Slovenia – Potica – nut roll

Walnut potica (orehova potica)

Urska is from Maribor, the second largest town in Slovenia, known for Alpine skiing competitions. She moved to Switzerland about 3 years ago to be with her (now) husband who had found a job here. Urska misses her family and friends from Slovenia, but not so much the food, as all is basically available in Switzerland as well. She does however miss some of her mother’s and grandmother’s dishes, just because she feels she can’t make them as delicious as they do. For example, her grandmother makes great roasted chicken filled with dumplings and Urska can’t recreate her mum’s apricot dumplings.

To practise her English, Urska started a blog called Slovenian Girl Abroad, in which she shares her travel experiences, tips and information about the places visited. She sees her blog as a great tool for practice!

What Urska says about the Slovenian food culture:

There is a lot to tell on Slovenian food culture says Urska. First of all, it really is a social thing. As soon as the winter is over it is time for picnics and social gatherings at someone’s home with plenty of food put on the grill. Most popular among them are čevapčiči (at Let’s Explore, we know that dish and loved it, check out that recipe here) and ražnjiči. Something else you should know is that when you dine at a Slovenian home, they will keep offering you food (or even putting it on your plate) as soon as you’ll empty it. Telling them you’re full might not stop them offering you more food. Only if you leave a bit of food on the plate, they will know you’re really full.

The recipe Urska shares with us today is Potica (pronounced poo-teet-za) and is a typical Slovenian festive dish. ‘We usually prepare it for big holidays and celebrations, like Christmas and Easter. It is a roll which can be made with different fillings. The most popular is walnut. Potica recipes can be found in many cookbooks and on internet, but most Slovenians still make this dish with the family recipe, passed down for generations. My family is no exception. I’ve learned how to make Potica from my grandmother, who in my opinion makes the best Potica in the world!

Little side note from Let’s Explore

I’ve made the delicious Potica recipe shared by Urska, but my Potica in the end obviously didn’t have enough filling… I think I rolled it up too tight and I therefore also had leftover filling. I will re-make it soon, and roll up the Potica wider.

Still tastes very good, but next time more filling!

Walnut potica (orehova potica)

Ingredients for the dough (serves plenty as it’s quite big):

  • 600g of flour
  • 40g of yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg-yolks
  • 50g of butter
  • 50g of sugar
  • 2-3 dcl milk
  • lemon peel
  • salt
Ingredients for the wallnut filling: 
  • 300-400g of ground walnuts
  • 100g of sugar
  • 100g of honey
  • 40g of butter
  • 2 egg-whites
  • 2dcl milk
  • lemon peel
  • 1 tea spoon of cinnamon
  • 2 spoons of rum
How to prepare:
  • Put the flour in a bowl, sifted if you like.
  • In a cup, crumble the yeast, add 2 spoons of lukewarm milk, 2 spoons of flour and a spoon of sugar. Stir these ingredients and put the mixture away to allow the yeast to rise.
  • Meanwhile, mix butter, egg-yolks and the rest of the sugar.
  • Heat up the milk until it is lukewarm, then add salt, lemon peel and the mixture of butter, egg-yolks and sugar and stir all the ingredients together.
  • Then, stir together the flour, risen yeast and milk mixture. Knead all the ingredients into a dough. Knead until it is elastic inside and smooth on the outside. Make sure the dough does not stick to the bowl and that it is not too hard. If it sticks, just add a bit of flour, and if it’s too hard, add a bit of milk.
  • Put the dough in a bowl, cover it with a cloth and leave to rise. Dough should always rise at room temperature. With rising the quantity of the dough should double the size.

How to prepare the filling

  • While the dough is rising, prepare the filling: heat up the milk, with half of the butter and half of the sugar. Let the mixture boil.
  • Pour the boiling mixture over ground walnuts. Boil the honey and add it to the mixture. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon and rum. Stir. Then wait for the mixture to cool down.
  • Whip the egg-whites and the rest of the sugar and carefully stir it with the walnuts mixture. At the end, add the remaining half of the butter and stir.
  • When the filling is ready, the dough will most likely be ready too. Roll out the dough (it has to be about a finger thick).
  • The temperature of the filling should be equal to that of the dough. Spread the filling on the rolled-out dough. Roll it up, put it in a greased baking tray/mould and leave it to rise again.

  • Before baking, make some holes into the dough (to avoid it from breaking) and coat it with a thin layer of milk and egg mixture. Preheat the oven to 190°C. Put the Potica into the oven and bake for approximately 50 minutes. When it’s baked and nicely browned, take it out of the tray/baking mould straight away.

Your Potica is ready for consumption!

Thank you so much Urska for sharing your story and this recipe! I will definitely make it again, and I am sure my second Potica will be better :-).

If you would like to follow Urska’s travel tips, check out her blog or have a look at her Instagram account on which I love the photos of the hikes in the Swiss mountains she often makes!