“Why is the rum gone?”
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New post, new recipe! This is another one in collaboration with Rastoča Jablana, the Slovenian eco health food store. They sent me a bunch of food recently, including sultana raisins, which was perfect, because I was planning to bake some potica for my boyfriend’s father’s birthday. Potica is a traditional Slovenian festive sweet roll and he loves the one with raisins and lots of rum, but apparently his wife isn’t a fan. I baked some for Christmas once and I figured I’d do it again now if I had the time.
Anyway, there I was on a Sunday with the raisins all ready and soaked in rum overnight, but I realised I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients for a potica, so I came up with these whole wheat rum raisin knots recipe instead. It is based on the potica dough recipe, but it’s actually a bit simpler and a bit healthier with the whole wheat flour and brown sugar + delicious all of its own. However, due to the large quantities of rum, it is obviously not meant for kids.
Whole wheat rum raisin knots recipe
- 200 g (1.5 cup) white (all-purpose) flour
- 200 g (1.5 cup) whole wheat flour
- 200 g (1.4 cup) sultana raisins
- 260 ml (1.1 cup) rum
- 250 g (1.125 cup) butter
- 180 g (0.9 cup) brown sugar
- 120 ml (0.5 cup) warm water
- 3 egg yolks
- 8 g (1 tablespoon) vanilla sugar
- 3 g (1 teaspoon) baking yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel
- a pinch of salt
Prep time: 2 hours
Baking time: 20-30 minutes
Soak the raisins in rum overnight in a closed container.
Yeast: Put the baking yeast in a jar with warm water and 1 tablespoon of flour and sugar to activate. You can use dry or fresh yeast, but make sure the water is not hot, or you’ll kill it (also if it’s too cold, the yeast won’t rise). The yeast should start to bubble and puff up in a few minutes – if it doesn’t, throw away and repeat.
Melt the butter and separate the eggs – put 2 yolks in one bowl and 1 separately, beat the 2 yolks until fluffy. Store the egg whites in the fridge for later use. Strain the raisins and set the drained rum aside.
Mix both flours, brown sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon peel and salt in a bowl. Stir in the melted butter, 2 beaten egg yolks and yeast mixture with a fork, then add the raisins and 2 tablespoons of rum. Knead the dough by hand for 5 minutes until combined. If it’s too sticky, add more flour, if it’s too dry, add more rum. Cover the bowl and leave to rise for at least 1 hour in a warm place.
Preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F).
Shaping the knots: Prep a large flat surface by dusting some flour on it. Take about a fistful of dough out of the bowl at once and roll it into a long, thin rope with your hands. If the dough is sticky, add flour and knead more, if it’s too dry, add more rum. Once you have a cohesive dough rope, the easiest way to make a knot is to wrap the dough around two fingers of one hand twice and pull one end of the rope through the loop with the other hand to knot it. Tuck the other free end over the knotted end on the top of the knot and flatten them a bit with your fingers so the dough sticks together and the knot holds. Repeat the process until you run out of dough (this recipe makes about 12 knots).
Alternatively, you can make any other kind of knots or simple rolls by rolling the dough into a thin, flat rectangle. Then tightly roll it into a large roll from one end to the other and cut vertically into 12 pieces to get small round spiral rolls.
Place the finished knots/rolls on a baking tray with baking paper or a muffin pan with greased cups. If you place the knots into individual cups on the pan, they’ll hold their shape better, which is how I do it. Cover with cloth and let rise for another 15 minutes in a warm place.
Beat the 1 remaining egg yolk, add a teaspoon of rum and spread the rum egg wash on top of the knots with a brush to keep from drying out, then bake for 20 – 30 minutes until done (depends on the size of the knot/roll). Enjoy!
I know this recipe has a lot more steps than usual, but don’t be scared off! It’s not so hard and half of the work is done by the dough while you let it rise for an hour. These types of recipes that require the dough to rise can also be done overnight, by leaving the dough to rise for 6-8 hours in the fridge, where the process is slower and you can bake it in the morning. You can also freeze these whole wheat rum raisin knots to bake later and if you need ideas for using up the leftover egg whites, check out my post here.
So, what do you think? Are you team raisins or anti-raisins?
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