- 1 cup whole milk
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling out dough
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup raisins, optional
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the milk in a small saucepan. Heat over medium-low heat until the milk is warm, about 110º F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from the heat.
Combine 2 tablespoons of the granulated sugar with the yeast in a small mixing bowl, whisk in the warm milk, and let rest until slightly thickened and foamy, about 5 minutes. This lets you know that the yeast is working.
Sift the flour, the remaining 4 tablespoons of granulated sugar, and the salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the softened butter, egg, raisins (if using), and the yeast mixture, stirring well with a large wooden spoon to incorporate all of the flour.
Place the dough on a work surface sprinkled with 2 tablespoons of flour and knead until smooth and elastic, about 3 to 5 minutes. The dough should not be sticky. If it is, add a bit more flour and continue kneading to work it into the dough. (Alternately, mix the dough in an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.)
Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and lightly grease it with the vegetable oil.
Place the dough into a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest in a warm, draft-free place and allow to rise until doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. Punch down the dough and allow it to rise a second time, about 1 hour.
When the dough has risen, divide it into two equal portions.
In a small mixing bowl, make the nutty filling by combining the brown sugar, nuts, cinnamon, salt, and melted butter, and stirring until smooth.
Place one portion of the dough on a lightly floured surface and sprinkle with a little bit more flour, then use a rolling pin to roll it into a large rectangle, about 12 inches by 9 inches.
Using the back of a small spoon, carefully spread half of the nutty filling over the top of the dough.
With the long end of the rectangle facing you, roll up the dough into a tight cylinder.
Pinch the edges together and use a sharp knife to cut 1-inch-thick slices.
Place the rounds on a large baking sheet, leaving half an inch between the rounds.
Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cover rounds with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm, draft-free place until risen by half their size and almost touching, 30 to 60 minutes.
Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 350º F.
Bake until golden brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.
Combine the glaze ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and stir until smooth.
Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove buns from the oven and drizzle the glaze over the tops. Serve warm.