"I am going to make bread to-morrow. So you may imagine me with my sleeves rolled up, mixing flour, milk, saleratus, etc., with a deal of grace. I advise you if you don't know how to make the staff of life to learn with dispatch." ~ Emily Dickinson, American poet (1830-1886)I have been making this bread for Christmas for 32 years now and started while still in residency. A woman brought this heavenly nut and cinnamon filled sweet bread to our Christmas dinner and I never managed to get the recipe. Thankfully, the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Ideas issue from the next year... 1978... had the recipe. This was before the advent of the bread machine, back in the dark ages when the milk had to be warmed to just the right temperature and mixed with the yeast mixture to activate it... back when you could still easily find actual blocks of yeast in the grocer's refrigerator section. It was labor intensive to add the flour a bit at a time and keep the sticky dough off the beaters and the sides of the bowls. It took time to go through the long and arduous kneading process with flour strewn all around the kitchen and the waiting for the bread to rise, only to beat it down again and knead some more.
Now, the bread machine on a dough setting has rendered this a much easier task. The ingredients for the bread are thrown in and the machine does the rest so that I can proceed to making a two to three or even sometimes four times batch of the filling. These days I can comfortably make three potica breads a day... four if I really get up a bit earlier.. and the yeast failure rate is almost negligible. I made 25 to give as gifts a couple of years ago and though I am not planning to do that many again, it is time to start because neighbors and friends have given not too subtle hints in that direction already. It is THE family tradition here... Christmas morning breakfast with eggs, bacon, potica bread and coffee.... before opening presents... and sometimes WHILE opening presents too. You cannot eat just one slice!
Since I posted the Potica bread recipe with the pictures and extended notes... that post has without any doubt become my most visited post in history. I notice an occasional visitor almost every day throughout the year... but beginning in late October, these numbers skyrocket and continue on through New Years. So this year I thought I would remind those who might be interested in making this heavenly bread that the full instructions and recipe are here....Potica Bread As Promised from October 2005 and may you enjoy it as well! I can almost smell the baking bread and cinnamon right now!
"If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens." ~ Robert Browning (1812-1889) English poet(end of post)