As with all the age old trans-cultural, trans-national classics I’ve attempted here on joepastry.com, there is no way a single recipe can encompass the totality of potica/politics…gestalt, shall we say. Fillings vary, doughs vary, techniques vary. This one is more Slovenian (southeastern European) in its orientation, though I realize that even in this region interpretations vary (sorry to those who were hoping for a strudel-type potica (though I do have strudel dough on the site should you want to venture out on your own!). I offer this will all due pleasure and apologias.
1 lb. (3 cups) all-purpose or bread flour
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
3/4 teaspoon salt
1.75 ounces (1/4 cup) sugar
8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk, room temperature
2 ounces (1/2 stick) very soft butter
1 lb. (4 cups) ground walnuts
2 ounces (1/2 stick) butter, melted
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar
5.5 ounces (3/4 cup) brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup dry bread or cake crumbs
3 ounces (generous 1/3 cup) heavy cream
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a bleater (paddle) combine the flour, yeast, salt and sugar. Stir on low to combine. Pour the milk into the bowl and turn the speed up to medium. Once a dough begins to come together switch to the dough hook and knead about three minutes, until a smooth dough is formed. Add the butter to mixer in two additions and knead until the butter is completely worked in. Turn the dough out into a lightly oiled bowl, cover it with a towel or plastic wrap and let it rise about 90 minutes until about doubled.
Meanwhile rinse out the mixer bowl and fix the machine with the beater. Combine all the filling ingredients and stir to combine them thoroughly.
Spread a clean sheet across your dining room table. Roll out and/or stretch the risen dough until it’s roughly 2 1/2 feet by four feet in dimension. Spread the filling over and, using the sheet to help you, roll up the dough. Cut the roll into three pieces. Place them in lightly oiled loaf pans (or desired forms). Spritz the tops with water and allow them to rise about half an hour. Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the loaves with egg wash and bake 45 minutes to an hour until the tops are a rich golden brown.