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Jan 24, 2008 03:23 PM

T&T Orahnjaca (Croatian Nut Roll) recipe?

I fell in love with this at a Croatian picnic near LA two years ago and finally have the guts to attempt it, so I want to make sure it's a good one. I've found a few recipes on-line, but wanted to see if anyone had a T&T recipe they would like to share. Thanks!

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  1. Forgive me, but what does T & T mean?

    1 Reply
    1. Your orahnjaca sounds like the beigli referred to in the following thread, and what my neighbor refers to as kolache. The other version of this (makovnjaca) uses poppy seed as a filling instead of walnuts, and that is common to the other two rolls as well. This is really quite interesting that every region/language would have the same item with a different name.

      I made my friend's kolache (spelling is anyone's guess) , and it turned out great, even though my only exposure to the pastry is her Christmas gift to us over the years. I wanted to record it for her kids' (and my) sake. Plus, she didn't make it this year.

      Here's her recipe. It's a very rich, very flaky dough, not too sweet. Higher butter/flour ratio than any other recipe I found, with an unusual method of incorporating the butter. Her family is Czech, but she thinks she got this recipe from the Settlement Cookbook, but it's not like the recipe in the latest edition, so all I know is that she and her sister say that this tastes like their mother used to make. She remembers a poppy seed version as well. She doesn't glaze it unless the filling is not sweet enough, and in the version I made, I thought it didn't need a glaze. The overall dimensions are about 8 inches long x 2 1/2 inches wide x 1 1/4 inches high.

      Anne's Kolache (4 rolls
      )1/2 lb butter
      1/4C warm water with a pinch of sugar
      1 cake yeast
      4 egg yolks
      1C cream
      4C flour
      3/4t salt
      1T sugar

      Melt butter and allow to cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water with a pinch of sugar. Beat egg yolks, add cream, Combine egg and yeast mixtures. Combine flour, sugar, and salt, but do not sift. Now add egg mixture to flour to yield a stiff dough. Now (and this is unusual), add the melted butter gradually, working it into the dough by hand. Eventually the dough will accept all the butter, and you will have a smooth, pliable dough. Refrigerate this overnight or longer if necessary. (I froze half the recipe and used the frozen dough a couple of days later. Came out just as good.) The following day, divide into 4 parts, and allow to stand till it handles easily, Roll out to about 8 inches square, which should be about 1/4 inch thick. Spread with the nut mixture, roll up with the seam on the bottom, tuck the pastry over the open ends so it doesn't expose any of the filling, and let rise for 1 1/2 hours. Prick the top with a fork. There was a lot of oven spring in my dough, so don't worry if it doesn't double. Bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes, till very lightly browned.

      Nut Filling
      3C walnuts, ground in a hand cranked meat grinder with the finest blade.
      3/4 C sugar
      4 egg whites
      1t vanilla

      Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, add vanilla and sugar, then nuts. If too dry, add half and half or milk. This mixture can also be frozen very successfully. I expect the rolled up unbaked pastry could be frozen as well, which would be great for taking it to a family reunion for instance.

      Good luck. I think I saw one recipe with lemon zest in the filling as well.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Leucadian

        Thank you so much! I am not familiar with cake yeast, is it something I'd need to get at a specialty store? I've only seen the packets of dry yeast in my grocery stores, can I sub that? Thanks!

        1. re: GSDlove

          Dry yeast will work fine; that's in fact what I used, but the original recipe was for cake yeast. Even fast rising dry yeast might be OK, since everything gets slowed down in the refrigerator.

          1. re: Leucadian

            Thanks! Sorry for yet another question, but I'm not experienced with working with yeast . . . yet. I have the pouch of dry yeast from Costco. How much would I use either in teaspoons/tablespoons or ounces/grams? THANKS!

            1. re: GSDlove

              No problem. Most home baking recipes are designed to use the smallest retail package of yeast, no matter what form it is in.
              For this recipe, use a scant tablespoon of active dry yeast, 1/4 oz. or 7g. That should be equivalent to a cube of fresh yeast (which is rarely seen anymore). The new rapid rise yeasts can be added directly to the mix without proofing, but I used Fleishmann's active dry 7g envelope, which does need to be re-hydrated as directed in the recipe. Good luck.

              1. re: Leucadian

                Got it! Thank you SO much - I can't wait to try it.

                1. re: GSDlove

                  kolaches are not povitica. Just so you know.

                  1. re: bbqboy

                    There seem to be a lot of different ideas as to what a kolache/kolachky/kol? is. According to one person in the following thread, kolache just means 'cake'. Applarenly theres a company making an individual pastry (i.e. one bite) called kolache (Kolache Factory in Texas), but others remember a kolache as a sweet yeasted loaf with the 'filling' loaded into a depression down the length of the pastry. The pastry I made is neither of these, but rather a rolled up confection baked on a flat sheet. I was quite intrigued by the various name that seem to describe the pastry my neighbor made, which she called 'kolache'. She doesn't speak Czech, and perhaps her mother forgot the specific name for it, and called it 'pastry' or 'cake' and that's the name that got handed down.

                    Is the povitica you know similar to that in the product from Strawberry Hill Povitica? This is a massive 2.5lb pastry, consisting of 3 or 4 jelly-roll pastries baked in a loaf pan, each layer being very thin (I counted 5 wraps on each roll, which would give about 60 alternating layers across the 4 inches of the final loaf), plus a final wrap to enclose the three rolls. While this looks good, the layers on mine are much thicker, with only 2 wraps on a single loaf, which I think is close to the OP's orahnjaca.


                    1. re: Leucadian

                      Turns out I had the wrong spelling - it's orehnjaca. I did a search with the new spelling and found quite a few recipes and some with pics. The one I had was baked as a giant U shaped log, but the cross-section is like the one pictured on this link (hope it works).

                      1. re: GSDlove

                        that's the beast, but in the kc version it was always a regular loaf, not a horseshoe.

                      2. re: Leucadian

                        Kolache (Kolachee) in Croatian means cakes in plural. (kolach) is simply cake (generic name for anything from small one bite - this is the most frequent use - to orehnjaca/makovnjacha like cakes in pans/rolls).

                        Only exemption from Kolachee is Torta (which would mean round multilayer cake usually filled with different creamy fillings)

                        Talking of Orehnjaca and Makovnjaca after baking/cooling need to be preserved in air tight enclosure or wrapping as they dry very fast (then are "crumbly" and not so great

          2. re: Leucadian

            as an born and raised croatian (still living there) I firmly believe one should add raisins to the filling (after dipping them for 10 or so minutes in water)...

            1. re: MIross

              MIross, I found an orehnjaca recipe on-line that was in Croatian and had a Croatian friend translate it for me. One thing stumped both of us, it was a measurement of a "dag." Do you know what that is? The dag measurement was used for raisins, sugar, and butter. Also, do you have an orehnjaca recipe that you'd like to share with me?

              1. re: GSDlove

                dag means "dekagram", comes from latin Deci (ten) + gram, actually means 10 grams (1 kg =1000grams), unfortunately i do not know how to transfer to lb or ounces but I guess you will manage.

                regarding recipe I have to check a cookbook...

          3. In the KC area, this is called Povitica.
            This lady in KCK was making it for Christmastime,
            she might still be whipping it up. Our loaf was wonderful. She might give you some hints if you call her.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bbqboy

              I gotta say, not only does the povitica recipe sound spot-on, but the contributor in the attached article lives one town over from me! Thanks!