Potica takes first place among the traditional festive pastries in Slovenia. It's a rolled pastry made of leavened dough filled with any of a great variety of fillings. Slovenian housewives also love baking poticas at non-festive times to pamper their loved ones. In households, grandmothers and mothers often have an important task to train their daughters and granddaughters in the skills of baking potica. It’s not easy to make one. You need just enough filling and just enough dough. More than 80 various types of fillings are known. We would like to share a traditional recipe with you. You may also want to try making appealing mini potica rolls (lePotičke, which means mini beauties in Slovenian) and visit the Potičnica (Potica House) in the middle of Bled Island.
The most characteristic Slovenian poticas are made with walnut, hazelnut, tarragon, poppy seed, cottage cheese and other fillings. Potica is a festive pastry and can be baked in two ways: in the oven or directly on the hearth. The potica baking mould (called potičnik), which has a conical protrusion in the middle, was inspired by the moulds for baking the ring-shaped Napfkuchen cakes popular in German-speaking countries. Would you like to make potica at home?
Traditional Slovenian recipe for walnut potica:
- 1 kg flour
- 30 g fresh yeast
- 3-4 egg yolks
- 300 ml of lukewarm milk
- 120 g butter
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- lard for greasing a baking dish
- 600-700 g walnuts
- 200 g honey
- 50 g sugar
- 100-200 ml milk
- 1 egg
- a dash of rum or homemade brandy
The dough must be prepared in a warm room. Mix the flour with a teaspoon of salt and mix the yeast with a teaspoon of sugar and two tablespoons of flour and 50 ml of lukewarm water or milk. Leave in a warm place to rise. Make a hole in the middle of the flour; add whisked eggs, yeast, melted butter and sugar into the hole. Add the lukewarm milk while stirring. Beat the dough for 15 minutes or until bubbles appear and the dough separates from the bowl. Sprinkle some flour on the beaten dough; cover the dough with a cotton cloth and leave in a warm place to rise. To prepare the filling, crush or grind the walnuts and pour some hot sweetened milk over them. Heat up the honey until it liquefies. Add the honey and cinnamon to the walnuts. Leave the filling to cool off. Add one or two eggs to the filling and mix thoroughly. Roll out the dough until it is ½ cm thick and spread the warm filling over it. Roll tightly and put it in a greased mould. Leave the potica to rise slowly. It will also rise during baking. Before baking, cover the potica with a whisked egg. Bake for an hour; when finished, leave it in the mould for 15 minutes to cool off. Sprinkle the potica with powdered sugar if desired. Bon appétit!
Where can you get potica?
You can taste different poticas all over Slovenia, but you will find a true treasury of Slovenian poticas in Lake Bled – Potičnica (Potica House). You can also taste the latest big hit, the miniature poticas – lePotičke (a play on words in Slovenian: little beauties). They are prepared according to original verified recipes for traditional Slovenian potica, while their size and preparation are adapted to modern times.