Potica pronounced poh-TEET-sa is a traditional Slovenian sweet or savory pastry. It is made with a leavened dough that is rolled or stretched out thinly and then spread with a filling. The most popular filling for potica is made with walnuts which is what this recipe is for however, other popular fillings include poppy seed, cottage cheese, hazelnut, chocolate, tarragon, leeks and even their famous honey.
Potica was made a global sensation by Pope Francis when he mentioned it in his conversation with First Lady Melania Trump during their visit to the Vatican. He said “What do you give him to eat? Potica?”. Many news organizations reported on the conversation and the world wanted to know all about potica. Potica is enjoyed for every festive occasion in Slovenia especially around the holidays.
It turns out potica is a delicious dessert that you will want to make often. Why not try it with different fillings? I am sure all would be delicious. We enjoyed the walnut version as dessert for our International Cuisine meal with a nice strong cup of coffee. A perfect ending to our Slovenian feast.
Did you know that Melania Trump was born in Slovenia? She is one of only two First Ladies that were born outside of the USA. If you would like to learn more about the country of Slovenia be sure to check out “Our Journey to Slovenia”. There you can also find more authentic Slovenian recipes like the Stephanie roast served with Roasted potatoes.
Craving even more? Be sure to join the culinary and cultural journey around the world so you don’t miss a thing, it’s free, You can also follow me on Instagram, Facebook , Pinterest and youtube to follow along our journey.
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Potica (A Traditional Slovenian Pastry)
- 2 1/2 tsp yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/2 Tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 cup milk
- 6 Tablespoons butter
- 3 egg yolks
- 6 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 pound walnuts ground fine
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3/4 cup milk or half and half cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Grated peel from 1/2 orange or 1/2 lemon
- 3 egg whites
For the yeast
- Dissolve yeast in milk; add sugar and combine. Cover in warm place, about 10 minutes, until bubbly.
For the Dough
- In a sauce pan, Scald milk; add butter. Cool to lukewarm.
- In small mixer bowl, beat egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla until lemon-colored.
- In large bowl, sift 1 1/2 cups flour.
- Pour mixture of prepared yeast, milk, butter, eggs and sugar into mixing bowl with 1 1/2 cups of flour; beat with electric mixer until smooth and elastic. Keep adding flour and mixing with a wooden spoon until of consistency that dough can be handled without sticking.
- Place on floured board and knead for about 15 minutes, adding flour as needed, to make a non-sticking dough. Place dough in well-greased bowl; turn to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 2 hours until doubled in size.
For the Walnut Filling
- Grind walnuts in food chopper with finest blade.
- Melt butter in large saucepan. Add milk, sugar and honey; cook to rolling boil, taking care not to let it boil over.
- Pour hot mixture over walnuts.
- Add vanilla and grated peel.
- Mix thoroughly and allow to cool.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into the cooled nut mixture.
Rolling and Baking
- Grease well the two 12" x 4" loaf pans.
- Roll out ½ the dough on table covered with cloth sprinkled well with flour. Roll as large and thin as possible into a rectangle. Spread ½ the filling evenly over entire dough, sprinkling generously with cinnamon.
- Start rolling up dough by hand (jelly-roll fashion) from the wide side, stretching the dough slightly with each roll. Keep the side edges as even as possible.
- Prick roll about every several turns with a toothpick to help eliminate air pockets. Continue rolling by hand to opposite edge. Seal ends more securely by gently pulling dough down to cover ends and tucking underneath when placing in pan.
- Cover and let rise in warm place until double, about one hour.
- Bake in preheated 325-degree oven for 1 hour until medium brown.