Little poticas (Slov. Pajtičke)

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Little poticas are a smaller version of the real salty onion potica, which is typical of the Cerkno region and is considered to be the typical local potica of this region. Salty potica used to be prepared as part of lunch in the past, during mowing and other farm chores. Andrej Goljat includes the onion potica among special poticas in his monograph on poticas.

Salty little poticas with onion and walnut filling are an excellent snack. They are also tasty as side dishes to vegetable and meat dishes, replacing the bread. On festive occasions they can be served instead of other pastry. In some catering establishments in the Cerkno region salty little poticas are served alongside aperitifs as a welcome to guests.

It is no coincidence that the salty little poticas of Cerkno are in the selection of seven traditionaldishes that represent the gastronomic region of Idrija and Cerkno and help formpart of the pyramid of Slovenian gastronomy. Other distinctive dishes of our region are also: Idrija žlikrofi with the bakalca stew, Šebrelje stuffed pork stomach, smukávc (cabbage and potatoes stew), karáževc (apple and beans stew), lúštrkajca (potica with lovage and dried pork filling), and zeljševka (potica with chive filling).

Rewards for the hard-working

Small poticas were also prepared for farm chores. Typical were the soaked little poticas, which were soaked in salty boiling water and then greased with butter or bacon. In the morning the mowers were served white coffee, a piece of bread, or a cooked meal: sieraka (semolina in sour milk) and potato polenta and soaked mlinci (a sort of dried pancakes).

The morning meal was composed of: a piece of bread, cider, tea, water, salami, and spirits. Lunch was precisely at noon: risen or not risen (unleavened) walnut štruklji (cooked rolls), mlinci (dried pancakes), a dish from cabbage, porridge, thick bean soup, noodle dough squares greased with bacon, soaked little poticas, and dried meat. They also cooked turnip peels and put plenty of dried meat slices on top of that. They drank water, cider, and spirits. The afternoon lunch was composed of a salty onion potica or ocvirkovca (savory potica with pork cracklings), cider, cooked fruit, bread, or water. Small poticas, about the size of a doughnut, were also a reward on holidays and at the end of farm chores for farm girls, farm hands, rakers, and mowers.

»If a woman harvested for two days, she already earned a potica – she then usually went somewhere else for two days again. This is how women got two or more poticas. Threshers only got one potica – it did not matter for how long they threshed.«

Source: TZ Orlove ekipe, 1954 (notes of Boris Orel field teams, 1954)

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg white flour
  • 30 g yeast
  • 4 – 5 dl tepid water or milk
  • oil, salt

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 5 spoons oil or raw butter
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 300 g ground walnuts
  • 1 dl milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • a bit of ground pepper

Procedure

Knead dough out of the ingredients and let it rise. In the meantime prepare the filling with its main ingredients: walnuts and onions. Peel the onions and cut them into slices. Heat the fat in a pan and fry the onions in it. Fry the onions slowly until they turn yellow and until all the liquid evaporates from the pan. Add the fried onions to the ground walnuts, mix everything well, and add pepper and salt.

Once the dough has risen, roll it out to any thickness you prefer, spread it evenly with the filling, and roll it up firmly. Cut the roll into 2-3 cm thick slices and put them onto a greased baking plate. Bake them for about half an hour at 160 – 170 ºC.