Povitica Bread for Secret Recipe Club

Thought you’d lost me, I bet. You did – but only to my parents, who just left after visiting Australia for the first time, and the myriad shared meals, walks and long talks that were ever-so-needed after 18 months spent on opposite sides of the world. It was a joyous (and hilarious) reunion, ending with mom and I cooking my absolute favorite Arabic dish. Excited to share it with you… next time.
Today’s post is something totally different yet exciting all the same: my first month participating in the Secret Recipe Club. Each month, SRC participants are assigned a blog from which they can choose any recipe to recreate. It’s kept a secret (hence the name) then shared with their readers on a special reveal day.
Lucky for me, my first SRC blogger has quite the catalogue of creative and drool-worthy sweets to choose from. She’s the lovely Krissy from Krissy’s Creations. One look at her beautiful povitica – along with her very clear instructions (thanks!) – and I knew I’d met my match for my first go with Secret Recipe Club.
Povitica is a holiday bread made in Croatia and across Poland, and is also known as Potica (po-tee-tza). Similar to brioche, povitica is a sweet yeast dough, rolled extremely thin, coated with a crunchy filling of chopped walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa, then rolled and baked to reveal beautiful, contrasting swirls when sliced. Despite what seems like a healthy dose of sugar, it is mild in sweetness… and, might I add, irresistible toasted with a bit of melty butter.
Krissy originally posted this recipe for a Daring Bakers challenge – a first glance at the extensive instructions suggests why. Worry not, it is deceptively easy, and requires ingredients you probably already have on hand.
It’s perfect for a lazy, rainy Sunday: tunes in the background, strong coffee and a sweet – not to mention impressive-looking – treat to reward your efforts.
 
POVITICA (POTICA) BREAD
Adapted slightly from Krissy’s Creations, originally from The Gingered Whisk
Provisions:
For the yeast mixture
   1 tsp sugar
   1/2 tsp plain flour
   1/4 cup warm water
   1 tbsp dry yeast
For the dough
   1 cup milk
   6 tbsp sugar (I used raw caster sugar)
   1 1/2 tsp salt
   1/4 cup melted butter
   2 eggs, beaten
   4 cups plain flour
For the filling
   3 1/2 cups ground walnuts
   1/2 cup milk
   1/2 cup butter
   1 egg
   1/2 tsp vanilla extract
   1 cup sugar (raw caster sugar again)
   1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Dutch)
   1/2 tsp cinnamon
Method:
Activate the yeast by placing ¼ cup of warm water into a small bowl.  Add the 1 teaspoon of sugar, ½ teaspoon of flour, and the yeast. Stir to combine, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 5 minutes.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, until just before it reaches boiling point.  Remove from the pan and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, combine the heated milk, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and salt. Stir in the eggs, yeast, melted butter and 1 cup of flour. Combine, then add the remaining 3 cups of flour. Mix gently until the dough starts to gather. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead, adding flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic, and does not stick to your hands.

Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Place each ball of dough into its own lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap then a tea towel, and let rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa in a large bowl.  In a small saucepan, bring the milk and butter just to the boil and pour over the nut and sugar mixture. Mix in the egg and vanilla, stirring well to coat. Set aside until the filling reaches room temperature.

Prepare a large clean surface for rolling out the dough, sprinkling flour all over. Turn out one ball of dough, and gently roll until it measures 12 inches in diameter. Spread 1 tbsp melted butter all over the rolled dough. Using your hands, carefully stretch the dough until it becomes very thin – thin enough to see your fingers through it.

Spread half of the filling onto the entire surface of the rolled dough. Starting from one end, carefully roll up the dough into a scroll (the same way you would roll a cinnamon bun).  Once the rolled, gently stretch each end to lengthen the “rope” you’ve created.

To lay the dough in the pan, carefully pick up the dough and place it in a greased bread pan in a “U” shape (with the bottom of the U fitting in the bottom end of the pan). Pick up one side of the U and place in the center of the U, continuing to coil the rest of the long dough around itself.

Brush the top with egg wash and repeat with the other ball of dough.

Cover each loaf pan with plastic wrap and allow them to sit for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F.

Bake the loaves for 15 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 150C / 300F. Continue baking for approximately 45 minutes, until the tops of each loaf are golden brown. Allow the loaves to cool completely in the pan.

This bread will last about 1 week in a sealed container at room temperature.  If refrigerated, it will last about 2 weeks. I recommend keeping one out to eat fresh from the oven. Freeze the other loaf and re-heat whole, in the oven, until toasty.

 
Secret Recipe Club
  • http://twitter.com/RosasYummyYums Rosa May

    A splendid bread! This is a wonderful speciality.

     Cheers,

    Rosa

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    Nice bread and great SRC post. Krissy usually cranks out some awesome recipes. As usual awesome pics :)
    Take care…

  • Lisa~~

    Welcome to the SRC and I’m totally impressed with the gorgeous swirls you got in your povitica, I know it’s not easy, great job!

    If you haven’t already, I’d love for you to check out my Group ‘A’ SRC entry:   Crunchy Fudgy Heart Bites and my Group ‘D’ entry:  Health(ier) Peanut BrittleLisa~~Cook Lisa Cook

  • http://www.friediceanddonutholes.com/ Melissa

    This bread looks absolutely beautiful, and sound super delicious too! Beautiful pictures, as well :)

  • http://www.krissys-creations.com/ Krissy’s Creations

    Wow!  Your bread looks fantastic!  SO glad you enjoyed the recipe… This is one of my favs :). And really glad I found your blog through SRC!

  • http://thelittlestanchovy.blogspot.com.au/ Anna @ The Littlest Anchovy

    Glad you are back Yasmeen! Beautiful bread, I love the swirls trunning through it.. ..I am craving this to have with my coffee now!

  • Jenni

    I am so so so excited that you made this bread!!! Your povitica looks AMAZING! Great job! 

  • http://healthy-delicious.com/ Lauren @ Healthy Delicious

    This looks fabulous! Gorgeous layers.

  • http://profiles.google.com/leatherangel05 April Tuell

    What beautiful layers it has. I can imagine how good it would be in the morning with a cup of coffee.

  • http://discoveringcandace.blogspot.com/ Candace

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  • Erin

    What gorgeous breat!  This looks amazing!

  • Tammy Quackenbush

    All those swirls and layers look so elegant. :)

  • http://www.heyladygrey.com/ Heyladygrey

    Wow! I love the way the dough is spiralled and then coiled into the baking pan… so much fun! The end result looks fantastic!
    xo

  • http://www.facebook.com/MarcOLeary Marc O’Leary
  • http://nuhasofiyan.blogspot.com/ Nuha

    this does look so pretty!  and i bet it tastes amazing warm :-)

  • http://iamahoneybee.com/ nicole @ I am a Honey Bee

    welcome to SRC! glad you are in Group D! 

    This looks so good. I love your process photos.

  • http://msihua.com/ msihua

    That looks so pretty!! And yayy for visiting parents and shared meals! I miss my mummy :(

  • http://www.anhsfoodblog.com/ anh@anhsfoodblog

    oh! Look at the gorgeous swirl! So pretty!

  • http://thehungryexcavator.com/ Winston

    Such a beautiful loaf of bread I can’t stop staring at it, Yas!! It looks uber cool and I’ve never had anything like it before. Will definitely try it out one day and let you know how I go. I might need all the advice I can get because I’m super new at the baking department! I’m so prone to mishaps in the kitchen when I’m baking than when I’m doing anything else for some reason. But I’ll definitely challenge myself to try this out =D

  • Billy Khor

    I would love to have the loaf all by myself

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  • Kathy S

    We made Potica growing up! The best ever buty grandma made in a long thin roll like you show but they didn’t spiral it in a pan like they do with povitica !