Slovak Nutroll (Kolach) and Old Family Recipe
This is a very old family recipe passed down through by my Slovak great-grandmother on my mother's side. My family has been making nutroll for over a hundred years. It is a cherished recipe that is part of the holidays. As a child we made the nutroll together as a family hand-grinding the nuts. I make these every year by myself with a little help with my Kitchen Aid mixer. As I grind, knead, and roll the nutroll I think of my mom and grandmothers fondly; it warms my heart.
My recipe is one of two versions passed down. This is pastry dough version. There is one that is a raised dough that creates a bread texture. If you do a web search for "Slovak nutroll recipe" you will find many versions. There is not one "right way". The key players are dough and nuts.
Nut Roll Dough
10 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 pounds butter 5 eggs 4 1/2 tsp. powdered sugar 1 1/2 can evaporated milk (or fresh milk) 2 rapid rise yeast packets 3 tsp. vanilla 9 tsp. baking powder
Mix butter and flour as for pie. Add eggs, powdered sugar, yeast, pinch salt, vanilla, and baking powder. Mix in the milk, knead it into a large ball. Let stand in refrigerator for a few hours. Makes about 14 rolls.
Nut Roll Filling
5 pounds of shelled walnuts
1 cup sugar + more to taste 2 egg whites beaten 1 can evaporated milk (or fresh milk) + more to make filling spreadable 1 tsp. vanilla
Grind nuts fine in food processor or grinder - nuts must be very, very fine. I use the grinder attachment on my Kitchen-Aid mixer. Mix ingredients in bowl. The above are approximate amounts; you may need to add more milk to a make it spreadable and more sugar to sweeten.
Create a mixture of powdered sugar and granular sugar; use this to roll the dough on Instead of flour. It makes It sweet and a nice crusty outside finish.
Take a tennis ball size of dough and roll it to 1/8 inch thick. Spread with nut filling evenly over the dough. Roll up, like a jelly roll and tuck ends under. On a baking sheet create foil boats - 3 per sheet. Once the roll is formed, set nut rolls inside boats and bake.
Place inside the foil boat and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until light brown.
Once cool, wrap each roll in the foil and store in the freezer until to you are ready to slice and serve.
Here is the process. First, I put on a sappy Hallmark Christmas Movie and get started.
Photos of my great-grandmother on the left and my grandmother on the right. I was fortunate to have known my great-grandmother, although she had dementia at the time and did not speak much English.
Nutrolls can be bought online too. That is amazing to me. Here is one similar to mine but with the bread type of dough. English Walnut Filling (nutroll.com)
For me, Christmas is a time for honoring family traditions and remembering those that have passed away. I hope your Christmas and holiday season are filled with the gift of love. That is the most important gift of all.