Citizens, it would appear that the blessed Pope, Holy Father Francis I, may have made a joke about President Trump’s weight today! He asked his Slovenian wife, First Lady Melania Trump, if she was feeding him Potica (it is apparently one of the favorite desserts of His Holiness!)
This delicious Slovenian nut roll now lives in the pages of Internet infamy and it truly is a magnificent and delicious treat!
Slovenian cuisine (Slovene: slovenska kuhinja) is not uniform, but diverse and influenced by the diversity of Slovenian landscape, climate, history and neighbouring cultures. In 2016, the leading Slovenian ethnologists have divided the country into 23 gastronomic regions.
Slovenian cuisine can be divided into town, farmhouse, cottage, castle, parsonage, and monastic Slovenian cuisine. The bourgeois Slovene cuisine incorporated elements of Austrian, German and French cuisines, whilst the dishes eaten by the working class were mostly a function of their professions (notably, mining and forestry).
Potica, however, was first mentioned by Primož Trubar, a Lutheran priest who published the first books in the Slovenian language in the 16th century. It was also mentioned by Janez Vajkard Valvazor, a Slovenian polyhistor who wrote the famed The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola in the 17th century.
Its recipe was first described by Valentin Vodnik, a Slovenian poet who wrote the first Slovenian recipe book in 1799. The first book entirely dedicated to potica (Poticas of Slovenia, 2013) was written by Dr. Janez Bogataj, a famous Slovenian ethnologist.
Potica is such an important part of Slovenian heritage that it was twice featured on its postage stamps.
The first time was in 1993 in the Europe in miniature series. The stamp was designed by the legendary Miljenko Licul, also the designer of the Slovenian passport and the national identity card, as well as the national side of the Slovenian Euro coins.
The second stamp was published in 2005 in the Europa – Gastronomy series. It features three typical poticas: walnut, poppy seed and tarragon, symbolizing three geographical regions of Slovenia: the Alps, the Pannonian plains and the Mediterranean.
Potica can have many types of fillings, I stick with the classic Walnut. That said, one variation of Potica uses a unique tarragon filling – I have created a tarragon syrup to help flavor the roll with this unique taste, per tradition! 😀
Battle on – The GeneralissimoPrint
- 1 cup plus 6 T. butter, melted and cooled (2 ¾ sticks)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- Microplaned lemon zest from 1 lemon
- 1 ½ cups sour cream
- ¾ cup warm milk
- 1 t. sugar
- 6 cups flour, plus more for kneading
- 1 t. salt
- Yeast Mixture:
- 5 tsp. dry yeast
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- ½ c. warm water
- Nut Filling:
- 2 lb. shelled walnuts, soaked for 12 hours in water, allowed to dry then ground fine – don’t let it turn into walnut butter, they should be powdery
- ½ c. butter
- 2 c. milk
- 1 c. sugar
- ½ cup honey
- ½ cup tarragon syrup
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- Tarragon Syrup:
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1 handful fresh tarragon
- To make the syrup:
- Combine sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir and add tarragon.
- Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer for an additional 2 minutes and remove from heat. Let the syrup cool and transfer to an air-tight container. If refrigerated, the syrup will last for months.
- For the dough:
- In a one-cup measure, dissolve yeast in warm water, add sugar, stir and let bubbles form on top.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest and sour cream. Mix well.
- In a small bowl, proof yeast in warm milk and sugar. Add yeast to the sour cream mixture. Mix well.
- Sift flour and salt. Add to the mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine. You should have a soft, sticky dough.
- Turn it out on a floured board and knead until smooth and elastic. Divide dough into four even balls and flatten them slightly. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
- Nut Filling:
- Grind walnuts. Heat butter until golden brown and add nuts, stirring constantly; when thoroughly warm, add milk and mix well on low heat until mixture boils. Add sugar, syrup and honey, mix well; bring to a boil and boil for 20 minutes. Beat eggs and pour slowly into mixture, stirring constantly and boil 10 minutes more. This mixture scorches easily, so heat must not be too high. Cool mixture.
- Construct the Potica:
- Carefully dump dough onto table that has been covered with a twin sheet or tablecloth and lightly floured.
- Start with a rolling pin, rolling the dough to a rectangle about 24 by 36 inches. Then stretch dough to 42 by 60 inches or to your table size. Cut off any thicker edges – it should be very thin.
- Drop filling by large spoonfuls over two-thirds of the dough (using hands spreads is the easiest and most uniform method.) Spread evenly to edges and pick up short edge of cloth and gently roll over and over itself.
- Cut into pan-size strips and patch with leftover thin dough or cut with a small plate and pinch ends shut.
- Place in readied pans and prick with cake tester (or turkey pin) to prevent air bubbles. Cover and let rise about 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 340° F depending on oven. Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 20 minutes. Carefully dump out in hand, remove paper and set on a cooling rack. Cover with a cotton cloth and cool.
- Category: Recipes
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