Sunday, March 13, 2011

Slovenian Potica: FAIL

My husband Steve is part Slovenian, and his grandmother used to make potica (pronounced puh-teetz-ah) when he was younger. He and his sister still rave about how good it was, so I decided to give it a shot this weekend.

The recipe seemed deceptively simple. So I followed the instructions exactly, not wanting to mess this childhood favorite up, and thought I was doing just fine.

Then the dough wouldn't rise.

I moved the dough from the warm laundry closet to the open oven door (with the oven on at 200) and that didn't even work.

Plan C (since Plan B was the oven door option) was to add newly flowered active dry yeast and incorporate it into the dough.

Thankfully Plan C worked. The dough doubled and I rolled it out into two loaves, filled with butter, honey, walnuts and cinnamon.

They had to rise again for an hour, so I went back to watching a movie. When I returned, they had practically filled a cookie sheet. One looked was shaped like a loaf and one looked like a big blob of goo (guess which one I rolled first - hah). After some finagling, I managed to wrangle the blob into a more appropriate shape. I was a little afraid it would keep growing and eat the other one, so I moved the nice loaf to another cookie sheet.

The left one is the somewhat-wrangled blob. I'm hoping for the next attempt the rolls will be a bit tighter. Either that or I need to get a bread pan and just shove the rolls in there.

The first one came out of the oven very, um, bronzed and had grown AGAIN. We sliced it and tried it...

Verdict? Definitely not Grandma's potica. It tasted okay, but the key seemed to be that the roll needed to be tighter so you get that true cinnamon swirl.

Oh well. Now I just have to figure out what to do with almost two whole loaves of potica.

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