Saturday, December 29, 2012

Nana's Potica (Gluten Free Nut Bread)

This year was the first Christmas without my Nana. She passed this last June after a 15 year battle with Alzheimer's Disease. It slowly took her away from us. Today's recipe is inspired by my Nana's traditional Christmas potica. Nana would bring a loaf of potica ,a nut bread, to my parent's home for Christmas Eve. Potica (poh-tee-sah), derived from the Slovenian word poviti, which means "to wrap in,"is a yeasted dough that is rolled very thin filled with sugar, cinnamon, and ground walnuts.  The dough is rolled up like a jelly roll and baked.  I would eat slices of this heavenly treat slathered with a pat of fresh butter every Christmas; oh heaven! 

Nana & my sister Meredith Christmas morning 

Rich's grandfather immigrated  from Yugoslavia at a very young age. My father in law recalls often the story of watching his mother roll out potica on the dinning room table in his childhood home in Pennfield, OH. The same formal table Rich  and I now own. This is a very special treat for both sides of the family and this year I found a way to bake this family favorite gluten free. I gifted my FIL with some potica this year with some homemade strawberry jam.

Gluten Free Potica


2 & 1/4 tsp of dry active yeast
1/4 cup of warm water
1 cup of warm milk
1/3 cup of coconut sugar
1 tsp of sea salt
1 egg
1/4 cup of organic butter softened
3 &3/4 cup of Namaste Perfect Flour Blend (gluten free)


2 cups of chopped walnuts ground into fine powder
1 cup of coconut sugar+ 2 TBS 
1 TBS of ground cinnamon + 2 tsp
2 egg whites
3 TBS of melted organic butter

To prepare dough dissolve 1 tsp of coconut sugar in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over water. Let  the mixture set for 10 minutes or until very foamy. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the milk, sugar, salt, egg, and softened butter. Mix until combined with whisk attachment. Then mix in yeast mixture. Attach the dough hook attachment and  gradually add the flour mixing in between each addition. The end result should be a non sticky soft ball.

Place dough into a greased glass bowl and cover with saran wrap. Let it rise for two hours in a warm space in your kitchen.

To prepare filling mix ground walnuts, 1 cup of coconut sugar, 1 TBS of cinnamon,and egg whites together. Set aside. Once dough is done rising divide it into three balls.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Roll a third of the dough into a 1/4 inch thickness with a rolling pin between two sheets of parchment paper. If it is rolled too thin the dough will burst during baking. Spread some melted butter over rolled out dough with a pastry brush. 

 Place the 2 TBS of coconut sugar and 2 tsp of cinnamon into a fine mesh sieve and tap it gently to cover buttered dough with a fine layer of cinnamon sugar.
  Spread a third of nut mixture over dough into a thin layer. It will be sticky.
Fold in sides of dough to seal off the nut mixture then begin rolling up the dough jelly roll style.

  Press and seal edges. Place potica on a parchment paper lined rimmed baking sheet. Repeat all steps for two remaining balls of dough. Let potica raise for 1 hour on top of stove covered with a clean tea towel. Bake potica of 40-45 minutes.
 Cool completely before slicing. This will keep for a couple of days in a sealed container.

Stay strong & carry on,


1 comment:

  1. thank you for this recipe, Brooklynn, and for telling us about your Nana. My aunt and uncle make potica every year in honor of their polish and Slavic heritage but its been five years since I've enjoyed it after my celibacy diagnosis. I'm excited to try your recipe. merry Christmas.