This Sunday is Easter and bread is highly symbolic of the occasion. On the night that He was betrayed, Jesus broke bread with his disciples to mark the new covenant that was fulfilled by his resurrection on Easter Sunday. Potica (pronounced po-tee-sa), a Slovenian nut roll is a celebratory bread baked for almost every important occasion and it is essential to the celebration of Palm Sunday and Easter. It resembles a jelly roll and is made of very thinly rolled yeast dough spread with a nut paste. The nut paste or filling may differ from region to region and can include chopped walnuts, pecans, poppy seeds, honey, butter, and dried fruits.
Several birthdays ago, my two boys presented me with the Celebration Breads cookbook by Betsy Oppenneer. This delightful cookbook has a collection of more than 75 sweet and savory traditional breads from around the world. The recipes and history of each of the breads are well researched by the author and includes preparation by hand, mixer, food processor, and bread machine. Though there are no colored photographs, many of the recipes and steps are well illustrated.
This recipe was adapted from Celebration Breads. I have made some changes to the ingredients used and have simplified the steps involved. This time, I used the stand mixer method as the bread machine was being used for my weekly loaf of Rice Bread. My dear friend Denise will be so proud of me.
Do give this recipe a try. It will be well worth your effort.
- 3 cups (450g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- ¾ cup (180ml) milk
- ½ stick (¼ cup/56g) butter
- 2 tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 large egg yolks
- 3 cups (300g) walnuts
- 1 cup (160g) raisins
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 egg whites, beaten
- 3 tbsp milk
- ½ stick (¼ cup/56g) butter, melted
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
In the mixing bowl, combine flour and yeast. In a small saucepan, add milk, butter, sugar, and salt. Warm up mixture on the stove to about 110°F (43°C). Butter should be almost melted. Remove. If mixture is too warm, allow to cool to about 110°F (43°C).
Add the 2 egg yolks and pour milk mixture over flour. Snap mixing bowl onto stand mixer and attach the dough hook. Beat on low speed for 1 minute. Scrap down the sides of the bowl. Continue to beat for another 5 minutes. Dough should have pulled away from the sides and cleaned the bowl.
Remove dough and shape into a ball. Lightly oil mixing bowl. Return dough to bowl, cover with a dinner plate and allow to rise for about 1½ hours or until double in size.
While dough is rising, prepare the filling. Process walnuts and raisins in food processor until fine. Transfer to a large bowl. Add honey, egg whites, milk, and melted butter. Mix well.
Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough into an 18x20 inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over the dough keeping to within an inch of the edges. Start rolling dough from the 18-inch edge into a jelly roll. Trim edges with a sharp serrated knife. Place in a well greased 10-inch Bundt pan and carefully join the ends. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for an hour.
Bake in a preheated 325°F (165°C) oven 50 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert onto wire rack. Brush with melted butter and allow to cool completely.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!