Potica / Potiza - Slovenian Nut Bread

My Slovenian grandmother was the queen of Potiza (pronounced Po-teet-sah).

Having made it hundreds of times, she had perfected her recipe and would make a batch at every holiday and family visit.  My dad was probably the biggest fan of her swirled nut bread. While staying at my parents for a few months and being a trained chef, I knew I would have to earn my room and board by trying to re-create grandma's famous recipe.  

My mother found an old newspaper clipping of a Potiza recipe she had kept from our days back in Cleveland. The recipe was from AMLA, the American Mutual Life Association which is a "Slovenian Fraternal Insurance Society."  As a child I would attend their Christmas party each year.

The Potiza I made from the recipe wasn't exactly like grandma's, but we did come pretty close. It has only been a day since we made them and all 3 loaves are almost gone, so I must have done something right! With only a few minor changes to AMLA's "Clip a Cookbook" recipe by Mary Zimmerman, here is my adapted version:


  • 1 pkg. dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup water, lukewarm (between 100-110 F)
  • 3/4 cup milk, lukewarm (between 100-110 F)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 - 3 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour


  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 cups finely ground walnuts


You can use either melted butter or egg wash


Dissolve yeast in warm water and let sit in a warm spot for about 10 minutes (or until yeast begins to bubble on top). In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, egg, butter, and half of the sifted flour.  

Add in warm milk (do not boil) and yeast/water mixture.  Mix with a spoon to combine.  Slowly add in remaining flour until dough comes together.  Turn onto a lightly floured counter and knead for about 5 minutes OR mix in a Kitchenaid with a dough hook attachment for 5 minutes.  

Stop kneading once dough is smooth. Place in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a towel. Place bowl in a warm area until it doubles in size, approximately 1.5-2 hours.







While the dough is rising make the filling by mixing the butter, brown sugar, and egg; then stir in milk, vanilla, and almond extract.  Fold in the chopped walnuts.  Once the dough rises, divide into 3 equal parts.  On a floured cloth or board, roll out each part into a very thin rectangle. 

Spread the filling all over the dough then roll up (like making cinnamon buns). Place into a greased loaf pan.  Cover pans and let rise again until they double, about 1-1.5 hours.  

Brush the tops with butter or egg wash (use butter if you want added richness or egg wash if you want a dark shiny color) then place in preheated 325 degree oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove.  Slice and serve!

Chef's note: Next time, I may add some cinnamon to the filling. I think it would add a nice flavor. Feel free to give it a try!

AuthorAmy Koch