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Sweet and Soft Russian Walnut Roll (Orechovnik)

Nothing completes a holiday spread quite like a sweet and soft walnut roll! The nut roll filling is so perfectly moist with just the right amount of walnut flavor and crunch. And don’t stress about the dough – today I’ll share two easy ways you can make it with no fuss!

russian-walnut-roll-sliced-on-wire-rack

What is a Russian Walnut Roll

A Russian walnut roll goes by so many different names, including Orechovnik, but it’s generally the same across cultures. Traditional nut rolls are soft, milky bread, rolled with a sweetened walnut filling. It’s absolutely delicious and surprisingly easy to make! 

In Russia, walnut rolls are enjoyed on holidays, so now I make them every Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter! Once you make this delicious nut roll recipe, you’re not going to be able to celebrate a holiday without it. 

This recipe makes double the amount of dough you’ll need just in case you want to create two different kinds of rolls. You can get creative and make a walnut cinnamon roll if you’d like! Otherwise, just double the nut filling recipe to have an even amount of both filling and dough. 

Ingredients to Make a Walnut Roll

ingredients for walnut roll , flour, sugar, walnuts, yeast, eggs, oil, salt, vanilla, butter.

Let’s start with the dough! I know it can be intimidating for many people, but it’s actually quite easy once you’ve gotten the hang of it. However, I’m also a huge fan of shortcuts (when they work), and using a bread machine for this dough is a shortcut I can get behind. 

If you don’t have a bread machine, feel free to knead your dough by hand or with the help of a stand mixer. More instructions are below!

  • Eggs– large
  • Dry vanilla
  • Warm milk– make sure it’s not hot!
  • Unsalted butter – melted. Can be melted in the microwave or stove top.
  • Light olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Dry yeast
  • Flour– All purpose flour.

Simple Walnut Filling

The best things in life are always simple. And so is this walnut filling. I’m talking only three ingredients! 

  • Walnuts – Finely chopped. You could use/add other nuts but I like sticking to walnuts only.
  • Sugar – I find 1 cup to be the perfect amount.
  • Egg white – To bring it all together.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

Step By Step Instructions to Make a Soft Walnut Roll

Step 1: Make the Dough

Bread Machine: Place the eggs, dry vanilla, milk, unsalted butter, oil, sea salt, flour, and dry yeast in the bread machine bucket. Choose the “DOUGH” option on the machine and wait until the dough is ready. 

Handmade: If you don’t have a bread machine, feel free to knead your dough by hand or with the help of a stand mixer. Dissolve the yeast into warm milk, then combine the rest of your ingredients and knead until your dough is soft, but not sticky. Leave the dough in a covered bowl until it rises about 2 times the size. The rising should take about 1 hour. 

ingredients-for-walnut-roll-dough-in-a-bread-machine-basket-flour-yeast-eggs-vanilla-milk-butter-oil-salt

Step 2: Prepare the Filling

While the dough is rising, combine the finely chopped walnuts, egg white, and sugar in a bowl. Mix well. This will be enough for half of the dough in order to give you some flexibility to make another filling for the other half. If not, just double the filling measurements. 

nut-filling-for-walnut-roll-recipe-in-a-white-bowl

Step 3: Preheat and Prep

When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 240 degrees F. Get a baking sheet and spray or butter the pan so the rolls don’t stick while baking. 

Step 4: Divide Dough

Divide the dough in half. If you want different kinds of fillings, divide the dough into how many fillings you want. 

dough-for-walnut-roll-recipe-on-a-wooden-board

Step 5: Add Walnut Filling

Sprinkle your work surface with flour and then roll one piece of dough flat into a rectangular shape. Spread the walnut filling over the rectangle, and then roll the dough in from the long side. Place it on a baking sheet. Repeat this step with the rest of the divided dough and your chosen fillings. 

walnut-roll-dough-on-a-wooden-board-with-nut-filling-and-flour

Step 6: Rise and Egg Wash

Allow your rolled dough to rise once again for about 15 minutes, then whisk 1 egg and brush it on the top of each roll. Place your roll in the oven. 

walnut-roll-rolled-up-with-egg-wash-on-parchment-paper-and-a-baking-tray

Step 7: Bake and Enjoy!

Bake the roll(s) for 15 minutes at 240 degrees F, and then change the temperature to 275 degrees F to bake for another 15 minutes. Lastly, change the temperature to 295 degrees F and bake until the rolls are golden brown. Slice them up and enjoy!

baked-walnut-roll-on-parchment-paper-and-a-baking-tray

FAQs

What is another name for nut rolls?

They’re known by so many different names! In the US they’re just known as nut rolls, but in Slovak cultures, they’re known as orechovník. Hungary, Turkey, Poland, and Croatia all have their own names for them as well!

Why do nut rolls crack?

Nut rolls will typically crack if you use too much flour or overbake the rolls. Just make sure you don’t sprinkle too much flour onto your work surface when you roll out the dough, and keep an eye on the oven.

What are some different variations of walnut rolls?

You could make so many different variations of a nut roll, or even play around with different ingredients entirely. I think walnut cinnamon rolls sound like a great option – just mix cinnamon into the walnut filling and maybe drizzle some icing on top. For a pop of fruits, try out my strawberry cake roll recipe, or play around with lemon poppy seed rolls, or even dried fruits as fillings!

russian-walnut-roll-on-white-plate-with-striped-towel

More Traditional Slavic Desserts to Try

Other Sweet Recipes

If you tried this Soft and Sweet Russian Walnut Roll (Orechovnik) or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you enjoyed it in the📝 comments below. I love hearing from you!

russian-walnut-roll-sliced-on-wire-rack

Soft and Sweet Russian Walnut Roll (Orechovnik)

Nothing completes a holiday spread quite like a walnut roll! The filling is deliciously moist and perfectly sweet with just the right amount of walnut flavor.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Desserts
Cuisine: Russian
Allergy: Vegetarian
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings12
Calories: 472kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ tsp dry vanilla
  • 1½ cups milk, warm, not hot
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 Tbsp oil light olive oil is best
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp dry yeast
  • 4 cups flour

For the filling:

  • 2 cups walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup sugar

Instructions

  • To make the dough: Place all the ingredients in bread machine bucket. Choose DOUGH option on the machine and wait until the dough is ready.
    2 large eggs, ½ tsp dry vanilla, 1½ cups milk,, 8 Tbsp unsalted butter,, 3 Tbsp oil, ½ tsp sea salt, 4 cups flour, 1 Tbsp dry yeast
  • Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
  • Combine into a bowl the finely chopped walnuts, egg white and sugar. Mix well and you've got yourself a walnut filling! This will be enough for half of the dough in case you want to make another filling also.
    2 cups walnuts,, 1 egg white, 1 cup sugar

How to make the roll:

  • When the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 240F. Get a baking sheet and spray or butter the pan so the rolls don’t stick when baking.
  • Divide the dough in half. If you want different kind of fillings divide the dough into how many fillings you want.
  • Sprinkle the surface with flour then roll one piece of dough flat into a rectangle shape. Spread walnut filling. Roll the dough in from the long side. Place on a baking sheet.
  • Repeat the previous step with the rest of the divided dough by rolling it, adding filling and rolling it up.
  • Give 15 minutes for the dough roll to rise once again then whisk 1 egg and brush lightly the top of each roll. Place in oven.
  • Bake for 15 minutes on 240F, then change the temperature to 275F for another 15 minutes and lastly change the temperature to 295F and bake until rolls are golden brown. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

Tip: double the walnut filling to have enough for all of the dough. 

Nutrition

Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 51mg | Sodium: 126mg | Potassium: 196mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 326IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 70mg | Iron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating




2 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I like this dough even better than the traditional old timey recipe that uses sour cream. I did find this bread machine dough a tad soft so I had to add flour as I rolled to keep it from sticking. But all in all, very easy and a lot quicker than old fashioned recipe