Recipe: Potica

Potica

Dough:

2 (1/4-ounce) envelopes active dry yeast

1/4 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees)

1 tablespoon plus 1/3 cup sugar

3 tablespoons plus 5 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup milk

1/3 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 egg yolks

Filling:

1/2 cup honey

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 pound walnuts, pecans or almonds, ground (about 4 cups)

3 eggs, separated

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon ground cloves

2 teaspoons rum or brandy

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 cup golden raisins (optional)

Sprinkle yeast over warm milk in a bowl. Stir in the 1 tablespoon sugar and 3 tablespoons flour and let stand about 10 minutes. Mixture should be very foamy.

Combine the milk and cream in a second bowl. Whisk 3 cups flour with the salt in a third bowl. Beat the butter and remaining 1/3 cup sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes with electric mixer. On low speed, beat the flour-salt mixture alternately with the milk and cream mixture into butter mixture.

Add the egg yolks one at a time, beating well after each. Gently stir in the yeast mixture, then add remaining 2 cups of flour. The dough will be very soft.

If you have a heavy-duty mixer with a dough hook, knead the dough by machine for about 8 minutes, until the dough is very smooth and elastic. Add more flour if necessary. If making by hand, knead on a floured board for about 15 minutes, adding flour as necessary.

Form dough into a round, butter lightly all over and place in a bowl covered with a clean towel. Allow to rise in a warm place until almost doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Heat honey and cream in a saucepan just until small bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat and stir in butter until it melts. Pour over the nuts in a large bowl. Stir in the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, rum, vanilla, lemon juice and zest; blend well. Add raisins if desired. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until needed.

When dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into 2 pieces. Flour a large work surface. Roll each piece into a long rectangle, about 2 feet by 1 foot wide. The dough should be less than 1/4 inch thick. Now pull it gently, working from the center to the outer edges, until the rectangle is about 2 ¾ feet long.

Spoon filling onto each rectangle, leaving about a 1 inch border around the edges. Start with the short side, rolling tightly as you would a jelly roll. You may form the rolled dough into a loaf, pinching the ends tightly so no filling will leak out, or form into a round, pinching the ends together.

Place each finished roll seam-side down on a greased baking sheet. Cover with kitchen towel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, 60 to 90 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake potica 40 to 45 minutes, until light brown. Allow to cool on wire racks. Serve warm or cold. May be frozen. Makes 2 loaves, 24 servings.

Per serving: 467 calories (62 percent from fat), 32 g fat (12.7 g saturated, 7.5 g monounsaturated), 132.5 mg cholesterol, 8.1 g protein, 39.5 g carbohydrates, 2.1 g fiber, 161.7 mg sodium.

(c) 2005, The Miami Herald.Visit The Miami Herald Web edition on the World Wide Web at http://www.herald.com/Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services.

This recipe is from the article "Cook's Corner: Delicate, delectable Spanish cookies" by Linda Cicero from Knight Ridder Newspapers (MCT).

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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