Saturday, 11 April 2020

Traditional Croatian Easter Bread: Pogača, Pinca, Poljuba or Whatever Name You Use

April 11, 2020 — Ah yes, Easter in Croatia. Starts with fish on Friday, then builds up to the all-meat bonanza out on Sunday.

One aroma always wafted in the air: a sweet, crisp baked citrus smell and the undertones of egg-y dough.

You'd come home to notice the house a bit warmer, and a soaking bowl in the kitchen sink, little flecks of tart batter along the rim.

We call it “Poljuba,” but those who called it "Pogaca" or "Pinca" were still welcome at the table. It remains a staple of the holiday weekend.

Every grandmother had her own variation — a slight twist which made hers “the best.”

I'll share my late Nana’s recipe. It’s a basic, easy recipe. You can make it your own with whatever your baking prowess or imagination allows.

Want to substitute the maraschino for some rum? Go for it! Got some other clever granishes? Go for it!



1 kg flour

70 g natural yeast

250 g sugar

150 g butter

1 tablespoon of maraschino

250 mL milk

8 egg yolks

2 egg whites

Orange or lemon zest

a pinch of salt


1) Warm the milk, then add the yeast and one tablespoon of sugar and 60 grams of flour. Let it ferment for 30 minutes

2) Beat the egg yolks, then add sugar and butter, then the rest of the ingredients, including the yeast mixture.

3) Mix the dough well and let it rise for three hours. Then knead again and let rise.

4) Cut dough into smaller pieces — you decide how many loafs. Let rise again.

5) Preheat the oven to 180℃, and rub baking pan with butter.

6) Before putting the in the oven, coat them with beaten egg yolks and then cut a “Y” shape into the top.

7) Feel free to garnish with either sugar or almond slices.

8) Bake for one hour.


It's improper to carve out a slice and eat the moment the bread reaches room temperature. But then again, it's always better to apologize than seek permission.

Dobar tek i Sretan Usrks!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Christmas in a Cup: Favorite 5 Mulled Wine Recipes

December 3, 2018 - Ho-ho-ho! Who's up for some mulled wine?

If you're anything like me, you will need a substantial amount of booze to get you through the cold winter days and the upcoming holidays – to warm both your body and spirit. And if mulled wine is your Christmastime drink of choice, then read on because we bring you five simple recipes for this heartwarming holiday favorite. Of course, mulled wine is as easy to make as it is to spoil so don't skip the tips & tricks part below!

First off, if you don't want to end up with the thin, tart stuff you can typically find in any Christmas market, take some time to make your mulled wine from scratch and don't take any sort of shortcuts. That means avoiding the use of pre-packaged mulling spices as this will make your mulled wine flat and one dimensional, and it can easily overpower other flavors and aromas. Second, do not use aluminum or copper pots for heating the wine because metal can impart a metallic taste while the alcohol is warming.

When it comes to choosing the right wine, it should complement other flavors and aromas. Be it red or white, pick something fruit forward and tannic with a relatively high alcohol content so that it can withstand some heat without turning sour or bitter and tasting like burnt grapes. The worst thing you can do is to overheat the wine or boil it – ugh, the horror!

Treating your wine with care and handpicking the best spices for mulling will result in a full, well-rounded flavor, making it well worth your buck, time and effort.

Also, as a general rule of thumb, you don't want to use the most expensive, top quality wine for mulling, but also don't expect wonders by using some artificially flavored plonk. Instead, get some decent table wine and make it shine!

Here are the recipes:

Cranberry Pomegranate Mulled Wine

1 bottle red wine
16 oz pomegranate juice (fresh, if possible)
8 oz cranberry juice
4 oz apple brandy
4 oz orange juice
4 oz – 6 oz honey
1 orange, sliced
1 apple, sliced
6 pcs star anise
3 cinnamon sticks
1/2 tsp whole cloves (about 12 pods)

Thickly slice oranges and stud their skins with cloves. Slice apples. Add all liquid ingredients into a crockpot and stir well. Add the clove-studded orange slices, apples, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Turn the crockpot to warm. Let heat 30 minutes to 1 hour before serving.

Adapted from

Mulled White Wine

2 (750 ml) bottles of dry white wine
2 oranges, sliced into rounds
1/2 cup brandy (optional)
1/2 cup honey or sugar
16 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks
4 pcs star anise

Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours, but be careful not to boil it! Strain, and serve warm with desired garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise.

Adapted from

Spiced Rum-Spiked Mulled Wine

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
2 cups apple cider
1/4 cup spiced rum
3 tbsp. honey
1 orange, zest and juice
1 apple, thinly sliced
3 cinnamon sticks
1 pc star anise

Stir together wine, cider, rum, and honey in a slow cooker. Add orange juice and zest, apple slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Gently stir to combine. Leave covered on low heat for one hour. Serve hot garnished with an apple slice.

Adapted from

Swedish Gløgg

1 (750ml) bottle dry red wine
1 cup white rum
1 cup bourbon
1/2 cup brandy
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark raisins
1/4 cup almonds, blanched
1 whole orange peel
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
5 cardamom pods

Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan, and allow to warm over medium-low heat until small bubbles form along the edges. Strain the solids, and serve warm.

Adapted from

Cleopatra’s Elixir of Life

1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
4 large sage sprigs
3 large mint sprigs
3 dried figs, chopped
10 cloves

Combine the ingredients in a crockpot or heavy bottomed pan. Let heat 30 minutes to 1 hour, and serve warm.

Adapted from

If you decide to try any of these, let us know how you liked it and stay tuned for more delicious recipes by following our dedicated gourmet page.

Monday, 22 January 2018

101 Tastes of Croatia: 6. Beans

Štef and the magic beans...