Try potica at the Potičnica on Bled Island

Published: 5.6.2013

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Try potica at the Potičnica on Bled Island

Potica, a traditional pastry, is a must for every holiday in Slovenia, be it Christmas, Easter or a family celebration – and for every visitor to Slovenia. Since Slovenia boasts a wealth of culturally diverse regions with a variety of culinary traditions, there is a whole range of potica pastries to be found here, from simple nut rolls to veritable masterpieces with lavish fillings. A special experience is the potica offered on Bled Island at the Potičnica.

Try potica at the Potičnica on Bled Island

Potica, a traditional pastry, is a must for every holiday in Slovenia, be it Christmas, Easter or a family celebration – and for every visitor to Slovenia. Since Slovenia boasts a wealth of culturally diverse regions with a variety of culinary traditions, there is a whole range of potica pastries to be found here, from simple nut rolls to veritable masterpieces with lavish fillings. A special experience is the potica offered on Bled Island at the Potičnica.

The filling for this exquisite Slovene pastry is entirely up to the baker and his or her creativity – there are as many delicious potica recipes as there are housewives and cooks – and the little secrets that are so important for making good potica are passed down through generations.

Walnut potica is the most common and popular type in Slovenia; traditionally it should be baked inside a bread oven in a POTIČNICA – a round, clay baking dish, usually handmade. This is how the most delicious potica pastries are baked. This is also the method that is used for the pastries that are baked every day in the Potičnica on Bled Island, a pleasant place that should not be left out when visiting Bled and the island.

The Story of potica

The first written mention of potica dates back to the 17th century. In his book about Slovenia and its traditions, polymath J. V. Valvasor also writes about the potica pastry, which he describes as a roll of thin dough with a honey and walnut filling. The Slovenian name for the pastry, "povitica" or "potica", probably originates from the verb "poviti", to roll.

The tradition of baking potica is much older than its first written mention. Potica has always been made here in various forms, with or without yeast, and eaten hot or cold. At one time, it was often included in tax payments and in meals served to landowners.

Potica can be enjoyed hot or cold, with a knife and fork or (better yet) with your fingers.

Recipe for Walnut potica - try it out

For the dough:
600 g flour
30 g yeast
0.2 l milk
140 g sugar
140 g butter
4 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla sugar
Grated lemon zest

For the filling:
600 g walnuts
0.3 l milk or, better yet, double cream
250 g sugar
2 tbsp rum
2-3 egg whites

Procedure:
1. Mix together the yeast, a teaspoon of sugar, a teaspoon of flour and a few tablespoons of milk. Leave to rise for 15 minutes.
2. To make the filling, pour hot double cream (or milk) and rum over the walnuts and sugar. Stir well. Beat the egg whites until stiff and gradually add to the mixture to make a creamy filling.
3. To make the dough, place all the ingredients in a bowl and combine them to make a smooth dough. Roll out the dough, coat it with the filling, form into a tight roll and place it in a greased tin. Cover and leave to rise for about 60 minutes at room temperature.
4. Bake at 180°C for 60 minutes. When the potica is done, leave it in the tin to settle, then turn it out onto a wooden board and cover with a clean cloth. When the potica has cooled, you can sprinkle it with icing sugar.

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