It took me quite a while to put this into recipe form because all I ever work from is a piece of paper with the list of the ingredients on it
Originally, when I watched my grandmother make potica, she rolled the dough into one huge rectangle that covered her dining room table. Actually, she only rolled the dough until it was quite large, and then she stretched it with the tops of her hands and knuckles until it was so thin the pattern of the cloth could be seen through it.
She rolled the potica into a long roll and put it into a pan, snaking it back and forth until it was all put in. It was a big job and quite a sight to see her get it into the pan.
Many years ago I decided to make it more manageable by dividing it into three portions. The most challenging part of making potica is to get the dough so very thin.
The many thin layers that are formed when it's rolled are what make potica so delicious.
So, Beloved, here's my family's potica recipe. If you have any questions or need help when you are ready to make it, please feel free to contact me via PM or email. I'll be more than happy to help you. Enjoy!
KATIE’S WALNUT POTICA Dough:
1 cup evaporated milk, lukewarm
1 pkg. active dry yeast or 2¼ tsp bulk active dry yeast or 1 cake yeast
¼ cup vegetable shortening, not
½ cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
5 to 6 cups bread flour
1 lb walnuts, finely ground
1 cup honey
1 cup whole milk
1 stick butter, no substitutes
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large lemon
In a large bowl, combine the warm milk and the yeast. Whisk until yeast is dissolved. Beat in the shortening and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until well mixed. With a wooden spoon mix in flour, 1 cup at a time, until a soft dough forms. Cover tightly and refrigerate 5 or 6 hours or overnight. Remove from the refrigerator about an hour before rolling.
To prepare filling, in a medium saucepan combine walnuts, honey, milk, butter, and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until butter melts. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool completely before spreading on dough.
When you are ready to form the potica loaves, you will need a large cloth-covered surface to roll the dough. I use my dining room table.
Divide dough into three equal portions. When rolling a portion, cover the remaining ones to prevent them from drying out.
Lightly flour the cloth, roll dough into a rectangle. Continue rolling until the dough is very, very thin. Almost thin enough to read through.
Spread one third of the filling over the dough, completely covering to the edges. Sprinkle evenly and lightly with cinnamon and finely grate lemon rind over all.
Starting at shortest side, roll as tightly as possible jellyroll-style. Place rolled loaf onto a large baking sheet, tucking under ends. Repeat with the remaining dough portions and place them on the baking sheet with the first loaf.
Cover with a cloth and put in a warm place to rise; about 1 hour. The loaves will touch and fill the baking sheet when they are fully risen.
Bake in a preheated 350º oven for about 60 to 75 minutes. Check at 50 minutes to see how brown the loaves are. It is normal for them to get quite dark, but not burned.
When done, remove loaves to a rack and brush with melted butter. Cool completely before slicing. Slice about ½-inch thick and serve spread with soft butter. Note:
Potica freezes very well. Wrap in several layers of plastic wrap and place in heavy-duty zipper-lock freezer bags. Thaw in the refrigerator.