Raisin-Nut Rye Rolls

Happy May Day! In college I had a professor of Middle English who insisted on this day that we go outside and hold hands in a circle and frolick while singing “Sumer is a cumin in, Loo dee sing kuku.” In medical school, when I lived next to the unforgettable, ever endearing Miss L’Heureux, on the first of Mays when she was near there would always be a package of goodies at my doorstep for me to almost step on as I exited our apartment building blurry eyed and morning blah. I so loved this tradition that now I believe in May Day like I believe in Christmas. We are to mark the birth of spring with gifts and good cheer.

So, like a little health-conscious hamster, I made some little baggie-sized savory bread nibbles for my neighbors and scuttled across several lawns to place red bags of Raisin-Nut Rye Rolls and cheesy fougasse (tomorrow’s post) in mailboxes and under porch awnings. If any squirrels beat my neighbors to their gifts, I am going to give Izzy full authority to exact a proper reckoning. Image

Raisin-Nut Rye Rolls

Adapted from The Village Baker

½ recipe seigle sur poolish dough

1 cup walnuts, chopped

1 cup raisins

½ cup cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Glaze: 1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon cold milk

After the dough has been kneaded, add the nuts and raisins by rolling the dough out flat, add the goodies, and then roll it up like a log. Knead the dough for several minutes to incorporate the nuts and raisins completely. Let the dough rise, covered, for 2 to 3 hours.

To shape the rolls, flatten the dough and cut off pieces the size of a tangerine. This will make 12-16 rolls. Do not round the rolls, they are supposed to be irregular and lumpy looking.

Mix together the cornmeal, sugar, and cinnamon in a bowl and spread it out on the worktable. Roll the dough balls in the mixture and then place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Glaze each with the egg mixture and allow to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

Bake the rolls in a preheated oven at 425 degrees for 12-16 minutes. Here they are coated with the cornmeal and sugar mixture, and the one in the far corner has the egg wash glaze.Image

Abby, favorite neighbor of old, I miss you; You would love these—with wheat and rye flour, these are little healthy cinnamon toast balls. And as part of a May Day ritual, which I read a little into the history of all kinds of interesting pagan practices in the ancient Northern world, I am hoping the good juju in the act of giving spring gifts will ward of the snow rumored to return to Minnesota skies this evening and the next.

3 thoughts on “Raisin-Nut Rye Rolls

  1. Happy May Day! I love that you have so enthusiastically embraced this holiday that’s forgotten and brushed aside by many. My find memories of observing it mostly consist of making little construction paper baskets and filling them with candy or flowers picked from our yard 🙂

    1. SUSAN, you’ve done it again! You win the 400th comment award, which is to have your own special loaf delivered to you this next week when I come to call! More on that soon–thanks for your faithful reading and dialogue.

      1. Oh my gosh, how lucky can I get?! I am so grateful to have you as a friend, my dear (and not just because of your baking talents, I promise :)! Can’t wait to see you soon! XOXOXO

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