A Kifli Walnut Roll is a soft and tender dough filled with a sweet walnut filling and shaped into a crescent. Easy Walnut Rolls are special anytime.
Soft and tender yeast dough is filled with a sweet nut filling that is too good to be saved for special occasions. This sweet dough recipe makes a soft and tender Kifli Walnut Roll that is easy enough to make any time.
What is a Kifli?
A Kifli is a traditional yeast bread that is rolled and formed into a crescent before baking. The term Kifli is traditionally referred to as the Hungarian version and can be made as a pastry roll such as this one or a cookie.
In other countries, a Kifli can be called Kipfel, Kifla, Kifle, or Gipfel, and the list goes on according to who and where they’re made and date back as far as the 10th century.
Regardless of what you call them, they are easy enough to make in your own home.
Kifli Walnut Roll Ingredients
These rolls may look complicated but the ingredient list is simple.
- Flour – all-purpose flour
- Milk – whole milk, *scalded
- Yeast – instant or active yeast
- Butter – we used unsalted. If you use salted, eliminate the salt
- Salt – for baking I like using fine sea salt. I find it blends and dissolves better.
- Eggs – we use large eggs
- Vanilla Extract
What is scalded milk?
Older recipes called for scalded milk to kill bacteria and enzymes that prevented the dough from rising. However, today, most milk is pasteurized which eliminates this bacteria and enzymes so it’s no longer necessary.
I still do it because the warmer temperature helps activate the yeast and blends well with the softened butter. Also, it’s said to make breads light and cakes spongy.
You do not have to scald the milk for this recipe! However, I suggest that all of the ingredients be at least room temperature before they’re added.
How do you scald milk?
- Add the milk to a small saucepan.
- Using an instant-read thermometer, heat the milk to 180°F. The milk will just start to form a skin over the top and is just under the boiling point. You’ll see little bubbles just on the edge.
- Remove the pan from the stove and place it in the refrigerator for 12 to 15 minutes or until the temperature of the milk lowers to at least 110°F.
Kifli Dough Recipe
Making Kifli Dough is easier than many dough recipes. It is a soft and buttery dough that is easy to handle. It’s not as delicate as some sweet roll dough such as brioche.
I do recommend that you use an electric stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Here’s how we made the Kifli Dough.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the sugar and beaten egg. Blend everything together.
- Add the yeast, salt, and butter. Mix slowly while drizzling in the scalded milk.
- With the mixer on its lowest setting, gradually add the flour until you can handle it without it sticking to your hands. This can be 4 to 6 cups. Don’t add more than you need or the dough will become tough.
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it with a towel or plastic wrap at room temperature until the dough rises 30% to 50%, approximately 90 minutes.
- Shape your dough and then let the rolls rise on a covered baking sheet until puffy, approximately 60 minutes.
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This post is sponsored by Raisenne® Dough Riser. The love of their product and my opinions are 100% my own.
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My experience was nothing short of amazing. Even though the Raisenne Dough Riser is intended for active yeast bread such as pizza dough, rolls, and recipes such as this one, I’ve used it to help my sourdough bread dough.
I made two batches of the same yeast roll recipe and used the Raisenne Dough Riser with one and one without. The dough using the Raisenne Dough Riser surpassed the one without by over 40 minutes in proof time and I believe made my rolls fluffier.
This product is round but I put a rectangular baking sheet on it and all of my rolls had a beautiful rise.
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The nut filling is very simple to make. I combined my ground nuts, sugar, softened butter, cinnamon and a bit of milk. You want to make it a sand consistency that holds it’s shape but isn’t overly wet. Think sand castles.
I used my mini food processor to finely grind my nuts.
Variations you can make
- Exchange walnuts for a nut with a similar consistency such as pecans.
- We finished these Kifli nut rolls with an egg wash followed by a sprinkle of turbinado sugar because we love that little crunch. Here are some other options.
- dust with powdered sugar
- sprinkle with additional ground nuts
- drizzle with a glaze
- We used cinnamon in the nut filling recipe. You could substitute nutmeg but use only half of the recommended amount.
There’s a detailed video in the recipe card.
Tips for the perfect Kifli Rolls
- In the video, I show you how to make large Kifli Rolls which are perfect as a breakfast pastry. We also show you how to make smaller Kifli rolls. Regardless of which one you make, use manageable sized pieces of dough.
- For the larger rolls, spread the filling on each individual roll. Dough scraps can be rerolled. For the small rolls, I applied the nut filling on the rolled sheet. This saves a lot of time and makes them faster to finish.
- Don’t spread the filling too heavily. It will bake out. Actually those little crunches are delicious and never go to waste in our household.
- The dough is easier to cut if it’s cool (not cold). Once it warms up it’s a little harder to cut.
- The turbinado sugar will stick to the rolls if the egg wash is still wet. It’s helpful to do a few at a time before the egg wash dries.
Store Walnut Rolls at room temperature in an air-tight container. These Walnut Rolls also freeze very well.
We LOVE baking bread! You can find all of our bread recipes here!
If you like this Kifli Pastry Roll, here are a few more recipes you’ll enjoy
- Nut Roll Recipe
- Pull-apart Cinnamon Roll Brioche
- Basic Muffin Recipe
- Cherry Bread
- Apple Kolaches
- Blueberry Twisted Bread Rolls
Don’t forget to pin this delicious recipe to your favorite board!
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Kifli Walnut Roll Recipe
- 1 cup whole milk scalded
- 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast 1 packet
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 cups flour all-purpose *4-6 cups
Kifli Nut Filling
- 1 cup ground walnuts
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 cup milk
Egg Wash Finish
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar sugar in the raw (optional)
- Scald milk by bringing it to 180°F in a small saucepan, about 5 minutes on medium heat. Refrigerate the milk until the temperature is lowered to 110°F, 12 to 15 minutes.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, combine the sugar and eggs and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the yeast, butter, and salt. With the mixer on low, stream in the scaled milk.
- Add flour one scoop at a time, with the mixer on it's lowest setting, until the dough is manageable. *This may be less or more than 5 cups.
- Put the dough in an oiled bowl and cover it to rise until it increases 30% or 50% in volume, approximately 90 minutes.
- Combine the walnut filling ingredients and stir until combined. Drizzle in a small amount of milk and stir until the mixture holds together.
Large Kifli Walnut Rolls
- Remove raised dough and roll it out in manageable sized pieces. Cut the dough into large 9"x5" triangles.
- Spread the filling onto each large triangle and roll into a crescent shape. Place the rolls on an oiled or parchment paper-lined baking tray. Cover and allow the rolls to rise until puffy, 1 hour.
Small Kifli Walnut Rolls
- Roll out the dough out into a manageable sized piece in the shape of a rectangle. Spread the filling directly onto the dough. Cut into small triangles with a ravioli or pizza cutter.
- Place the rolls on an oiled or parchment paper-lined baking tray. Cover and allow the rolls to rise until puffy, 1 hour.
Prepare for baking
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Brush the rolls with the egg wash.
- Sprinkle with turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw)
- Bake large rolls 25-30 minutes and small rolls 20-25 minutes, turning the baking sheet half way through.
- Cool on a cooling rack. Rolls can be stored at room temperature in an air-tight container or frozen.