The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!
I am soo soo excited to be this month’s Daring Bakers’s Host, and I hope that you really like what I have chosen! I
was first introduced to Povitica from a friend of mine (Hi Brianne!!). We happened to be at
the Farmer’s Market and when we passed a particular booth selling specialty
breads, and she just went ecstatic. She and her family have been buying these
loaves of bread every holiday season, and she was very excited to see them in
the middle of the summer. I didn’t know what the excitement was about, but the
loaves of bread were beautiful, and when sliced, had delicate circular designs
on each slice. Each loaf is filled
with a sweet filling and rolled, and weighs an amazing 2.5 pounds! It was
amazing, delicious, and I promptly bought one.
(pronounced po-va-teet-sa) is traditional Eastern European dessert bread that
is traditionally served during the holiday season. It is also known as Nutroll, Potica, Kalachi, Strudia, just
to name a few. Family recipes and the secrets on how to roll the bread so thin
was passed down through generations of families. However, the tradition of baking this type of bread has
become somewhat of a dying art form, and I thought it would be a wonderful
opportunity for us to learn to make this wonderful sweet bread.
tasting the wonderful bread we had bought at the Farmer’s Market, I knew I
needed to learn how to make this myself. Especially since that one single loaf
cost an arm and a leg ($25! Really! For one loaf!) I spent days and days trying
to find recipes online, but I didn’t have any luck (however I just did a search
the other day and it seems that a few recipes have sprung up in the meantime). After
much research, I created my own recipe for povitica that I think is a very
close match to the delicious loaf of bread I splurged on at the Farmer’s
Market. And I am soo excited that I got to share this with the Daring Bakers, and now you!
traditional filling for this bread is an English walnut filling, but other
typical fillings also include poppy seed, apple/cinnamon, apricot preserves, and a sweet
cheese (like cream cheese).
The recipe calls for using a sheet on top of your
workspace. This is not necessary, but I did find that it was easier to roll out
my dough with one. The dough is very sticky, and using the lightly floured
sheet helps to keep the dough from sticking too badly. It also helps that you
can move the sheet around as you work, and you can also move to a clean area of
the sheet for each loaf that you roll out. I also found that I was able to roll
my dough out thinner with the use of a sheet.The sheet is also used for rolling
the povitica up, but again, it is not necessary. And all my dough and filling
goo washed out perfectly, so no problems there! If you decide not to use a
sheet, a pastry scrapper will come in very handy when you roll up your dough.
There are two ways that you can roll the dough up.
If you watch the video under “Additional Information” you can see that the
sheet is lifted and used as momentum for rolling the dough up. This technique
takes a bit of finesse, but I encourage you to try it out. However, the dough
can be rolled up by hand, like you would if you were making cinnamon rolls.
During the second rising time, after the dough has been filled or rolled, you have a decision to make. If you want a more dense loaf, allow the bread to rise for 15 minutes before baking it (as the recipe states). If you want your bread to be less dense and lighter, allow it to rise for a full hour before baking it.
make Dough: 40
and Assembly: 20
minutes per loaf, a generous total of 1 hour
Make the Filling:
15 minutes, including the grinding of the nuts
activate the Yeast:
Teaspoon All-Purpose Flour
Cup Warm Water
Tablespoons Dry Yeast
Cups Whole Milk
Teaspoons Table Salt
Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
cups Sifted All-Purpose Flour,
Cup Cold STRONG Coffee
Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
teaspoon flour, and the yeast into warm water and cover with plastic wrap.
Make the Dough:
just below boiling (about 180 F or 82 C), stirring constantly so that a film
does not form on the top of the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but
not boiling. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110 degrees.
sugar, and the salt until combined.
butter, and 2 cups of flour.
flour, mixing well until the dough just starts to clean the bowl. Don’t add too much flour at this point, you still want it to be fairly wet and sticky.
knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not
stick. Note: I did not use all 8 cups of
will each weight about 1.25 pounds)
loosely with a layer of plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and let rise an
hour and a half in a warm place, until doubled in size.
Roll and Assemble the Dough:
entire table so that it is covered.
handful of flour (use flour sparingly)
dough out with a rolling pin, starting in the middle and working your way out,
until it measures roughly 10-12 inches in diameter.
out from the center until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque. You can also
use your rolling in, if you prefer.
from the table, not only to help in stretching it out, but also to make sure
that it isn’t sticking.
try to get it a little thinner. It should be so think that you can see the
color and perhaps the pattern o the sheet underneath.
gently lift it up and place it into a greased loaf pan in the shape of a “U”,
with the ends meeting in the middle. You want to coil the dough around itself,
as this will give the dough its characteristic look when sliced.
½ cup of cold STRONG coffee and 2 tablespoons of sugar. If you prefer, you can
also use egg whites in place of this.
allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
into the preheated 350-degree oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
degrees and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until done.
that the bread is not getting too brown. You may cover the loaves with a sheet
of aluminum foil if you need to.
wire rack for 20-30 minutes.
povitica loaves into slices is by turning the loaf upside down and slicing with
a serrated knife.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.
ready to be spread on the dough.
of warm milk.
250 g sugar
200 ml hot milk
150 g raisins (optional)
1 vanilla sugar or vanilla pod scraped.
Additional Information: Include links to videos or information that can be of
assistance to members.
are several options for storing (and eating) your four loaves of povitica:
povitica will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature.
povitica will keep fresh for 2 weeks if refrigerated.
povitica can be frozen for up to three months when wrapped a layer of wax paper
followed by a layer of aluminum foil. It is recommended to not freeze povitica
with cream cheese fillings as it doesn’t hold up to being thawed really well –
is a promotional video from a company that makes it, Strawberry Hill, but it
shows them rolling the povitica.
I am submitting this recipe/ post to Yeastspotting, a weekly collection of all things bread!