Dec 072013
 

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Potica, Povetica, Poticia…

There are many different ways to spell  it.  My family spells it “Potica”.  Which confuses people into pronouncing it “POT ick ah”, instead of “pah TEET sa”.

No matter—they are names for the same Slavic bread.

A rich mixture of walnuts, honey and sugar spread across the thinly rolled sweet dough, this bread is often made for special occasions.  My mom would make it for Christmas and Easter.  Slavic communities will prepare it for funerals.  In the valley that I live in, where many immigrants came to work the local lead smelter, most everyone knows what this ethnic bread is.  And there are strong opinions on how it should be made.

Mine is a less “rich” version.  If I were to compete with those made in East Helena, I would have to double the filling so as to get the thick swirls of walnuts that characterize the samples that I have had at local funerals.  But given the price of walnuts, and the added calories that I always seem to be counting, I have a lighter version.

But having said that, it is NO DIET FOOD.  It is high in calories.  Which is why we eat it on holidays.  The time of year when you should set your scale back ten pounds…

Give it a try—I use my beloved bread machine to make the dough, and make it in about a third recipe of what my mom used to make.  The result is about a football sized loaf of pure love.

I have detailed the instructions so that anyone can make it—because most won’t attempt it without the tutoring of grandma or great aunt.  Don’t be afraid to prepare it for your next holiday.  Take notes for yourself.  It took me several tries to get the results that I was pleased with.  Not that it altered the taste that much, but the end product should be pretty if you are going to serve it to those people whose name ends in “ich” or “ic”.

But don’t be intimidated by a reputation—just go for it!  You just might score a touchdown with your family!  (or, make it and sell it—most people will pay a premium for it!)

Bread Dough:

Place into the bread machine:

¾ cup plus 1 T. warmed milk–  don’t warm it too much, just take the chill off of it

3 T shortening

2 ½ c. flour

2 T sugar

Scant t. salt

1 egg

2 t yeast

Run your bread machine on the dough cycle.  When done, place the dough onto a well floured countertop.  Allow to rest for 15 minutes (this is very important because it helps to relax the gluten so rolling out the dough is easier)

While your dough is going through the dough cycle of your machine (about 1 ½ hours), then prepare the walnut mixture.

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Grind walnuts in a food processor or hand grinder, checking diligently for any walnut shells that the factory missed.

1 lbs. walnuts

3 T butter or margarine

1/3 c. cream or half and half

Dash salt

1 t. vanilla

1/3. c. honey

1 c. sugar

2 ½ t. cinnamon

1 t. lemon rind

1 large egg, beaten

Add them to a 2 qt. saucepan.  Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE EGG,  and stir over very low heat.

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The purpose is to warm the mixture so that it blends well, not to cook it. Once blended, leave it until the dough is rolled out and ready to prepare.

While to dough is resting, take a cloth dishtowel (not a terrycloth one) and “drench” it with flour.  This will serve as the surface onto which you will roll out the dough.  It should measure about 24” x 18”. (I have one that I use consistently for this purpose.)

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Once the dish towel is fully “floured” then place it on the countertop, placing your rested dough in the middle.  Now gently roll out the dough to the edges, flouring your rolling pin if needed.  Don’t worry if you get holes—it doesn’t matter if you do.  Do try to get a consistent thickness.

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Once the dough is rolled, carefully reheat the walnut mixture just until it is soft again.  Remove from heat and stir in the beaten egg, doing it quickly so that none of it “cooks” in the pan.

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You are ready now to spread the walnut mixture onto the dough.  Place spoonfuls as pictured.  Using a spatula ( I like to use one like the pros use for frosting a cake), gently push the mixture across the dough, (do not let the spatula touch the dough – this will make it drag the dough with it) all the while going to all the edges except one of the narrow ends.  Aim for a consistent thickness.  Try not to push hard. It is quite helpful to have the walnut mixture ever so lightly warm so that it spreads easily.

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Now, starting at the short end where you have spread the walnuts all the way to the edge, begin to roll towards the other end, using the towel to make it roll.  If it sticks, don’t worry, simply take a knife and cut it away from the towel.

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Once to the end, pinch the dough so that the roll is sealed.  Then press the round ends of the roll together so that the filling does not push out.

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Now turn it so that the sealed length edge is on the counter and then pull into a loop as pictured.

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Place in to a WELL GREASED 3 qt. enamelware pan.  (This is the small roaster size.)

Now shake latterly until the dough settles a little. Then shake up and down a bit also.  Cover with your floured towel  or clear wrap and place in a warm spot in your kitchen.  Allow to double, about one hour.

Once doubled,  place into the center of a preheated 325 degree oven.  Check at 45 minutes and cover lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil.  Finish baking.  Crust should be nicely browned.

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Once done, place on a cooling rack and run a steak knife around the edges.  Wait ten minutes and then invert onto another cooling rack (make sure you have the rack on top—don’t just dump it out.)  Next, turn it back over using another rack so that the rounded side faces up.  Rub with butter to soften the crust.  Allow to cool.

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Makes a 3 # loaf.  Freezes really well.  I often cut into two pieces and freeze separately.

Keeps well on the counter—no need to refrigerate.  Serve with butter, or not.  Now call yourself a Bohemian princess—you have made Potica!

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Potica, Povetica, Poticia…

Potica, Povetica, Poticia…

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 1 T. warmed milk-- don't warm it too much, just take the chill off of it
  • 3 T shortening
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 T sugar
  • Scant t. salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t yeast
  • Filling recipe
  • 1# walnuts
  • 3 T butter or margarine
  • 1/3 c. cream or half and half
  • Dash salt
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 1/3. c. honey
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 1/2 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. lemon rind
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Instructions

  1. For full pictured instructions go to: www.onlymybestrecipes.com/potica-povetica-poticia/
  2. Run your bread machine on the dough cycle. When done, place the dough onto a well floured countertop. Allow to rest for 15 minutes (this is very important because it helps to relax the gluten so rolling out the dough is easier)
  3. While your dough is going through the dough cycle of your machine (about 1 ½ hours), then prepare the walnut mixture.
  4. Grind walnuts in a food processor or hand grinder, checking diligently for any walnut shells that the factory missed.
  5. Add them to a 2 qt. saucepan. Add the remaining ingredients EXCEPT THE EGG, and stir over very low heat.
  6. The purpose is to warm the mixture so that it blends well, not to cook it. Once blended, leave it until the dough is rolled out and ready to prepare.
  7. While to dough is resting, take a cloth dishtowel (not a terrycloth one) and “drench” it with flour. This will serve as the surface onto which you will roll out the dough. It should measure about 24” x 18”. (I have one that I use consistently for this purpose.)
  8. Once the dish towel is fully “floured” then place it on the countertop, placing your rested dough in the middle. Now gently roll out the dough to the edges, flouring your rolling pin if needed. Don’t worry if you get holes—it doesn’t matter if you do. Do try to get a consistent thickness.
  9. Once the dough is rolled, carefully reheat the walnut mixture just until it is soft again. Remove from heat and stir in the beaten egg, doing it quickly so that none of it “cooks” in the pan.
  10. You are ready now to spread the walnut mixture onto the dough. Place spoonfuls as pictured. Using a spatula ( I like to use one like the pros use for frosting a cake), gently push the mixture across the dough, (do not let the spatula touch the dough – this will make it drag the dough with it) all the while going to all the edges except one of the narrow ends. Aim for a consistent thickness. Try not to push hard. It is quite helpful to have the walnut mixture ever so lightly warm so that it spreads easily.
  11. Now, starting at the short end where you have spread the walnuts all the way to the edge, begin to roll towards the other end, using the towel to make it roll. If it sticks, don’t worry, simply take a knife and cut it away from the towel.
  12. Once to the end, pinch the dough so that the roll is sealed. Then press the round ends of the roll together so that the filling does not push out.
  13. Now turn it so that the sealed length edge is on the counter and then pull into a loop as pictured.
  14. Place in to a WELL GREASED 3 qt. enamelware pan. (This is the small roaster size.)
  15. Now shake latterly until the dough settles a little. Then shake up and down a bit also. Cover with your floured towel or clear wrap and place in a warm spot in your kitchen. Allow to double, about one hour.
  16. Once doubled, place into the center of a preheated 325 degree oven. Check at 45 minutes and cover lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. Finish baking. Crust should be nicely browned.
  17. Once done, place on a cooling rack and run a steak knife around the edges. Wait ten minutes and then invert onto another cooling rack (make sure you have the rack on top—don’t just dump it out.) Next, turn it back over using another rack so that the rounded side faces up. Rub with butter to soften the crust. Allow to cool.
  18. Makes a 3 # loaf. Freezes really well. I often cut into two pieces and freeze separately. Keeps well on the counter—no need to refrigerate. Serve with butter, or not. Now call yourself a Bohemian princess—you have made Potica!
http://www.onlymybestrecipes.com/potica-povetica-poticia/

  5 Responses to “Potica, Povetica, Poticia…”

  1. Thank you for the recipe I use to make this a long time ,my husband use to help me he is from Roundup I will have to try it again this year. Thank you and a Merry Christmas to youhtml

  2. This make me so hungry. One of my favorite treats! I may have to try making it.

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