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John's Two Bite Cinnamon Walnut Swirls

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This recipe is all about the dough which is straight out of my grandmother's wad of recipes she gave me a whole bunch of years ago. My grandmother (Baba to me and my brother) would treat us to poppy seed Potica every time we would visit her. 

So many amazing things about this recipe: it freezes SUPER well, makes a great big batch (I take the resulting dough, divide it into quarters, wrap and freeze for future use) and takes a ton of different fillings easily.

Recently, I've been using the dough for smaller nibblies as opposed to a great big loaf. The results have been fun and tasty.

Here's what I did for these two-bite (yep, they're small - about the size of a small cookie) cinnamon walnut swirls:

For the dough:

2 3/4 sticks butter - melted and then cooled to room temperature

1 C sugar

6 egg yolks (I used Goronson’s Farm organic eggs for this recipe)

1 1/2 C sour cream

2 packages of dry yeast

3/4 cup warm (100 - 105 degrees) milk 

1 t sugar

6 C pastry flour (Organic Maine Grains Pastry flour available in the TFC Baker's Market)

1 t salt


  • Add the yeast to the warm milks and leave it for about 5-15 minutes until foamy and fragrant 
  • Mix together butter, sugar, egg yolks and sour cream in a large bowl
  • Add yeast/milk to butter mixture and mix well to combine thoroughly
  • Sift flour and salt together and add to the wet ingredients
  • Stir this mixture until you get a sticky dough - turn out onto a well-floured surface
  • Dive in with your hands and knead the heck out of this until a smooth and elastic dough is formed (add more flour by the tablespoon if necessary)
  • Divide dough into quarters, wrap each quarter tightly and refrigerate overnight
  • The next morning, remove the dough from the fridge (you'll only need one quarter for this recipe)
  • Melt 2 T butter
  • On a well-floured surface, roll out the dough until it is just about the same thickness as pie dough (1/8" - 1/4") and rectangular in shape
  • Spread melted butter onto dough, sprinkle with cinnamon, brown sugar and walnuts
  • Roll it on up! Rolling the long way will result in a larger number of individual swirls but they will be smaller. Rolling from the short end will result in fewer, larger swirls.
  • Slice the roll into 1/2" thick slices and lay them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment 
  • Cover with a towel and allow these to rise for about an hour (they won't rise much but it will be noticeable)
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Uncover the swirls and sprinkle the tops with brown sugar
  • Bake at 350 for 7-12 minutes (the cooking temperature varies depending on how big the swirls are) - they will be golden brown, fragrant and spring back when touched
  • Remove from oven and immediately drizzle honey on the top
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes and then DIG IN!