While we’re all firing up our ovens, I’ll share a dish from last year. Husband’s grandmother emigrated from Croatia, then Austria, as a teenager. She brought with her the holiday tradition of POTECA, pronounced “poh-teet-za”, a semisweet walnut filled bread. Her daughters continued the tradition at Easter and Christmas, and as “last of the Mohican women” in the family, I am now making it. It is ethereal when fresh, but excellent for a week or so when toasted in a dry frying pan.
While my m-i-l claimed that it was close to impossible to make (Put all the leaves in your dining table and cover it with a freshly ironed sheet; get out your largest mixing bowl…), like most complicated recipes, I’ve found that it is very straightforward and quite easy to make a small batch, enough for a large coiled loaf.
Using your favorite sweet bread recipe, roll out on a floured surface into the largest and thinnest rectangle you can.
Spread the filling ingredients evenly over and roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Don’t worry about small holes since they will be concealed.
Coil or serpentine in a baking pan. Shown is a double recipe.
This recipe is close to my m-i-l’s. But do replace lemon extract with juice and zest.