For the rolls:
- 1 lb all-purpose flour
- 4 tsp yeast (see note)
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup warm water
- ¼ cup corn, avocado or mild olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup golden raisins, soaked in warm water and strained
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup chopped or sliced almonds
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 ½ tsp fennel seeds
- zest of one orange
For the topping:
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 Tbsp water
- 2 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 Tbsp sanding sugar or regular sugar
- If you’re using instant yeast, make the dough using a stand mixer with the dough hook. Put flour and yeast in the mixer’s bowl and mix with a fork. Add sugar, then turn mixer on medium-low speed and mix for 1 minute. Add eggs and water and continue to mix for about 2 minutes, until well incorporated. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape the flour from the sides using a spatula and continue to mix. With mixer on medium-low, add oil, then the rest of the ingredients (including raisins, nuts and spices). Knead for 8 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape the sides as needed. The dough will be very soft, but don’t be tempted to add more flour. Skip to Direction 3.
- If you’re using active dry yeast, you need to proof it first: Put ¼ cup water, yeast and 1 tsp sugar in a glass and stir briefly. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes until it visibly foams. Put flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Make a well in the center, and add yeast mixture, ½ cup water, the rest of the sugar and eggs to the well. Mix for about 3 minutes on medium-low speed, until well incorporated. Stop the mixer as needed to scrape the flour from the sides using a spatula and continue to mix. Add oil, then the rest of the ingredients (including raisins, nuts and spices). Turn speed to medium-low and mix for 8 minutes, stopping the mixer to scrape the sides as needed. The dough will be very soft, but don’t be tempted to add more flour.
- Remove bowl from stand mixer. Using a spatula, transfer dough into a lightly greased large bowl (I use PAM spray). Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature, preferably in a warm space (near the oven, for example), until dough doubles its volume, about 1-1½ hours.
- Deflate the dough, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise again for 1 hour, until it doubles in volume.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll into a thick log. Use a dough cutter to cut into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a roll, then shape into an oval and put on the baking sheet. Keet 2 inches of space between each roll, as they rise in the oven.
- Cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and let rolls rise for another 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F.
- Mix egg yolk and water and gently brush rolls. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and sugar.
- Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until rolls are baked through and golden.
- Transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- I highly recommend using SAF instant yeast; it’s available online and can keep for months in the freezer. When using instant yeast (see Direction 1), you should skip the process of proofing the yeast; if you’re using active dry yeast (see Direction 2), start the recipe by proofing the yeast and continue as usual.
- The rolls will keep at room temperature in a cloth or paper bag for up to three days. They can be frozen, thawed at room temperature and eaten once thawed or covered with aluminum foil and reheated in a 325°F oven for 10 minutes.
- You can swap out the nuts and dried fruit according to your taste.
- Prep Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: Holiday