Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Potica- Holding on to traditions

Potica (paw tee' tzah) is a traditional Slovenian holiday cake. Variations of it are also common in several other Eastern European countries.

I grew up eating this, watching my Mom make it many times.  My Grandma did as well, and she learned it from her Mother, and so on…  Mom can not make it anymore; her hands won’t allow her to.  But she has planted the seed in me, and while I am not a baker…I want to hold on to this tradition.  I made some to take to her and Dad when we went up to visit recently.  I added to much filling, sigh.  I am still learning.  So my hubby asked for me to make some for home too…I told him I would.  And then I decided to blog it, it was a day…I will say that.  A long day…

I have a recipe from Mom, but she used Hot Roll mix for the dough.  My husband’s Aunts make this also…They are Russian/Scottish, funny!  So I asked Aunt Mary Jane to share her recipe for the dough.  I am having a bake off…I made 2 loaves of each recipe.  The Hot Roll mix has changed through the years and the results vary.  The dough from scratch was soft and lovely…But the taste will tell me.  So I hope you enjoy this, sit tight…it will be the longest post I have done.
Oh, I must share this...it is funny!  This checkered dough cloth, is 32 years old.  It is a section of the sheets we were gifted by Steve's Aunt, for my wedding shower... why on earth, I saved this is beyond me...As I said, I don't bake much (coz I'd eat it) but every time I roll dough, I go pull this out.   My Mom had a special "dough cloth", so I guess I needed one.  I learned on our recent visit, hers was a shower gift also...And the rolling pin, was my Grandma's.
 Dough with Hot Roll mix
1 box hot roll mix (include the yeast package)
1T sugar
 1 egg
3/4C scalded milk
In mixer, add mix, yeast, and sugar.  With the mixer kneading add scalded milk and the egg.
I kneaded mine for 5 minutes in my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook.  You can knead by hand as well.
Put into a greased bowl and let rise until double in bulk.  (divide for 2 loaves)

3C flour
½ t salt
1 ½ T sugar
1 packet of yeast
¼ C scalded milk
¼ C melted butter
2 eggs
½ C sour cream
In mixer, add dry ingredients.  Add milk, butter, eggs and sour cream. 
Do as above, kneading 5 minutes.   (divide for 2 loaves)
1 pound ground walnuts
½ C brown sugar
½ C honey
½ C melted butter
2t cinnamon (to taste)
½ C milk
1 egg
1 t vanilla
Optional- plumped raisins
Melt butter in saucepan.  Add remaining ingredients and warm through.  Cool thoroughly.
Roll out each piece of divided dough, to ¼ inch.  If using a patterned flour cloth, you should be able to slightly see the pattern showing…to let you know if you have the right thickness.  (this part I struggle with, I caution on the thicker side to prevent the dough from splitting…been there, done that)
Once dough is rolled out, spread paste over the dough.  Not too thick, not to thin.  Sprinkle with raisins if desired.  Roll the dough, jellyroll style.  Tuck the ends in and try to pinch the seam underneath.
Let rise for 1 hour.
Bake at 325 for 45 minutes or until golden crown.
I have also baked at 350, for about 30 minutes.  My oven seems hot, so I am trying it a bit lower and longer.
Cool, completely.
Slice and enjoy, xo
* I toasted my walnuts first, because I always like the flavor from doing that.  For THIS, I wouldn't do it again...
*Taste Test- the Hot Roll mix recipe, more flavorful to me.


  1. oh. my. oh oh my. did I say "oh my"????

    This looks soooooooo good.

    I love the "scalded milk"...and the bright checkered dough cloths...hello 1970s!!!

    What I really do love is that you want to keep the traditions alive. I'm glad that you are!!! xoxox

  2. Looking good! Great Potica, you have the recipe, after that Potica is down to one thing - lots of practice.

    My DD has just started making Potica and hers is always a little dry because she always overworks the yeast dough! That's why I made the video and posted the recipe...so she can look it up instead of asking me each time!!

    It was so nice to hear from you and to see someone else making this fabulous tea cake. These traditions are so important to keep alive.

  3. I so love tradition and if my Father had lived longer who know's I might of been making this too. I remember he was very traditional, liked his certain foods and certain ways, holidays and so forth. So special to get your very old family recipe and I will give this a try. Looks so good and it is always fun making something with yeast during cold weather. Thank you for sharing and showing the pictures so we get the idea!!xo

  4. OOOh this looks fantastic, "I'll be right over, with the coffee of course" You are going to need some help eating that!!
    Thanks for the recipe, I am going to give this a whirl next time we have company {If i flop it they will be too polite to say anything}
    Keep smiling and creating, thanks for dropping by

  5. Oh wow what a day you had but it all looks delicious. I see you have a kitchen aid mixer - I have one to in green - it was my mum's :)
    Have a delicious weekend.