If you like sweet things, you should taste this traditional Slovenian dish I am about to present to you: potica. This famous bread-roll is being prepared in practically every Slovenian house on the bigger holidays, like Christmas or Easter. There even exists the society of potica-lovers. And how does this sweet nut roll look like? The dough is like sweet bread filled with walnut filling.
The most distinctly Slovenian is potica with tarragon, but there are more than 80 different fillings that can either be sweet or salty. Very common is potica with coconut, poppy seeds, even honey or many other fillings. Nowadays, the most popular version of the famous nut roll is the one with walnuts (orehova potica). Now let’s cut to the chase and see, how the baking process is done.
Dough: 500 g all-purpose flour, 30 g active dry yeast, 250 ml milk, 2 tablespoons sugar, 125 g margarine, half a pinch of salt, a bit of grated lemon peel, 2 egg yolks, half a teaspoon rum
Filling: 350 g walnuts, 170 ml cream/milk, 1.5 table spoon rum, 100 g sugar, a bit of grated lemon peel, 1 egg. Additional: milk, raisins.
All the ingredients have to be at a room temperature. First, prepare the yeast: put in a cup 1 dl of lukewarm milk, active dry yeast, 1 teaspoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of flour. Stir that well and leave it to rise. In the big bowl put flour, the rest of the sugar, salt, melted (but not hot!) margarine, egg yolks, grated lemon peel, rum. In the end add the yeast prepared. Mix it all together and knead shortly until you get a smooth and elastic dough. Form a ball and sprinkle it with a bit of flour. Cover it with cloth and let it rest and rise in a warm place for about one hour, until double in volume.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Toast the walnuts shortly in a pan, add cream, sugar, grated lemon peel and rum. When the filling cools down, add one whole egg. The filling should be nice to spread, if too dry, add a bit of milk.
Roll out the dough about 1 cm thick. Spread the filling evenly over the entire dough and add raisins if desired. Roll it gently and tightly and put in the baking pan.
Let rise until double in volume. Bake in a preheated oven (180 °C) for about one hour or until it gets golden brown color.
This is it! I hope you’ve enjoyed the baking process and made it a successful one. If you still aren’t really convinced and you aren’t ready for such a challenge, you can visit some of the traditional Slovenian guesthouses and enjoy the potica there. Another place not so far from Ljubljana is a restaurant Pri Kuklju, that is quite famous for their delicious potica.
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