1) It's a traditional Eastern European dessert bread that is often served at holiday.
2) Original recipes included a spiced walnut spread. 3) The dough is rolled out so thin you can see a picture through it.
4) The Nutella was my idea, don't blame or credit the masters of this form.
5) The recipe looks more complicated than it is. Make an afternoon or night of it and enjoy the process.
This is one of the many inspiring recipes from the monthly "sorta online baking club" called, The Daring Bakers. I've posted many of the monthly challenges, but haven't talked about how it all works in a while.
One obvious proof that this "virtual baking group" works is in the numbers. In 2007 there were only 7 members, now there are thousands. I know, right? There are no fees, no drama, no giant commitments past your own personal desire to be challenged and grow. Each month a chosen member will post on the forum a particular recipe along with information, sometimes history and a very extensive pictorial guide to a certain baked good or procedure.
Then, on a certain day everyone posts their spin and journey with that recipe. You don't even have to have a blog for it, you can just participate and play along on your own.
Some of the challenges have been homemade Croissants (here), Dobos Torta (here), Macarons (here), Canoli (here), Nanaimo Bars (here), and Orange Tians (here) just as a start. The list goes on and on, and includes some fun holiday ideas, too. Just do a search on this site for Daring Bakers and it will come up with many many more. Here's why I'm telling ya this - YOU can join, too. At least check it out if you enjoy baking or cooking (there is one just for cooking called, Daring Cooks.) There's nothing in this for me by telling you about it, except someone told me and it's been a giant ball of fun and real challenge (in a great way.) Let me know if you try it, so I can come check out your post, too and see our spin on next month's recipe. That's another fun part, they don't reveal the next recipe until a certain day. You can read all about it there (here) - but for now, how great is this bread, huh? 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! ***The recipe as given and developed by our sweet hostess this month would make 4 loaves of bread. I used her "Half Batch" recipe for making two loaves (a move I would regret as I was eating the last crumbs of the second loaf and wishing I had another in the freezer.) To make 4 loaves, just double.
Recipe: Povitica with Nutella Spread (and one with Walnut Spread)
Half Batch Dough Ingredients (Makes two loaves each 1.25 lbs/565 grams)
To activate the Yeast:
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/4 1⁄2 gm) Sugar
1⁄2 Teaspoon (21⁄2 ml/11⁄2 gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
1⁄4 Cup (60 ml) Warm Water
1 Tablespoon (15 ml/7 gm/1⁄4 oz/1 sachet) Dry Yeast
1 Cup (240 ml) Whole Milk
6 Tablespoons (90 ml/85 gm/3 oz) Sugar
11⁄2 Teaspoons (71⁄2 ml/9 gm/1/3 oz) Table Salt
2 Large Eggs
1⁄4 Cup (60 ml/60 gm/1⁄2 stick/2 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
4 cups (960 ml/560 gm/193⁄4 oz/11⁄4 lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided (** I found I needed almost a 5th cup because the dough was too sticky**)
Topping: 1⁄4 Cup (60 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
1 Tablespoon (15 ml/14 gm/1⁄2 oz) Granulated Sugar
Half Batch Filling Ingredients
(enough filling for the two loaves)
3 1/2 cups (840 ml/560 gm/1 1/4 lb/20oz) Ground English Walnuts
1⁄2 Cup (120 ml) Whole Milk
1⁄2 Cup (120 ml/115 gm/1 stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter 1 Whole Egg, Beaten
1⁄2 Teaspoon (21⁄2 ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup (240 ml/225 gm/8 oz) Sugar
1⁄2 Teaspoon (21⁄2 ml/2 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1⁄2 Teaspoon (21⁄2 ml/11⁄2 gm) Cinnamon
****MY OWN NUTELLA FILLING (enough for one loaf) 1 cup Nutella 1 egg, beaten 1/2 cup Heavy Cream Whip all ingredients in a bowl until smooth and fluffy. Spread on the thin rolled out dough, following same directions as the Walnut Filling.
To Activate Yeast:
1. In a small bowl, stir sugar, flour, and the yeast into 1⁄4 cup warm water and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes
To Make the Dough:
3. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk up to just below boiling (about 180°F/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°F/43°C.
4. In a large bowl, mix the scalded milk, sugar, and the salt until combined.
5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and about 1/4 of the flour.
6. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until the dough starts to clean the bowl.
7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick.
8. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces
9. Place dough in 2 lightly oiled bowls, cover 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.
To Make the Filling
10. In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.
11. Heat the milk and butter to boiling.
12. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture.
13. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
14. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough.
15. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.
To Roll and Assemble the Dough:
16. Spread a clean sheet or cloth over your entire table so that it is covered.
17. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons to a handful of flour (use flour sparingly)
18. Place the dough on the sheet and roll the dough out with a rolling pin, starting in the middle
and working your way out, until it measures roughly 10-12 inches (251⁄2 cm by 301⁄2 cm) in diameter.
19. Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons (5ml to 7 1⁄2 ml/4 gm to 7 gm) of melted butter on top.
20. Using the tops of your hands, stretch dough out from the center until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque. You can also use your rolling pin, if you prefer.
21. As you work, continually pick up the dough from the table, not only to help in stretching it out, but also to make sure that it isn’t sticking.
22. When you think it the dough is thin enough, try to get it a little thinner. It should be so thin that you can see the color and perhaps the pattern of the sheet underneath.
23. Spoon filling (see below for recipe) evenly over dough until covered.
24. Lift the edge of the cloth and gently roll the dough like a jelly roll.
25. Once the dough is rolled up into a rope, 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.
26. Repeat with remaining three loaves, coiling each rope of dough in its own loaf pan.
27. Brush the top of each loaf with a mixture of 1⁄2 cup (120 ml) of cold STRONG coffee and 2 tablespoons (30ml/28 gm/1 oz) of sugar. If you prefer, you can also use egg whites in place of this.
28. Cover pans lightly will plastic wrap and allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
29. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
30. Remove plastic wrap from dough and place
into the preheated oven and bake for
approximately 15 minutes.
31. Turn down the oven temperature to slow 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2 and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until done.
32. Remove bread from oven and brush with melted butter.
33. Check the bread every 30 minutes to ensure that the bread is not getting too brown. You may cover the loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil if you need to.
34. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes.
35. It is recommended that the best way to cut Povitica loaves into slices is by turning the loaf upside down and slicing with a serrated knife.