Today’s recipe comes from Adele, who blogs over at Adele in Slovenia. I love Adele’s blog because she writes about everything that I love too: food, the outdoors, and of course Slovenia! I’m so happy to have Adele guest posting on Taste of Divine this week. Thank you Adele!
When Christine asked me to write a guest blog on her site for the month of April, with the instruction for it to be something ‘Slovenian, healthy, and homemade’, at first I wasn’t quite sure where to start.
Then, however, I realised that of course Easter falls in April this year and therefore it just had to be something connected to this. However, Easter and ‘healthy’ aren’t really a match-made-in-heaven as Easter holidays usually involve copious amounts of chocolate eggs and, particularly in Slovenia, potica, potica and more potica!
Easter in Slovenia
Fortunately, there are other delights that grace the tables of many a home in Slovenia at Easter time, each of which symbolises what Easter is really all about:
- ‘pirhi’ – red coloured hard-boiled eggs – drops of blood from Christ’s body
- smoked ham – Christ’s body
- fresh horseradish – the nails used on the cross
- ‘potica’ or Easter bread – the crown of thorns
What is Potica?
Potica is a traditional rolled cake/sweet bread that is eaten at holiday times in Slovenia – for Christmas, New Year and Easter. It can be made with various fillings, most traditionally with walnuts or poppy seeds, or also with other fillings made with tarragon, coconut or even potratna potica which is a luxury version containing multiple layers of filling.
Šunka v Testu
When deciding what to cook I remembered having previously eaten smoked ham baked in a bread crust – ‘šunka v testu’ – and decided that would be my culinary challenge for this Easter.
So, here are some photos of my efforts which, although it won’t win any prizes for appearance, was very tasty indeed and I shall certainly be making it again next Easter. I hope, however, the next Easter will be a bit warmer than this one which saw unseasonably low temperatures and even a snow storm here in the valley.
You can read plenty more about my Easter, and my other adventures and hikes etc. in and around my home town of Radovljica here: Adele in Slovenia.
- a 1-2kg* piece of boneless smoked cooked ham
- 1kg of flour
- 1 cube of fresh yeast (or the equivalent of dried yeast)**
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- a pinch of sugar
- lukewarm water
- All the ingredients, except the ham, are mixed together to form a stiff dough which is then covered and left to rise for 30 minutes in a warm place.
- The dough should then be rolled out to a size appropriate for encasing the entire joint of ham.
- The ham is placed into the centre of the dough then the dough is shaped around the ham until it is completely covered. You can shape it just as a ‘normal’ loaf or use your imagination and shape something more intricate, an Easter bunny for example!
- The dough should then be brushed with a beaten egg and baked in the oven for approximately 1 hour at 200 degrees.
**I [Christine] reached out to my readers for help substituting dry yeast for a cube of yeast. Bobbie chimed in with this thorough answer. Thanks so much, Bobbie!
"One (0.6 ounce) cube of Fresh Compressed/Cake Yeast equals 1 envelope (or packet) of Active Dry Yeast, Instant Yeast, Rapid Rise Yeast, Fast Rising or Bread Machine Yeast, which equals 2¼ teaspoons or 7 grams (11 mL)."
Thanks for this delicious recipe, Adele!
Do you have a question for Adele about šunka v testu, food, or traveling in Slovenia? Feel free to comment below, or better yet visit her blog and explore what this beautiful country has to offer.
Co-author of Slovenia In Your Hands, Adele’s main passions are hiking in the mountains of the Julian and Karavanke Alps, cycling, running, and eating chocolate (we all have our vices!). She writes about her love of Radovljica, the surrounding areas, and other destinations in Slovenia to help promote it to both tourists and Slovenes alike over on her blog, Adele in Slovenia. Follow Adele on Facebook and Pinterest.