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Potica (Slovenian Nut Roll)
#Pastries and sweets
Homemade and Delicious

Potica (Slovenian Nut Roll)

Potica is Slovenian Nut Roll that's traditionally eaten on Easter and Christmas. Brioche dough filled with rich walnut filling. Easy recipe for a tasty cake.

Potica (Slovenian Nut Roll)
It doesn’t get more traditional than Potica you guys. This is our Slovenian national treasure. Every family has its own recipe and that recipe is proudly passed on from generation to generation. For a dish to become a national treasure there’s one thing you can be sure of: It is freaking delicious. The same goes for this Orehova potica (Walnut Roll). We honestly can’t imagine any celebrations, including weddings, Easter or Christmas without potica. My mum baked it for our wedding and now we plan to master the art of making potica, so we can then pass the recipe forward when the time comes. We made sure to include all the tips and tricks in this recipe (plus a recipe video) so you will be able to bring this European culinary treasure into your own homes. Maybe you even start your own tradition of baking potica at home for special occasions.

What is potica (Slovenian Nut Roll)

Potica (pronounced poh-TEET-sah) originates from Slovenia. It's the most delicious Nut Roll, that's prepared with light brioche dough and filled with a rich, tasty filling. It's traditionally eaten on all holidays, like Easter, Christmas and other celebrations like birthdays and weddings. It might even remind you of a giant cinnamon roll or even babka, povitica, however, it's rolled together differently. Traditionally it's baked in a beautiful cake pan called Poticnik, but you can use a simple bundt cake pan or loaf pan too. There are many varieties of filling, like cottage cheese, poppy seeds and more, however, the walnut filling is the most popular. Here are some of the reasons you simply must try making this potica at home:

  • rich, yet soft brioche dough
  • it's not too sweet
  • rich walnut filling (walnuts can be replaced with hazelnuts, pecans or almonds. Rum is also optional) Adding raisins is also very popular.
  • simple to prepare
  • beautifully rolled together

Domača Orehova potica

Foolproof recipe

Here in Slovenia, you will often hear home bakers say “oh, it could have been prettier” or “I hope next time my potica will taste better” - even though it is beyond tasty and amazing, there’s this kind of vibe of always trying to reach perfection when making potica at home. In our humble opinion, everyone who makes potica at home deserves a pat on the back. On the other hand, we totally understand the need for improvement, especially when there’s so much effort involved when making potica. It’s totally understandable that we want to achieve the best possible version. Here are some things to watch when making this amazing Slovenian Nut Roll at home.

Why did it tear or crack during baking?

Oftentimes the nut roll tears on the upper side. This happens when the dough is completely covered with nut filling (edges of the dough too). When the roll is baking in the oven, the dough is spreading and so the crust tears. You can avoid this by not spreading the filling around 10 cm / 4-inches edge. The tearing of the crust isn't a big mistake in our opinion because it's better to have your potica nicely filled with walnut filling than to have it poorly filled.

If your nut roll cracks unevenly over the whole surface then the dough hasn't risen enough before baking.

Why has the filling separated from the dough?

The filling separates from the dough when the consistency of the filling is wetter than the dough or when it's spread too thick. The consistency of the filling and dough should always be approximately the same.

How to make it nice and shiny?

There are two ways to make it shiny. We usually brush the dough with milk when the potica is already in the baking pan, right before placing it in the oven. However, if you want to make it extra shiny, brush the dough with the mixture of one egg and two tablespoons of milk. If you decide for the latter, make sure to cover the nut roll with the baking paper last 25 minutes of baking to prevent burning. 

Active dry yeast or fresh yeast?

We recommend using active dry yeast for this dough because it's more stable and the yeast rises more evenly. You can, of course, use fresh yeast as well, in that case double the amount of the yeast.

How do I know that the length of the roll is long enough for my pan?

The roll has to be twice the size of the round cake pan. 

Cake pan 24cm / 9-inches = 1x this recipe
Potičnik 30 cm / 12-inches = 2x this recipe

Can I bake potica in a convection oven?

If you are baking potica in a convection oven the baking time is slightly different. First, bake for 45 minutes at 165 °C / 330 °F, then reduce the heat to 140 °C / 285 °F and continue to bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

Orehova potica

 

Slovenska Orehova potica

 

Proofing

The classic way

If you decide to prepare the dough and bake the potica the same day, you need to proof the dough twice. First, you need to proof the dough until doubled in size. Place the dough in a bowl, cover with cling film to prevent the dough from drying out. Always proof at room temperature (the room shouldn't be hot). The second proofing is for the shaped nut roll. Place the rolled potica in your pan. Cover with cling film and leave to proof at room temperature until doubled in size.

Overnight

If you decide to proof the potica overnight, you leave out the first proofing. Make the dough, spread the filling over the dough, roll, place in your cake pan (poticnik), cover with cling film and place in the fridge overnight. Let the potica proof for at least 8 - 10 hours in the fridge.

Odlična slovenska Orehova potica

 

Zavita Orehova potica

 

Storing and Freezing

This wonderful Nut Roll is best one day after baking. Store it in an airtight container for 4 - 5 days at room temperature. You can also freeze it. Place the nut roll in a freezer bag and freeze for up to two months. Unfreeze by leaving it in a freezer bag at room temperature for a couple of hours.

How to make potica (recipe video)

 

 

 

Lets get cooking!

ONLY A FEW MOMENTS SPENT IN THE KITCHEN AND YOU WILL HAVE THIS FANTASTIC DISH IN FRONT OF YOU.
  • makes
    1
    bundt cake pan (24cm / 9-inches) or two loaf pans 10 x 25 cm (4-inches x 10-inches)
  • preparation
    30
    minutes
  • proofing:
    95
    minutes
  • bake:
    65
    minutes
  • total time:
    190
    minutes

METHOD

  • prepare the pans

    We traditionally bake potica in a cake pan called "Poticnik". It's similar to a bundt cake pan, so you can use that or use a loaf pan. Grease with butter or lard and set aside.

  • knead

    In a small bowl knead together yeast, sugar, and lukewarm milk. Set aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to grow. In a large bowl combine all-purpose flour, yeast mixture, and egg yolks. Knead for a minute, then add melted butter and salt. Knead for about 10 minutes by hand or use an electric mixer and knead until the dough is nice, soft and elastic, for about 5 minutes (using a mixer). Cover with cling film and set aside for about 50 - 60 minutes or until doubled in size.

    Tip
    If the dough appears to be stiff and not elastic at all, add up to 2 tbsp of milk into the mixture. You can also substitute 1/3 of the butter with lard.
  • walnut filling

    Put the walnuts in a bowl of a food processor and pulse for a few seconds at a time until the walnuts are fine. Transfer to a large bowl. In a saucepan combine heavy cream, floral honey, sugar, butter, rum (optionally), lemon zest and ground cinnamon. Place over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, then pour over the walnuts in a bowl. Stir to combine to get a nice walnut filling. Set aside for the mixture to cool to room temperature. In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with sugar to get stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the walnut mixture and stir to combine. The walnut filling mixture should be light, yet stirred well.

    Tip
    If the walnut filling seems too liquidy, add a tsp of breadcrumbs. If the filling seems too dry, add 1 tsp of heavy cream.
  • Preparation and Rolling (the classic way)

    Preheat your oven to 190 °C / 375 °F. Generously dust your working area with flour. Roll the dough into a 40 cm x 35 cm / 16-inches x 13.5-inches rectangle, thickness 0.5 cm or 0.2-inch. Using an offset spatula, spread the walnut filling in an even layer over the dough. Starting at the shorter edge nearest you, tightly roll up into a tight log. Brush off any excess flour. Transfer the potica roll to the prepared pan so that the seam is looking upward. Make sure that the ends of the log are tightly pressed together or the potica won’t be as pretty and the filling will spread out while baking.

    Tip
    If you decided to cut off the excess dough on the edges, you can bake it separately on a baking sheet. The length of the log must be double the length of the round bundt cake pan.
  • proofing (classic way)

    Cover the potica with a towel or cling film and let stand at room temperature until doubled in size, about 45 - 55 minutes.

  • overnight proofing

    If you want to proof the potica overnight, you first need to leave out the first bulk proofing. Once you knead the dough, leave it to rest at your working surface for about 15 minutes, then roll the dough into a rectangle and spread the walnut filling over the dough. Roll, transfer to your prepared pan. Cover with cling film or towel and place in the fridge to proof for about 8 - 12 hours. Then, place the cold potica into your preheated oven to bake.

  • bake and serve

    Using a brush, gently brush the potica with lukewarm milk. Use a skewer to poke holes all over the top of the potica all the way through to prevent air bubbles from forming and separating the filling from the dough. Transfer the potica to the preheated oven. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 °C / 355 °F. Then lower the heat to 160 °C / 320 °F and continue to bake for 20 - 25 minutes or until the nut roll is puffed and golden brown. Let cool slightly, for about 5 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and remove the pan. Leave the potica to cool, then sprinkle with icing sugar and serve. Enjoy.

    Tip
    If you are baking potica in a convection oven the baking time is slightly different. First, bake for 45 minutes at 165 °C / 330 °F, then reduce the heat to 140 °C / 285 °F and continue to bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

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