You either have it or you don’t.
And if you are going to be a baker and a pastry maker, you need patience. I realize many a person does not possess this trait. For people are always apologizing for making me wait. I always give them a big smile and say, “I used to teach Junior High, I have the patience of a saint.” And they smile back and know that I am not mad at them. Most days I have patience.
When I made this nut roll I had patience. I made the dough. I let it rise. I punched it down, rolled it out and stuffed it with pecan filling. Then let it rise again. And then after the almost 3 hours were up, into the oven it went. Thirty-five minutes later out of the oven it comes. No problem. Since I got the idea to make the bread at 11:00 at night I did not finish until almost 3am(remember I am the night owl), obviously there was no light out so I knew that I would not be taking photos of this bread until I awoke the next morning(afternoon). So I chose to wait on glazing the bread, so it would not get soggy. I over slept and quickly realized that the beloved Sun Break(a term I never heard of until I moved to the Seattle area…it simply is a break from all the rain…except they last about 15 minutes it seems) would soon be over. So I jumped out of bed and ran down stairs to quickly make the glaze. I looked for my sifter and could not find it. I looked out the window at the looming rain clouds rolling in and thought “screw it”, I just threw together the powder sugar and milk and slopped it onto the bread. And for that I was severely punished. Sigh.
Big, giant clumps of non-sifted powder sugar staring back at me on my bread. Mocking me if you will. Did the Sun Break pass? Yes, though I did get a few photos in, BUT it didn’t matter to me because I just kept seeing those horrible little specks of sugar glaring at me. Boo. So was it worth it to rush? Not so much. I think this proves that patience is most definitely needed for a quality product and I am going to buy another sifter so that I have two now and wont have to go looking for just the one.
Poteca Nut Roll
1 package( ¼ ounce) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water(110-115F)
¾ cup warm milk(110-115F)
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup shortening
1 tsp salt
1 egg, slightly beaten
3 to 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
4 cups ground or finely chopped pecans
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
milk(amount to be determined on consistency…I used about ¼ cup)
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add milk , sugar, shortening, salt, egg. And 1 ½ cups flour. Beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough(mine took the whole 3 ½ cups).
Turn onto a floured surface, knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Combine nuts, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla extract. Add enough milk until mixture is spreading consistency.
Punch dough down. Roll into a 30-inch by 20-inch rectangle. Spread filling to within 1-inch of edges. Roll up from one long side; pinch seams and ends to seal.
Place on a greased baking sheet; shape into a tight spiral. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
Bake at 350F for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. If desired, brush with a glaze of powder sugar and milk(but what ever you do…sift the sugar!)
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine Best Holiday Recipes 2004