The scent of Easter

Easter in Slovenia is a holiday that is closely tied to tradition and old customs. The aromas of typical festive dishes – carefully made according to recipes handed down by grandmothers or found in old cookbooks – waft from and through every kitchen. Get into the festive spirit by cooking up typical Slovenian Easter dishes and taste Easter the Slovenian way!

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How is Easter celebrated in Slovenia?

Quite a few interesting customs are linked to Easter celebrations in Slovenia. The preparations for Easter begin on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent. On Palm Sunday, people bring decorated bundles of spring greenery, known as butarice, to church. Easter celebrations end on Easter Monday, usually by spending the time playing Easter games.

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Discover Slovenian Easter dishes

Start the festivities with a traditional Easter breakfast, typically consisting of meat, horseradish, bread or potica and of course the painted hard-boiled eggs known as pirhi – in which the cultural diversity and creativity of Slovenia are reflected. And you simply must try ham en croûtebaked ham in pastry, a dish you can also make yourself. Even after a big lunch, those with a sweet tooth will always find room for potica, a delicious traditional cake that is part of every Slovenian festivity.

There is no Easter without potica

Potica is undoubtedly the centrepiece of the festive table. This typical Slovenian pastry can have various fillings, but the most typical is walnut potica. Making this epic rolled cake is a special occasion on its own. Try it yourself and experience the festivities of Slovenian Easter.

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For the main course – ham en croûte 

Meat and bread are important parts of the Easter feast. Why not combine them in one delicious dish that is very popular among Slovenians? See the recipe and try making your very own ham baked in a bread crust.

Ingredients:

  • Serves 8
  • 1 kg smoked ham
  • 80 g mustard
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • 400 g flour
  • 10 g fresh yeast
  • 2 tbsp lukewarm milk
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • half a tsp salt
  • 50 g butter
  • 300 ml milk
  • 1 egg

 

Preparation

Wash the ham thoroughly in lukewarm water, place in a pot and add water until the level is two fingers above the meat. Bring to the boil and cook for one hour.

 

While the ham is cooking, prepare the pastrydough. Crumble the yeast into a cup, add a teaspoon of sugar, two tablespoons of lukewarm milk and a teaspoon of flour. Mix well, cover and leave to rise for 10 minutes. Sift the flour into a bowl. Salt around the edge, make a hollow in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture, mixing it with a little flour, and leave to rise for a further 10 minutes.

Warm the milk in a pot and melt the butter in it. Cool until lukewarm and pour over the flour. Knead the dough, which must be smooth and supple and should not stick to the hands or the bowl.

Form the dough into a ball, cover and leave to rest in a warm place until its volume has doubled (roughly one hour), then knead thoroughly again, shape into a ball, cover and leave to rise again.

 

Preheat the oven to 180 °C. Roll the dough out on a floured board to a thickness of one centimetre. Chop the rosemary. Place the ham on the dough, coat with mustard and sprinkle with the chopped rosemary. Wrap the ham in the dough. Press the edges together so that the pastry dough does not open during baking. Grease a baking tin and sprinkle with flour. Place the dough-wrapped ham in the baking tin with the joins in the dough facing downwards. Coat with a beaten egg. Make a small hole at the top to let the steam out during cooking. Bake for one hour. Place the ham on a serving dish and cut into slices.

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