"This is a family recipe, which many people have tried to get their hands on. Tranditionally, we make this labor of love during the holiday season and hand it out to families as gifts. This slightly sweet roll has a taste unlike any other sweet roll, and can be filled with a variety of things from poppyseed filling and raisins (how my great-grandma liked to make it for my dad), jams and jellies, to the traditional walnut filling listed in this recipe. This recipe doubles well, and the cooked rolls are great for freezing. Slice it up warm and spread lightly with some butter!
1DISSOLVE the yeast in ½ cup of the scalded milk (still hot) and 1 Tablespoon of sugar. (My preferred method to do this is to combine the yeast and sugar in a WARMED metal bowl. Then gently pour the milk over top. Stir GENTLY with a wooden spoon, just briefly. Then let it set UNDISTURBED for 5-8 minutes. You can see the photo for what you can expect to happen.)
2COMBINE the rest of the dough ingredients, mixing by HAND with a wooden spoon. However, when I do this, I usually get frustrated with the spoon and just get right in there with my bare hands.
3KNEAD by hand until dough is soft and elastic. Add flour as necessary to prevent sticking to your hands and the work surface.
4GREASE one or two bowls liberally with vegetable or canola oil (I always re-use the bowl that I just mixed everything in) and place the kneaded dough in here. COVER loosely with plastic wrap. Place a towel over top.
5REFRIGERATE the dough for a minimum of 10 hours. Don't keep the dough in the refrigerator for more than two days. (Yes, I used my toddler's bathrobe as a cover for this batch. For some reason he hides my hand towels, so - I hid his bathrobe :) )
6DIVIDE the dough into eight balls and let rise in a warm place for 2½ - 3 hours. I also grease the plate(s) that I place them on, with oil. I then cover loosely with plastic wrap, topped with a clean towel.
7ROLL the dough out onto a well-floured surface into a rectangle, no more than ¼" thick. Brush the dough with some melted butter. Be liberal with this application - remember you have 1 cup of melted butter for eight rolls. The butter helps the filling stick and keeps the rolls moist in the middle.
8PREPARE the filing ingredients by mixing them all together in a medium-size bowl and beat the eggs (in a separate bowl) while you are waiting for the dough to rise.
9SPREAD the filling out on top of the butter you applied in Step 8. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top of the filing. Put as much on as you like, this is just for taste, and not absolutely necessary to the recipe. Then, drizzle the honey over top of all of this. Again, be liberal in applying this.
10ROLL UP the dough loosely. The length of the roll doesn't matter, it just needs to fit onto your cookie sheet. To seal the ends, use the sides of your hands to press them down (like a gentle karate chop). Fold excess under - DO NOT TRIM or your roll will ooze all of the filling out and make a huge mess all over your cookie sheet. Make three or four small slits diagonally across the top of the roll.
11BRUSH with beaten eggs.
12BAKE at 350º for 24-30 minutes. Your cook time will depend on how thick you rolled out your dough and how much filling you piled up inside. When done, your dough will be a beautiful golden brown color on the outside, and the slits which you cut in the top will have opened up and some filling will probablystart to bubble out. Try baking one roll first. When you think it's finished, cut it in half. You will be abl to see whether the dough in the middle is cooked. If not - just adjust your baking time accordingly.
13SERVE the roll, by cutting slices off about 1" thick. With the filling that we used here, butter works GREAT as a spread.