Sunday, December 19, 2010


My sister and I are two years and one day  apart. We always celebrated our birthdays together...then life happened!
Happy birthday sis! Miss you much, especially on days like today is! Hope you have a lot of fun today!

My sister Mojca (left) and I (right) celebrating our birthdays in 1970

What is "potica"?
"Potica" is a Slovenian national sweet dish that is served at weddings, Easter, Christmas, as well as other occasions, celebrations, and holidays.
A sweet yeast dough is rolled flat, about 0.2 inch (0.5 cm) thick and a nutty filling is smeared onto it. The filled dough is rolled up, forming a log or loaf shape, then baked. When sliced, the cross-section shows a swirl of filling.

This sophisticated tasting deliciousness was always served on my sister's birthday and mine. In those days my grandmother, my sister and I called her "naša nona" (our granny), was always baking it for all the special occasions.

When my grandmother was baking, she always made arrangements, so she was alone at home. She said that especially yeast dough is very sensitive to noise, draft, and crowded kitchens. Now, I know it was just her way to make sure she had some alone time once in a while and to be sure not to get distracted.

Since our granny passed away my mom took over this honorable duty. In November was my mom's birthday and of course she made "potica". She was very excited when I asked her to record her work, so I can post it on my blog. She also made "potica" last Friday for my sister's upcoming birthday. Thanks mom! XOXOXOXOXO

 NONINA OREHOVA POTICA- Granny's Walnut Cake
Ingredients for dough:
75 dag bread flour
15 dag all-purpose flour
8 egg yolks
10 dag butter
2 tbsp vegetable oil
12 dag sugar
4 tsp vanilla sugar
1 pinch of salt
3 dL warm milk (in which butter and oil are mixed)
zest of 1 lemon

Yeast slurry:
4 dag yeast
1.5 dL milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp all-purpose flour

Directions for dough:

Mix together bread and all-purpose flour and sift. In a pot, put milk, butter, and oil. Heat to 37*C; butter should totally dissolve.

Into a big enough bowl, put 60 dag sifted flour. Add sugar, vanilla sugar, lemon zest, and salt. Mix to combine. Beat the egg yolks into the milk mixture and pour the milk/egg mixture and yeast slurry over the flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth and bubbly. Gradually start to add the remaining flour, beating with a wooden spoon after each addition. After the dough stops sticking to the sides of the bowl, knead the dough for another 5 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a cloth, and set aside to rise to a double size, approximately 1 hour at room temperature, or you can preheat the oven to 30*C, turn the oven off, and place the bowl with the dough into the oven to rise for 40 minutes.

While the dough rises, it’s time to prepare the filing.

Ingredients for filling:
50 dag chopped walnuts
10 dag plain bread crumbs
1 tbsp unsalted butter
15 dag unsalted butter
3 tbsp sugar
2 vanilla
4 dl milk
3 egg whites, beat to egg white fluff
15 dag raisins

Directions for filling:
Ground the walnuts very fine (they should resemble flour) and put them into a bowl. Toast the plain bread crumbs in 1 tbsp of butter and add them to the walnuts. Heat the milk with butter to 38*C (make sure the butter melts completely). Pour the milk/butter mixture over the walnut/bread crumbs mixture, stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. After the mix rests, add sugar, vanilla, and stir to combine. At the end, gently fold in egg white fluff with a spatula.

Rolling it together:
After about 40 minutes the dough should rise to double size. Divide the dough into three equal parts. Roll the first part on a flour sprinkled board. Generously spread 1/3 of the filling over the dough,
sprinkle with 1/3 of the raisins, roll into a loaf, and transfer into a greased bread mold. Repeat with the other two parts of dough. Pierce loafs with a toothpick and press them down to release the air from inside.
Bake in 200*C preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 175*C and bake for additional 45 minutes.

Remove the potica from the oven, tip loafs onto a wooden board, cover them with a cloth, and allow them to completely cool down. Sprinkle the potica with confectioners’ sugar before serving.


Wouldn't you just love to have something so festive on your holiday table?


  1. Happy happy Birthday to you and your sister. I had a similar situation, my sister was 1 year and 1 week younger than me and my parents got us to celebrate our birthday on the same day too.

    Thank you for introducing me to the 'potika'. I have to admit I had never heard of it before and it does look very good. I would love to try a piece. I am bookmarking the recipe to make oneday. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you for the BD wishes! Just joined your blog and quickly browsed through it. I'm little busy today baking my BD cake, but will stop by tomorrow to read some more ^_^

  3. So you are originally from Slovenia? No wonder I can find so many dishes that I grow up with!
    Srecan Rodjendan! Vesel Rojstni Dan Mateja!

  4. Almost forgot...:) Potica looks amazing!

  5. Hvala za cestitke! It always feels good to find some home away from home. And yes, I was born and grew up in Slovenia, and as I said than life happened and I became a little wanderer :D

  6. Happy birthday to you and your sister - and that potica does look amazing!

  7. Thank you Rich and glad you like our potica :)

  8. I love this stuff! I made this for dear friends of ours who are Slovenian - they were so happy when they saw what I had brought to their house. :)

  9. I'm glad you like it! And it feels so good to make someone feel special and little closer to home, doesn't it?

  10. I loved reading this! I am half Slovenian American and have eaten potica every Christmas of my life. Now I make it myself. Usually with a walnut filling, though a slightly different recipe. Now I'm on a belated quest to learn more about Slovenian food, so I am very happy to find your blog.