
I wish I had read the revised recipe before I made three batches last week! ;-)
I’ve been making your recipe for about 5 years now. My 98-year-old Slovak mother’s recipe is nowhere near as good (even she says so). I’ve been making nutroll since I was a little girl and I’m 59. Your recipe is THE BEST nutroll ever, but I have the issue of splitting. I’ve tried everything I could think of – smaller rolls, larger rolls, more filling, less filling, thinner, thicker. Next time, I’ll try less flour. I use dry yeast and proof it. Maybe I have to go for cake yeast.
The recipe is so good, I get bombarded with requests – thus the three batches. This year I made apricot rolls, too, because my mother shouldn’t eat nuts. The apricot rolls didn’t split. Also, we added apricot filling to the edge that gets rolled up first on a couple of nut roll, so there is a little apricot in the middle. Yum!
Soak a cup of white raisins while preparing nuts…add to nut filling. Also, I use honey instead of sugar
I want to know if once I make the dough, is it possible to freeze it after it rises until I get time to roll it out to finish making them?
Hi Brenda, I’ve never tried to freeze this dough, so I couldn’t say for sure how well it would work.
Would I be able to mix up the dough and refrigerate or freeze? That would save a lot of time when I’m ready to make the filling and make the rolls.
Hi Vivian, I think after you let it rise, you could refrigerate it overnight without an issue.
Have made these nutrolls this year & they are great!!! One question, when you add the yeast to the warm water, are you supposed to add that water also to the dough or just the yeast & discard that water? Thanks so much for this recipe.
Hi Susie, So glad you enjoyed the nut roll! You should add the water to the dough, not discard.
This was delicious. I did add a little maple flavoring to my nut mixture which I like. Lost the recipe that I used for years and this one matches it. Terrific! Thanks!!
Has anyone made these using dry yeast instead of fresh? I live in SC and haven’t been able to find fresh yeast. If so, how did they turn out? Did you do anything different when using the dry least (like letting the dough rise for shorter or longer than the recipe calls for)? I want to try making this recipe using dry yeast but wanted to see if anyone has tried this yet. Thanks!
I have used dry yeast, 1 and 1/2 packets and the amount of water recommended on the package for that amount of yeast.
Your directions state to bake for “20 minutes” is this correct? Seems a very short time.
Hi Kathleen, That’s correct, or however long it takes for them to be lightly browned.
I only made half the recipe, but had no rolls that burst. I pricked the rolls with a toothpick on top and a few on the side. the one’s my deceased MIL made had a firmer dough, but these are excellent, just more tender and soft.
It’s that time of year again. Married into a Slovak family 30 years ago. My father in law told me this recipe was better than his moms.
I am teaching my niece how to make a these today and keeping the family nutroll tradition going. We will be making 2 batches today, rest tomorrow.
Been looking for this since my grandmother passed away, thanks. Do you know the Czech word for this roll
You’re welcome, I hope you enjoy them! I do not know the Czech word, unfortunately :(
Have made nutrolls from your recipe at least 5 times now! Excellent recipe, GREAT nutroll,. I feel very good giving them to friends at the Holidays. Thank you for sharing your recipe!
3 hours was to long to let this rise. After 1.5 hours the dough had spread and split on top.
Fabulous. Perfect Sunday morning task. Thank you.
Anyone who grew up eating a version of this nutroll has a special nostalgia for the simple flavors that combine to make this wonderfully satisfying treat. Everyone has a different preference, depending on what they grew up with, be it sweet dough, a cookie-like dough, loose filling, tight filling. My first taste came by way of my Hungarian great-grandmother. Like most people of that era, things were measured in pinches, handfuls, and eyeing. “How much is a handful?” I would ask, pleading for a recipe I could write down. “What difference does it make? As long as it’s always the same hand, the measurement stays the same.” True, but I like weights and measures. For years I’ve tried different versions of dough and bread, testing it on my still-living Hungarian grandmother for accuracy. She has always liked my kolache, but there was something a bit off that drove me to keep trying. I’m happy to say my search is over! This recipe is as close to the one I know as any could be. I have some modifications below for those trying it themselves. There are a couple shaping tips as well to ensure consistency. But the recipe and ratios are spot-on! Even better, it didn’t require the wafer-thin rolling great-grandma used to do. I have NO skills with dough that thin. I can’t wait to take a batch of these to my relatives! Thanks for sharing it
………………….NOTES: I used bread flour for the extra strength, and used 1/2 cup of buttermilk because I was out of sour cream. By adding the flour gradually, I could adjust the dough since the full 5 cups would have been too dry. You might add a sentence about kneading the dough prior to rolling out: if the dough looks like it has cellulite thighs it needs a little more time! Also, letting it sit 15-30 minutes before shaping makes any egg dough easier to roll out without it contracting back up–maddening! A little patience there makes the rolling a breeze. A lot of rolls like to split out the sides (not just the seam) when baking. That is usually the result of underproving the dough. After these are formed, they may take more or less than 3 hours. I was baking on a cool, humid day, and had to finish proving in a warm oven (100 degrees) because they still weren’t ready at 3-1/2 hours. Dough is ready when your fingertip makes a little dent that slowly fills back up. If the dimple is unchanged, it’s not ready. To keep filling from coming out the ends, you can roll like in your photo, or take a tip from Serbian ladies and make a belly button on the end: Roll without folding ends in first, then tuck them in after rolling and press a dimple in. It puffs back out while baking but keeps everything in place without getting too thick. I had a bit of trouble with air pockets between filling and dough, which I will fix with another Serbian trick: poking the proved rolls with a toothpick a few times to allow steam to escape.
Thank you so much, Maria, for taking the time to share your feedback on the recipe and so many of your own notes for success! I appreciate it, and I’m sure other readers will, as well! :)
I made this recipe last night. After looking everywhere for cake yeast, I found it at Whole Foods! The recipe didn’t say what level the baking rack should be on, so I went for the middle. I found that 20 minutes did not get the nut rolls nearly brown at all, and they were still underbaked. I would’ve like some guidance on how thick to roll the dough. I know you suggested to about 9 x 14 inches. I found that the rolls that were smaller baked better. Eventhough I pinched the seam, all but one roll exploded. I have yet to try them. They smell great despite four looking underbaked and wonky. I’ll report back when the tasting happens.
Brush with egg white before baking.
I’ve made this recipe several times and it comes out delicious. I remember eating nut roll as a child and this recipe is even better than what I used to have when I was little. Thank you!
Second time baking nutroll. The recipe is great, and the nutrolls are wonderful. Love that recipe is for 8 nut rolls!
I knew these were the real deal when I saw the sour cream and cake yeast. Lost my recipe, so thank you! Mom did the egg white and sugar and nuts with the cookie filling and used this recipe for the nut roll filling. I did cut it in half and it was delicious. I do add golden raisins to the nuts.
wonderful issues altogether, you just received a new reader.
What would you suggest about your submit that you simply made a few days ago?
Nice recipe I just want to know how many times should I let the dough rise? Once after mixing is all together for an hour. Then again after I cut them all up for an hour. Then for an hour after putting the filling in them and wrapping them up?
Hi Justin, You only do 1 rise, but it’s for 3 hours – after the nut rolls are assembled (see step #4).
Really good recipe. I’m from the Balkans and I’ve made these before following different recipes but your recipe is much better – it’s truly delicious. Thank you, you’re a really great cook as I’ve tried several different recipes of yours and they all turn out great! Good job!
I grew up in West Texas and Mother always had one of these rolls bought from Safeway (market) Don’t know what company made them, but I’ve been looking for them ever since. Ours were made with Pecans, not walnuts. Will make these soon and come back with review. No one around there was Polish or Slavic but as far as I know they could’ve imported these from back East. A fond memory from the 50’s for me! Thanks so much.
What do you use to bake your rolls? As a child my mother had nut roll pans but I can’t find any loaf pans longer than a loaf of bread and thinner than a regular loaf. Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Cynthia, I use a regular baking pan (half sheet pan) and free-form the rolls. If you’re looking for different styles of bread pans, I would check out King Arthur Flour – they have a lot of specialty pans!
My boss makes this every Christmas and he brings it into work. It was his grandmother’s recipe that she taught him as a boy. We were asking him today what it is called and he told us it is called orechovník. It’s delicious.
Excellent recipe! My mother is Czech and 96 years old so doesn’t bake anymore. I made these rolls for her and she said they were better than her mother’s and the best she ever had. I halved the recipe and made two walnut, one poppy seed apple and one apricot roll. It was quite a treat for her and brought back so many memories. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Wonderful nut rolls, made them for Christmas. Filled half with nuts and half with apricot. Your Filling for nuts recipe is the best I have ever had.
I came from New Castle Pa.
My grandmother made nut roll for us Christmas and Easter. No one has made it since she passed away. I am trying to do it this Christmas but her recipe is very short and not much infor. The filling has egg whites in it and no butter I keep trying to remember how it was done but I always think that butter was in the recipe.
I wish my memory was better, The family members that made it are all gone and my mother just passed so I can’t ask her.
I will try it your way and see if it works for us. Thank you very much and Merry Christmas and God Bless
Hi Gary, My grandma always made a walnut roll cookie for Thanksgiving and the filling sounds like the one you’re looking for – ground walnuts, egg whites, butter… here is the recipe – it might help!
Easiest rolling dough I have ever worked with. This is a keeper!
I’m so happy you paid attention to us. This is very close, in fact, it looks like the Nut Roll Recipe for the dough. There are variations on the fillings.. you can use Solo too. The flour left over from the bag of flour is perfect for the cream cheese cookies Horns
I have been making nut rolls for several years and last year decided to give this recipe a try. OMG the best nut rolls ever. I made these for gifts and everyone raved about them. I love the easy to follow directions with pictures for those that have never done them before it really should help. I am now getting ready for this years batch and husband is already salivating.
what is the best type of flour for the but roll recipe? Bleached or unbleached….Gold Medal? pillsbury? Any help would be appreciated
Hi Stephanie, I use King Arthur Flour unbleached for all of my baking, but I don’t think the brand of bleached/unbleached would make any significant difference in this recipe. (For what it’s worth, I think my grandma used Robin Hood exclusively!)
Never attempted anything like this,but was determined to make nut rolls this year. Simpler than I expected and very delicious.
Came across your blog while searching for nut roll recipes. I’m originally from the Pittsburgh area and my Hungarian / Polish gramma would make these every year. She passed away when I was a teen. I now live in Seattle and since a teen I’ve only had “authentic” nut rolls once. Sadly, none of my generation of family (cousins, etc) make these. This year I intend to learn to make nut rolls and I’m starting with your recipe. The pics look like the nut rolls I remember and I do remember the cake yeast ingredient. So, I’m hoping it all goes well. Thanks for posting and the great, step by step photos.
I hope you enjoy them!!
Can I freeze these uncooked ? If so do I thaw before baking ? Or bake from freezer ? Thank yo
Hi Karen, I don’t think I’d recommend freezing them unbaked. I do know that they will freeze well once baked. Allow them to cool, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then in foil.
Taste delicious but sure doesn’t look pretty. Filling leaked out in places but not at the seams.
My dough always splits during baking. Any ideas why or how to prevent this? Thank you for posting this recipe.
Hi Kathy, Mine does too! Unfortunately my son has a nut allergy and we don’t keep them in the house, so I haven’t been able to play around with this recipe to try some different techniques, but they sure taste good :)
I grew up on these but my sister decided to throw all of my parents recipes away when they passed. These look so much like my moms, and I want to make them. Every time I have tried to make them they end up looking like nut bread. They are very good but not what I want. These will not be that way will they?
My Hungarian great grandma, grandma, and mom used to make these. I wanted a great recipe (without raisins!!!) so I could try making them for the holidays and this one was THE BEST. My dad said it tasted better than my great grandma’s. That’s quite the compliment since she was a fantastic baker.
I make 50-12″ legs every year for the Xmas holdays. I use 12″ individual bread pans. I use dry yeast, in my dough & sour cream in both my dough & filling. My recipe makes 11 “legs” at a time & I knead the dough by hand using at least 6-7 #’s of flour in one recipe. I roll it not too thinly because with real Slovenian potica you should see a slight bit of dough between nut layers. The vey thin dough some of you are referring to is “strudel” dough & that has a cottage cheese or Apple filling. A very different dough that has no yeast or sour cream in it. I also make about 125 cabbage rolls (saramas) at a time using beef, pork & ham with rice, etc in the filling & use sour heads to wrap them in, which can be purchased up in our neck of the woods (Northern MN)
If I wanted to roll these from the short side, would i still bake for 20 mins?
Hi Natasha, You would likely need to bake longer since the filling would be much more dense.
Any idea how much longer? Or is this going to be a trial and error thing for me lol? I can’t wait to make these!
Hi Natasha, I’m really not sure, as I’ve never tried to make nut roll that way… trial and error! :)
Hi Michelle, thanks for this super sounding recipe. My husband and I are originally from the Pittsburgh area, now living in WI. His mother (age 95) sends us her nutroll each Christmas and it’s a holiday custom to dispense it among all our kids on Christmas Eve. My question: is there any reason the dough isn’t kneaded? I was planning on making it in my KA mixer and using the bread hook, but thought I should check first. Thanks again. (By the way, my first grandchild was born on 1/19/16… Joseph’s first b’day! I enjoy imagining her doing the things you post about Joseph a year from now.)?
Hi Lois, I am not sure why the dough isn’t kneaded, I’ve only ever made it the way it was written on that little index card, ha! And congratulations on your first grandchild! I’m sure you’re enjoying the heck out of her :) It’s amazing how fast the time goes!
Can you pre-make the dough?
Hi Jessica, I’ve never tried it, you might be able to refrigerate overnight, but I probably wouldn’t leave it longer than that.
I love these nut rolls! Best recipe! everything on this site that I’ve tried has been amazing~ thank you!
I have a similar recipe passed down to my mother from my best friends mom. The only difference is we cook the filling until it thickens then allow to cool before assembling. I’m looking forward to trying your recipe. It may be easier to handle ro;;s without luke arm filling.
Best nutroll(Carpatho Rusyn)/Potica ( Slovenian) recipe that I have ever tried…..and I have tried many trying to match my Gram’s recipe. This is the winner!
made these Christmas 2014, and they were the best I’ve ever had. Dough is springy enough that it doesn’t stick when rolled–even our 3.5 yo helped roll. Filling is delicious. Thank you for the hands-down best nut roll ever (and easiest to make!).
Somehow I missed this until this morning… so if this question has been asked & answered I apologize…. does the yeast have to be cake ?? is there an advantage to cake over loose in the jar ? I’d like very much to make these this weekend for my gift baskets. I appreciate any help and advise anyone can offer
Hi Abby, I think that this recipe calls for cake since it’s a very old recipe and that’s what was traditionally used a long time ago. You could substitute dry yeast if you’d like.
This is my 2nd year making nut rolls, and I prefer this recipe a lot over last year’s. The only suggestions I would offer is 1) to grind the nuts as step #1, 2) make the filling as step #2 while the yeast is combined and rests, and 3) to prepare the dough last, as the dough can tend to crust easily even while covered with a moist cloth (cold weather had me operating the heater at 74 to keep the kitchen warm during dough rise, and since this was my third baking project today, the home air was dryer than usual and my dough suffered just a bit for it. Next year -proofing box/resting box will be built and used!)
I’ve been using my grandmothers recipe for nut roll and they always crack, and nut filling seeps out in the oven. Any suggestions?!? Yours look beautiful!
Hi Lori, Mine do crack a little bit too, I just accept it as part of their rustic nature :)
Made these a few days ago. They are GREAT but a lot of work which is okay. To think my mother-in-law used to do all of this by hand! I also used this recipe for poppy seed rolls but I did not use store-bought filling. Ordered poppy seeds online and the added sugar and milk.
I made these yesterday. All but two busted out a little walnut filling. Very yummy. Question: I used my Kitchen Aid mixer but once I got to 8 cups of flour the dough was pushing out of the bowl. What size mixer do you use?
Hi Caryn, I use a 6-quart mixer.
My grandma and mom and dad would make nut rolls! I am Hungarian and Slavic! I like the nut roll to be moist and lots of filling, can’t wait to make this! Looks great!
My wife’s grandma used to make a Kolache like this recipe. Shea also used to ADD Chocolate to it and she made a Poppy seed version. Do you have any recipes for these?
BTW your recipe was GREAT! It tasted so close to my wife’s grandma’s version.
I just made these for a family reunion this weekend. It is about the 4th time I have made kolachi using this recipe. They look absolutely amazing and were the best tasting kolachi I have made.
Usually, at least half of the batch splits but this is the first time none split. The only thing I did differently was to use organic flour and organic butter. I also kneaded the dough by hand after everything incorporated in the mixer. Not sure if that made a difference or it was just luck. Finally, I hit the kolachi with melted butter as soon as they came out of the oven as someone suggested. Great tip!
I was looking for instructions on how to actually “roll” the nut roll, or, like many others, we called it kolachi. I’m 50 now and can remember standing on a chair beside my mother when I was five… or even younger, helping her make “her version” of the nut roll. My mother has long since been gone and I thought her receipe was too. It was the only nut roll (kolachi) I ever really liked because it wasn’t dry like so many are. I could eat it from dawn till dusk with, or without, milk! Since she passed I have been approached by so many people asking if I had the receipe but sadly I did not….. until last weekend when my daughter and I found a huge box of very old cookbooks that were my mothers and my sisters, who also passed away even before my mother. As we looked through the loose notes, receipes and many many books I spotted an old hand written kolachi receipe and instantly knew it was my mothers from the stains and crumbled nut pieces still hanging onto it! WOW! We were so thrilled but the directions are vague at best. I remember a LOT about her style but the one thing missing was how to actually “roll the roll”, lol. When I found this receipe it sounded so very close to my mothers but with one very big difference. I asked my mother why hers was always so moist when all the others I had tried were, like many have said, dry and tasteless? The secret, she said, was in the filling. Applesauce was her big secret. Not so much that you taste it over the other ingredients but enough that it really changes the moistness of the entire kolachi.
Thank you so much for your receipe but even more for the pictures and instructions on how to “roll the roll”! I can’t wait till I pick up my daughter tonight and we get to “try” and make my mothers famous kalochi/nut roll/awesome stuff, whatever you wish to call it, lol After all, a rose by any other name…..
Can I use phyllo dough?
Hi Devon, I have never done so and don’t know how it would up to the filling.
I have used your recipe several times now, with more success each time. I am so grateful as our family recipe seemed to disappear after my grandma’s passing. The only part I have not yet figured out is how to get them to brown so pretty like yours….Mine taste awesome but tend to keep the original color of the dough with just a hint of “browning” to it. Any secrets for this?
Hi Kelly, Unfortunately, I don’t have any secrets, but you might try moving the oven rack up one spot and see if that helps?
The rising time on this recipe must be an error. In 3 hours the yeast will have overworked. Prep time 3 hours yes, not rising time. I baked this full recipe doing two dozen for Easter and one hour rise sufficient. I did a few without egg wash and finished with butter brush after baking – and others without. Those with egg wash and butter brush were remarkably tastier. Everything better with butter!
Do you brush the tops of the rolls with anything (before baking)
Hi Rose, No, I don’t brush with anything.
I made these won derful rolls today following the recipe to the “t” except I found that the raising time of one hour was sufficient. They will be shared among family this Easter holiday. The recipe is a breeze. I did do an egg wash before baking and brushed with soft butter after removing from oven. They are delicious! Thank you for sharing.
i have my Babci’s (polish for grandmother) and it’s so old, my dough always splits, I love mine packed with nuts, what could be the problem? Tried the too thin n too thick dough, still same problem every Easter, our tradition includes it for easter
Hi Barb, I’ve always had issues with splitting as well, I haven’t found a solution! Sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t.
This recipe has similar ingredients to my mom’s recipe, but hers makes 2 nut rolls. (She is Slovak and called them nut rolls, though I’ve heard her aunts refer to them as kolache.) Anyway, my nut rolls always cracked and I think I finally figured out why. If you roll them too tightly, the filling expands as it gets hot and has nowhere to go but through the dough to escape. When rolling up the nut roll, try to roll it gently and not too snugly, if you know what I mean. That way, the filling has some room expand a little as it heats up. I thought to try that last year, and it seemed to work…., no cracks or filling oozing out.
FYI, here’s her recipe: 3 c. Flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, 2 T sugar, 1 cake yeast (though I’ve used 1 pkg. dry yeast and it seems to work fine), 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/4 c. warm milk, 1 stick butter, 2 egg yolks, and 1/2 c sour cream. Scald milk and add butter. Let butter melt, when cool, add beaten egg yolks, sugar, salt and crumbled yeast and vanilla till dissolved. Add flour and sour cream. Mix with hands. Divide dough in half. Roll (into as big a rectangle as you can, about the size of a cookie sheet) and spread with nut filling (see below). Roll up and place diagonally across a greased cookie sheet. Do the same with the other roll. Cover with a towel and let rise 1 hour. (OK, have to tell this story. When we were kids, my mom set it on the floor next to the heating vent to rise. One of my siblings apparently ,while at play, stepped on it. I can still hear the horror in my mom’s voice when she discovered this, and I can still see the small child’s footprint in her otherwise risen and ready to bake nut roll.) Bake 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Nut filling enough for 2 rolls: 3 c ground walnuts, 1 c sugar, small amount of milk to make it spreadable. Brush milk on top of rolls before baking. There’s a note on her recipe card: “To double (4 rolls),.double everything but the egg yolks. Use 3 egg yolks.”
Thanks so much for sharing Karen!
My mom made these on Christmas and Easter. I missed them so much. Lost her recipe. Thank you for posting it! They are DELICIOUS!!!!
This recipe is awesome. My husband’s grandmother used to make these every year for Christmas, but since she has passed away, we dont get them anymore…. So I decided that I would try her recipe, but it always broke. Your dough recipe is great…. perfectly moist and rises beautifully. I halve the recipe as I only have enough pans to make 4 LARGE rolls. Instead of cake yeast (which I have been unable to find in my area – at ANY grocery store) I use 3 1/2 tsp of active dry yeast (about 1 1/2 packages). I also brush with an egg wash as Grandmother did. Poppy seed is another version, but I was unable to get ground poppy seeds, so I bought a jarred filling from the grocery store.
I froze mine and how do you defrost! In the fridge or on a counter too?
Hi Teresa, I’ve done it both ways!
My mom’s recipe is very similar to yours except the dough is rolled out in a 50/50 mix of flour and sugar. She also raises her dough before separating it into balls and rolling out. Otherwise, pretty much the same and I can say it is the best dough I’ve ever had.
Why do u bake one at a time? Thanks!
Hi Russ, One pan at a time (with 2 nut