Nana’s Potica recipe – a Slovenian nut roll traditionally served at Easter and Christmas. Make this dessert to give as gifts or for holiday dinner parties. Grandma makes the best potica!
My Nana was an awesome baker. When I would visit her in summers growing up, I would spend hours leafing through her cookbooks with dreams of owning my own bakery when I grew up.
Little did either of us know that my fascination would instead turn into a food blog one day.
I’m actually trying to imagine trying to explain what a blog is to my Nana. I’m not sure she even understood what a computer is!
I know I’m so lucky to have these memories of her since most people never even know their great-grandparents, let alone get to spend time with them in the kitchen.
My Nana passed away a couple weeks ago. She would have turned 99 years old this summer. Maybe her baking had something to do with her long life? I’ll believe it.
I’ve shared her Easter bread recipe on here before, and another recipe she would make for the holiday is this sweet potica (pronounced po-teet-sah), a traditional Slovenian nut roll traditionally made for Easter and Christmas.
Making her potica recipe seemed like a perfect way to honor Nana.
The yeast dough is refrigerated (trust me, this helps), then rolled out and a sweet walnut filling is scooped on top. Then rolled tightly.
Try not to overstuff the filling before rolling – if you have leftover you can always add it as a topping.
I made 4 loaves out of my batch, which is why they are smaller circles than you might have seen in potica before. If you separate the dough into only 2 larger loaves then you’ll get more of the “swirls”.
You’ll just need a larger area to roll out the dough initially, but they will obviously be thicker rolls resulting in more layers.
Everyone in my family loves this bread.
One time my aunt TRIPLED the recipe, and I still had to make more for Easter brunch because everyone was eating it up.
I hope you’re proud, Nana. Love you.
Need more Easter recipe ideas? Check out this list of 40+ vegetarian Easter mains, sides, and desserts
Nana's Potica recipe - a Slovenian nut roll traditionally served at Easter and Christmas.
For the bread:
- 4 1/2 teaspoons yeast, (2 packets)
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 cup unsalted butter, (2 sticks)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 egg yolks, (save the egg whites for the filling)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 4 1/2 cups Bob's Red Mill all-purpose flour, (plus more for rolling out as needed)
For the walnut filling:
- 4 egg whites
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 lb ground walnuts
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons milk
- In a small bowl, add the yeast and water and mix together to make a paste. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add salt, egg yolks, sour cream, and start adding the flour 1 cup at a time until combined.
- Add the proofed yeast (should be bubbly) to the flour mixture and combine. Dough will be sticky.
- Refrigerate 1 hour or overnight (see note*)
- Remove dough from fridge and separate into 2 balls (***see notes)
- Roll out each ball into rectangles (about 1/4 of an inch works well), adding more flour as needed to prevent sticking.
- Mix together all ingredients for nut filling and spread evenly over dough, leaving a little room near the edges so it doesn't overflow when rolled.
- Roll tightly.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Let rise for 1 hour (will rise more in the oven if the dough has been refrigerated for a longer time)
- Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes or until browned.
I tried this recipe by refrigerating the dough only briefly (30 minutes to an hour) and also overnight. If you are in a hurry, it will still turn out mostly the same by refrigerating briefly but the longer time will help the dough be more manageable when you need to roll it out from my experience.
*Calories are for 1/12 of a loaf based on 2 loaves.
**This nut roll can be served hot or cooled - whichever your preference! Kind of like a cookie. I prefer room temperature.
***I made 4 loaves out of my batch, which is why they are smaller circles than you might have seen in potica before. If you separate the dough into only 2 larger loaves then you'll get more of the "swirls". You'll just need a larger area to roll out the dough initially, but they will obviously be thicker rolls resulting in more layers.
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Serving Size:1/24 of recipe
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 24gFiber: 2gSugar: 18gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is calculated automatically by an online tool at Nutritionix. It is not always accurate. Please use your own tools to check if you rely on this information.
Friday 23rd of December 2022
Question...The directions tell you to separate the dough into 3-4 balls and to roll out each ball of dough. Not sure why if the yield is 2 loaves. Wondering if I should just separate the dough into 2 halves
Wednesday 16th of November 2022
We use cream instead of milk, and were told only to allow the second raising as long as it took for the oven to heat, not a full raising time. We had a crisper outer crust, but if you use a sourdough then to allow to raise a bit longer.
Thursday 22nd of December 2022
@Toni, mine split along the sides. I actually made 2 batches to see what I may have done to cause that. Happened both times. A double rise sounds like this could be the reason why!
Thursday 23rd of December 2021
How do I keep the bottom from browning too much? I’m finding the center not cooked and the bottoms too brown..almost burnt.
Wednesday 10th of November 2021
Love, love, love potica! Quick question ... rapid yeast or active yeast? Does it matter? Thank you SO much for posting this. My mom made this every Thanksgiving and Easter. She passed away a few years ago and I have not mastered her recipe. I made yours last year and it was a hit with my dad! I just don't remember what type of yeast I used. Thanks so much!
Thursday 11th of November 2021
This made my day! So glad this helped you remember your mom <3. Active yeast is the kind that needs to be proofed in water first (like in this recipe). Theoretically you should be able to use instant/rapid rise yeast also you just wouldn't need to proof it. Hope this helps!
Tuesday 12th of October 2021
My aunts used to come from Minnesota and make their version of poteetusa. Made with ground walnuts and chopped dates cooked into a paste with added butter. I most often use a sweet roll dough. My family loves it. This recipe came up because of a cookbook my daughter is partaking in.