The Slovenian holidays smell of Potica
Potica is ranked number one in Slovenian traditional holiday pastries. It is made from folded and rolled out yeast dough and filled with various fillings. Slovenian housekeepers are happy to bake it even outside the holiday season to pamper their loved ones. Grandmothers and mothers usually play an important role in training their daughters and granddaughters in this demanding bakery. Achieving the right balance of filling and dough is challenging.
We know of more than 80 different fillings placed in the dough, which is where Potica got its name. Typical Slovenian Potica fillings include walnuts, hazelnuts, tarragon, poppy, cheese and others.
This is a holiday pastry baked in a baking tray or directly on the fire. The baking tray used to bake Potica (also called a “potičnik”), which has a cone-shaped mould in the middle, was developed using baking trays for the German yeast-based cake Gugelhupf. Would you like to prepare Potica at home? Try the traditional recipe for the most common, walnut Potica.
Traditional Slovenian recipe for walnut Potica:
- 1kg flour
- 30g yeast
- 3-4 egg yolk
- 300ml lukewarm milk
- 120g butter
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- fat for the mould.
- 600-700g of walnuts
- 200g honey
- 50g sugar
- 100-200ml milk
- 1 egg
- small amount of rum or home brandy
Prepare the dough in warm surroundings. Add a teaspoon of salt to the flour, and mix the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar, 2 tablespoons of flour and 50ml of lukewarm water or milk. Leave to rise in warm surroundings. Make a small hole in the middle of the flour, pour in the beaten eggs, yeast mix, melted butter and sugar. Keep adding the lukewarm milk as you whisk. Whisk for 15 minutes or until you see bubbles and the dough gets separated from the bowl. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover with a napkin and leave it to rise in warm surroundings.
For the filling, roast crushed or minced walnuts with milk and sugar. Heat the honey so it liquifies. Add it to the walnuts and add cinnamon. Leave the filling to cool down, then add another egg or two and gently mix them in. Roll out the dough until it is 1/2cm thick and coat it with the warm filling. Roll it tightly and place it in the baking tray. Leave the Potica to rise slowly. It will rise somewhat in the oven as well. Before baking, coat the Potica with a beaten egg.
Bake for one hour, then leave it to cool in the mould for another 15 minutes. Finally, sprinkle with sugar if you wish.