||It has been suggested that portions of poppy seed roll be moved or incorporated into this article. (Discuss)|
Orahnjača variation of nut roll
|Alternative name(s)||Many - see text|
|Place of origin||Yugoslavia|
|Main ingredient(s)||Sweet yeast dough, ground nuts|
A nut roll is a pastry consisting of a sweet yeast dough (usually using milk) that is rolled out very thin, spread with a nut paste made from ground nuts and a sweetener like honey, then rolled up into a log shape. This 'log' is either left long and straight or is often bent into a horseshoe shape, egg washed, baked, and then sliced crosswise. Nut rolls resemble a jelly roll (Swiss roll) but usually with more layers of dough and filling, and resemble strudels but with fewer and less delicate dough layers. Fillings commonly have as their main ingredient ground walnuts or poppy seeds; see also bethy (poppy seed roll).
Nut rolls can be found in the United States and in Slavic Europeas cuisines. In the United States, "nut roll" is a more or less generic name for pastries of this type, no matter where they originate. Nut rolls are known also by many specific regional names, including: potica, gubana, guban'ca, or povitica in Slovene; orechovník in Slovak;pastiç (pastiche) or nokul in Turkish; makowiec in Polish; povitica, gibanica, orahnjača/orehnjača in Croatian (walnut variant, makovnjača for variant with poppy seed, in Croatia can also be made with carob); and kalács and bejgli in Hungarian.
Preparation and design
A sweet yeast dough is rolled flat, about 0.2 inch (5 millimeter) thick and a filling is spread on it. The filled dough is rolled up, forming a log or loaf shape, then baked. When sliced, the cross-section shows a swirl of filling.
Types or forms of nut roll are: rolled log, loaf made via a bread pan, and a "crazy loaf" style with a unique texture. Similar ground walnut filling is used in Buchteln, a bun shaped pastry, also with yeast dough.
Traditional Rolls in Central and Eastern Europe, like makowietz and bejgli, are a special type of rolled log shaped Central and Eastern European pastries generally made with two types of filling, walnut and poppyseed filling. In addition to ground nut fillings, cinnamon, raisins or currants, bread crumbs, lemon zest, rum and heavy cream or sour cream are used. The poppyseed versions are still popular in Russian-American neighborhoods in the USA.
The traditional nut bread served at Easter and Christmas in Slovenia and still very popular in some parts of the United States is called potica (po-TEET-sah). It is a yeast dough rolled and stretched paper thin and spread with a mixture of ground walnuts, butter, eggs, cream, and honey or sugar. It is then rolled jellyroll fashion and baked. Traditionally it was spiraled in a round pan, but now one is more likely to find it baked as a loaf.
Another type of pastry also called poticas are baked in special round cake tins with a tube in the middle. These poticas are usually ring shaped cakes. These pastries are not rolls, but a regional variant of Gugelhupf. There are at least fifty different kinds of these round poticas, differing in fillings. Traditional fillings consisted of walnuts, hazelnuts, honey, mint, curd, cream, cracklings, bacon or dried fruits. Today, the round poticas are often made with cocoa, chocolate or carob fillings.
The povitica, a traditional Croatian and Slovenian pastry, is made from buttery pastry dough rolled into very thin layers and covered with a layer of brown sugar, spices, and walnuts. The log-shaped loaf is then baked. Other roll shaped European pastries are filled with thick jam (called lekvar, usually apricot or cherry) called lekvarostekercs or Swiss roll.
Nut roll is also typical for northern Serbia (Vojvodina), where it is named "štrudla/штрудла" or "savijača/савијача". Serbian nut roll is usually covered with a layer of poppy, walnut or cherry, but sometimes can be with a layer of carob or cocoa.
Geographic areas for nut roll consumption in U.S.
Nut rolls are popular across the United States, with the more traditional varieties and preparations being made in areas with large Central European settlements. Nut rolls are also an essential part of Christmas celebrations in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania. They were introduced there by Central European immigrants, but have been widely adopted by most ethnic groups in the region. They are also popular in Youngstown, Ohio and northeastern Ohio (where it is known as kolachi), the Iron Range of Minnesota, and Butte, Montana (where it is known by the Slovenian name potica and the Croatian, regional Slovenian, and Serbian name povitica). As such, povitica, as well as Cornish pasties, are considered one of the traditional state foods of Montana, regardless of ethnic group.
Cuisines where these pastries are found
- Czech cuisine
- Croatian cuisine
- Hungarian cuisine
- Polish cuisine
- Russian cuisine
- Serbian cuisine
- Slovak cuisine
- Slovenian cuisine
- Turkish cuisine
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