Nut Roll

December 9, 2010

Cooking

Add Nut Roll to the list of baked goods my son feels a good mom is compelled to make for her son the same way his Baba did for him.  Add me to the list of not so good mom’s.  My son is almost 25 and I’ve never made nut roll.  Why not?  I’ve been intimidated by all that rolling and rising and grinding.  Really…I’ve been lazy too.  And I don’t like nuts…so why would I make nut roll?  

This year I decided to give it a go.  There was a communidty ed class run by the local Community College and at the last minute I signed up.  The instructor couldn’t make it…in her place came a chef who teaches at the local Vo Tech Culinary program.  What a great guy…not once did I feel like I was at Hell’s Kitchen though several times I thought I should be!   

Nut roll seems to be tricky.  First trick is to find a recipe for a dough that suits.  Chef gave us several recipes that were the instructor’s not his.  Next trick…in a 1.5 hour class, how do you make a nut roll dough and filling when you’ve got the whole proofing thing to take into consideration?  Well, Chef had the answer.  He had the dough prepared when he came…perhaps there was  a high school kid on dough duty yesterday and if so, thanks kid…you made a fine dough that rolled beautifully.  Silky smooth!  Next trick, ensuring the dough rises.  Yeast doughs can be pesky things in my experience. 

All said, we got some nut filling made (though I surely would have loved to get my hands on my cuisineart instead of the broken down blender which was all that I could find), rolled out the dough, filled the dough and rolled up the nut roll.  Cleaned up and class was done.  Since the dough had been refrigerated all day I was loathe to refrigerate it over night and proof it this morning so I brought it home and proofed it (3 hours!) last night…then baked it.  The aroma was amazing! 

I was less than thrilled with the results.  First, I think the dough didn’t rise sufficiently…though I had it in the oven on the proof cycle.  Next, I didn’t like the dough recipe.  It wasn’t sweet enough and it was too flaky..not bread like.  It baked a bit crispy…something I’ve never seen in nut roll before.  Perhaps, since I was using convection bake and it’s a new oven I should have adjusted temperature downward rather than shaving off time. 

Bottom line, the class was WELL worth taking and I feel inspired to undertake nut roll next weekend using my mother-in-law’s recipe.  I suspect my sister in law has it.  And though it’s not customary,   I think I’ll make an apricot roll…I deserve a treat too!  I think after Christmas I’ll have to tackle sticky buns….

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