skaealex

“Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, the teacher is most important.” – Bill Gates

CEP 810: Novice Potica Baker

on June 3, 2014

Over the weekend, I decided to delve into my proposed NLP – making potica. I began by assembling my list of ingredients, taken from Joe Pastry, and by piling everything I would need onto the very limited space on my kitchen counter.

Image

I first reviewed a YouTube video that I found while “researching” last week, just to get a feel for the process and the techniques involved in this complicated pastry. I noticed that the woman in the video seemed to be applying quite a bit pressure.

I decided to stick with the Joe Pastry for the duration of my potica adventure. I liked that the website broke things step-by-step with pictures – so wonderful for the visual learner!

My first step was to make the dough. The recipe called for “instant” yeast, and my local Kroger didn’t have any yeast labeled “instant”. I ended up choosing a “fast-rise” yeast that didn’t require any activation. Even after 90 minutes, my dough had barely risen!

Batch #1:

Image

During my next attempt, and after consulting the “Lessons in Yeast & Baking” section of a yeast manufacturer’s website, I decided to dissolve my yeast in water prior to utilizing it. This seemed to help some, although my dough still did not rise as much as I expected.

Attempt #2:

ImageI am currently researching how to alleviate the problem of the dough not rising. It is possible that my recipe is just for a smaller batch of potica, but I feel like the dough should still be rising more! Solution still to come!

While the dough was rising, I made the filling of walnuts, breadcrumbs, melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla, eggs, salt, honey, and cream.

Image

Next came the dreaded step: rolling out the dough! I covered my dining room table in a *clean* bed sheet, dusted it with flour, and began to roll!

I found that pressing firmly from the center of the dough and pulling evenly in all directions was a pretty solid technique. I also discovered that patience was very important!

Image

I then covered the dough will my filling, staying clear of the edges:

Image

The filling was a little runny, and on both attempts, I put too much filling on top of the dough. When I make my final batch, I will definitely use less filling. Hopefully this will alleviate the problem of leakage, although I have read on Joe Pastry‘s comment section that a little bit of leakage is normal!

Next, I had to roll it up. The key here: slow and steady!

Image

 

Image

After brushing the roll with eggwash, my final step was baking! During my first attempt, I baked the potica in a 13 x 9 baking dish:

Image

The result here was quite a bit of leakage! The escaped filling browned on the bottom of the pan, making the loaf of potica difficult to get out. 

For round two, I decided to use a loaf pan. This helped to eliminate some of the filling leakage:

Image

Both times, the potica tasted delicious! I still have a list of improvements for next time, though:

1). Decrease cook time. 45 minutes makes the top a bit too crunchy.

2). Use less filling.

3). Eliminate eggwash. Other recipes, such as the one found on the Slovene National Benefit Society, do not call for eggwash. Perhaps this would take away the over-browning of the top of the loaf.

4). Research yeast solutions that would allow dough to rise more.

I am excited to improve my potica-making skills even more in the weeks to come! My fellow staff members have been thoroughly enjoying my progress in the teacher’s lounge! 🙂

 

Image

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: