Caramel Walnut Cinnamon Rolls

There is nothing better than these gooey caramel cinnamon rolls laden with fresh walnuts.  I have made some variety of these rolls since my kids were little. The kids were always very excited because I love them so much I wouldn’t bake them very often or I would end up eating most of them.

I have a friend who’s grandmother cracks walnuts and pulls the meat. I feel fortunate that I am able to buy a couple of bags each year.  The walnuts are so fresh, so beautiful, the first thing I think of making when I get my hands on the walnuts are these gooey cinnamony walnuty rolls.

MeasuringSunshine-CaramelWalnutCinnamonRolls

Ingredients:
1 cup milk
1 pkg rapid rise yeast
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp butter- cut into pieces
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla paste-optional
3 – 3 and 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
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1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp corn syrup
1 – 2 cups chopped walnuts
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3/4 cup softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
more chopped walnuts
cinnamon, nutmeg, more cinnamon, more cinnamon

Warm up the milk in the microwave to about 115 degrees,  add 1/4 cup sugar and the yeast- set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat the egg, add the chopped butter.  After the 5 minutes and the yeast has activated add to the egg and butter.  Mix  3 cups flour with the salt.  Add to the yeast mixture 1/2 cup at a time.  The dough should be pulling away from the sides of the bowl, if not add another 1/2 cup flour.
Prepare a separate bowl with drizzling 1 tbsp of canola oil.  Set aside.

Pour about 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour onto the kneading board and them pull the dough out of bowl.  Knead  for 2-4 minutes until the dough is smooth and springy.  I keep wanting to take a picture of this but my hands are in the dough and not camera worthy.
Take the dough and toss into the prepared bowl that has the canola oil. Swish it around to coat and then flip so the oily part is on the top.  I normally cover with a towel, but you can also use plastic wrap.  Put bowl into a warm place to rise for about an hour.

While the dough is rising- get a saucepan and add the half cup butter and the brown sugar- turn the stove onto medium.  Add the corn syrup and simmer for 5-10 minutes until the sugar is all the way melted and then I will usually simmer until it thickens.  Set aside for it to cool down.

Chop the walnuts, set aside.
When the dough had risen to double the size, take out half and roll out into a rectangle mine is never rectangle. Smear the soften butter over the whole thing.   Sprinkle the white sugar, then the brown sugar, then add the cinnamon, and or other spices.  I don’t think you can put too much cinnamon. Sprinkle part of the chopped walnuts(these I chop finer than the ones that go into the caramel.
Start at the wide side and start rolling.
I use a piece of thread to cut the rolls, but a very sharp knife will work as well.
MeasuringSunshine- CaramelCinnamonWalnut Rolls

Get your pan (make sure pan has handles or a lip that you will be able to hold as you flip the pan after baking) out and pour the caramel onto the bottom, sprinkle the rest of the walnuts over the caramel.
As you cut the rolls, place on top of the caramel.
MeasuringSunshine- CaramelCinnamonWalnut Rolls
Leave some space between the rolls- these are a little too close, I actually had to take some of them out and put into a different pan. Cover with a towel and set aside to rise again for about 45 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes.  To check to see if they are done, select one of the center rolls and pull gently away from the roll next to it.  Does it look flaky or still gooey?  If still gooey , put back into the oven for 5-10 more minutes.
After rolls are done, let cool in the pan until you can touch the pan without burning yourself.
Get a plate at least a big as the pan with the rolls.  Put the plate upside down on top of pan of rolls, grab both sides and flip.
MeasuringSunshine- CaramelCinnamonWalnut Rolls

 

Get a cup of coffee, sit down and enjoy.

You can do these the night before and when you get to the bake stage- put into the refrigerator.
The next morning let the chill where off and throw into the oven. You may need to bake a little longer.

Holiday Braided Egg Bread

This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
It make wonderful French toast the next morning as well.
Its easy and fun to make.
Time: about 1 hour, plus 2 1/2 hours’ rising
Yield: 3 medium loaves or 2 lg loaves

2 packages active dry yeast
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for greasing the bowl- you can use same amount of any oil you have on hand
5 large eggs-(room temp is best but cold works too)
1 teaspoon salt
6 and 1/2 to 8 1/2 cups all-purpose flour-part of the flour will be used on the board while kneading the bread.Poppy or sesame seeds for sprinkling.


 

1. In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 and 3/4 cups lukewarm water.(115-120)
2.  Pour melted butter into yeast mixture, then beat in 5 eggs, one at a time, with remaining sugar and salt.
3. Gradually add flour- I usually start by adding 6 cups (1/2 cup at a time).
4. When dough holds together(it will start pulling away from the side of the bowl), it is ready for kneading.
This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
5. Turn dough onto a floured surface (put about 1 c of flour on board) and knead until smooth.(I use a simple push and pull technique)
6. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a big bowl, put to dough in swirl it around to coat bottom then flip over.
7. Cover with plastic wrap, or clean towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour, until almost doubled in size.
(Dough may also rise in an oven that has been warmed to 150 degrees then turned off.)
8. Punch down dough. Roll the dough out onto the work surface.
9.  If making two large loaves then cut dough in half and push second half out of the way.
(If I am giving the bread away or adding it to a gift basket I will usually make 4-6 small loaves.)
10.  Take the dough and cut it into 3 pieces. This is a simple braid, same as you would a little girls hair. Tuck the ends underneath on both ends of the braids and place on greased sheet or put into a greased loaf pan.
This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
11. Beat a egg and brush it on loaves. Either freeze breads or let rise another hour. (If your house is warm, rising may take less time)
12. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Sprinkle bread with seeds, if using. If freezing, remove from freezer 5 hours before baking.
This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
13. Bake in middle of oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. (If you tap the top with fingernail and it sounds almost hollow it’s done) Cool loaves on a rack.
Egg Braid Bread=This is the holiday braided egg bread that works for all holiday and family gatherings. It is always a hit when given as a gift.
 
Note: Any of the risings can be done in the fridge for a few hours. When you’re ready to  work with it again, bring it back to room temperature before moving onto the next step.