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Time for Potica

December 21, 2011

So, after not making the lovely potica last year, I was ready to go for it this year. I also decided to try and take pics and blog the recipe, since I usually get requests for it.

(Note: After looking EVERYWHERE for my original recipe, it was not found until I was rolling the logs. So, while the pics aren’t from my recipe, I am going to post my recipe.)

Potica- (po-tee-sa) is a Slovenian holiday nut bread, made around Christmas and easter usually. Slovenia is located in central Europe, boundaries with Austria, Hungary, Croatia, and Italy. Obviously, a bit of the cuisine in Slovenia roots from its neighbors.  

Since I’m not brave enough nor capable to try my hand at panettone, this is a tradition we do in my house. I make it more to hand out to people for a christmas treat and it is always a hit.

 I used small bread pans to make these individual loaves, I believe this causes the “gapping” you see here, due to the dough having no where to go when rising. The larger, normal sized bread pans end up more flat in appearance.

Traditionally, potica was cooked in a circle or bundt pan type. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think I will for the next batch.

OK, let’s get this party started:

What you will need……………

DOUGH

1 cup warm milk

1 cake/package dry yeast

1/3 cup butter

1 tsp salt

1 egg

5 cups flour

1 ½ tsp sugar

FILLING:

1 lb. walnuts

3 cups smashed graham crackers(1 ½ package)

2 cups sugar

1 can crushed pinapple

½ cup butter

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cup milk

½ cup honey scalded

*I sometimes add raisins to mine.

Step 1. crumble yeast in small bowl with 1/2 tsp sugar, add 4-5 tsp warm milk then set aside.

Step 2. cream butter & sugar.

 

Add egg, salt & warm milk.

Add 2 cups of flour to your yeast mixture, then add mixture and remaining flour into butter mix.

I used to do this by hand, but have to say, I love using the mixer. It helps make the dough so smooth and soft. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Dust with some flour, cover and set in warm place for 2 hours.

While your dough is rising, now is the time to grab a BIG bowl and mix all your filling ingredients. Something like this might be big enough..

Don’t worry if you freak over the appearance, because it is pretty vile looking….but the SMELL will be incredible.

mmmmmmm honey…….

*the recipe I used didn’t have a clear way to mix a filling, i improvised as well as i could from memory. Ideally, you need to scald your milk and honey together before adding to mixture. This still tasted good, just didn’t have the creaminess as the original.

If you aren’t using a food processor, toss your graham crackers into a ziploc bag and go to town on it with a rolling pins (or your fists) to make great crumbage. Make sure you chop up the walnuts!

After your dough has risen enough to your satisfaction, it’s time to roll it out on a floured surface. Since we want this as thin as possible, I usually cut the dough ball in half to manage it better. Yes, I have done the long, hard way….not so much fun. Work smart, not hard!

Melt ¼ cup butter and brush the dough with the butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then spread filling mixture evenly across dough. Whichever way you are going to decide to roll your dough, try to keep about an inch free from the edge of the filling. This will help reduce any oozing when rolling and makes tucking the ends easier. Yes, this is messy and easier done with plastic gloves if you don’t want to get too nasty. But what is the fun in that?

Hopefully you have a nicely floured surface when you started rolling so when you start this next step the dough doesn’t stick to the table. Trust me, if it rips, it’s messy and aggravating! This is another reason I like dividing my dough out, it makes it easier to make the roll. After you roll the dough into the tube you will brush egg whites over roll. This normally takes about 2 eggs.

Grease or butter your pans, unless you have awesome pans. Make sure you place your pans next to the roll before you cut. Measure from BOTTOM of pan, not the top edge. You don’t want a tight fit, but you don’t want to leave to much space from the pan end wall either. About 1/2 a finger gap is good.

My roll didn’t end up as thick as usual with this filling, but trust me, the original recipe WILL make thick, big rolls. They are not exactly easy to manage, make sure to go slowly and carefully.

Baking normally takes about 25 minutes

WARNING: Once these beauties cool off a bit and you have your first bite, you might not be able to stop!!

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