Yeasted somewhat sweet dough is rolled out, stretched and slathered with a sweet walnut-cinnamon filling and then rolled up, twisted and baked in a bread pan. This produces the typical rolled, layered whorl-like pattern when the bread is sliced. You should see this video to get an idea of how this bread is made on a large scale! If only I could roll my povitica like that…..
My bread looks far from perfect because I didn’t have the right sized loaf pan (I have 2 small ones!)You can see how beautifully the rolled pattern shows when one uses the right sized pan as many of my friends have done.
Povitica/ Potica (Croatian Yeasted Walnut Bread)(Adapted from Daring Bakers November 2011 Challenge)Recipe for 1 loaf (1/2 kg/ 1 1/4 lbsIngredients:To activate the yeast:1/2 tsp sugar1/4 tsp all-purpose flour2 tbsp warm water1 1/2 tsp dry activated yeastFor the dough:1/2 cup warm milk (very slightly warm to your finger)3 tbsp sugar3/4 tsp salt1 egg, lightly beaten25gm unsalted butter, melted2 cups all-purpose flour, siftedFor the topping:2 tbsp cold strong coffee1 1/2 tsp granulated sugarmelted butter for brushingFor the filling:1 3/4 cups ground hazelnuts (fine to slightly coarse)1/4 cup milk50gm butter1/4 tsp vanilla extract1/2 cup sugar1/4 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder1/4 tsp cinnamon powder1 1/2 tsp vanilla flavoured custard powder1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)Method:First activate the yeast. Stir together the sugar, flour, yeast and warm water in a small bowl and keep aside for about 5 minutes, till the mixture froths up.You can do the kneading of the dough by hand but I used my food processor. Put the warm milk, sugar, salt and egg and pulse one or two times. Add the yeasted mixture and melted butter and pulse again. Now add about 1 3/4 cup of flour and knead till you have an elastic but tacky dough. Add just as much more flour as you need, a spoon at a time, till you get the desired elasticity of dough.Place the dough in an oiled bowl, and roll it till it is coated. Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour till double in volume.In the meanwhile make the filling. Put the powdered hazelnuts, sugar, custard powder, cocoa and cinnamon powders in a bowl. Heat the milk and butter till boiling. Add this to the ingredients in the bowl, then the vanilla extract and mix together. Keep aside. If the filling is too thick, add a little milk and mix it to desired consistency (think enough to spread well on the dough.Now to roll out the dough. Place a clean fine cotton sheet (or parchment paper) over your work surface. It would be a good idea to do this on a table/ large work surface. The sheet/ paper is important to roll the dough after spreading the filling over it.Roll out the rough into a rough rectangle as this as possible. When you have done this try stretching the rectangle by hand as much as you can without tearing the dough. This stretching is possible only of the dough has been kneaded really well.Spread the filling evenly on the dough rectangle right upto the edges. Also sprinkle the chocolate chips, if using. Use the sheet/ parchment to fold, start rolling the dough (like you would for a jelly roll) from one of the longer sides.Now gently lift and place the roll into a greased loaf pan, in a U shape such the “U” part is at one end of the pan and the two ends are hanging out of the other end. Fold back the ends to the middle, one after the other, so the whole roll is neatly tucked into the loaf pan (Please see the pictures with the original challenge recipe to get a better idea of how to do this). The roll should be coiled on itself to produce the beautiful whorled pattern when sliced.Brush the top of the loaf with coffee (or melted butter as I did) and sprinkle the sugar over this. Let it rest for about 15 minutes and then bake it at 180C (350F) for about 15 minutes. Then turn down the oven to 160C (320F) and bake for another 30 to 35 minutes. If you tap the loaf on the top it will sound hollow (a “think” sound) when done.Cool on a rack for at least half an hour. It is difficult to slice this bread when it is warm. To slice the bread, turn it upside down on your board and use a serrated knife. If you try slicing the bread from the top it will flake and you will not get a clean slice.