Povitica (Daring Bakers Challenge October 2011)

Cashew nut, chocolate spread & peanut butter

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!

Despite my crazy schedule (I haven’t slept properly or had a day off this month) I managed to bake 2 mini loaves every week this month!

Inspirational procrastination I think, whilst I was kneading away at the dough I had the following things running through my mind

  1. Do I have any nuts in the cupboard?
  2. The critical path to efficient use of cooking time during my working day, what can be done in the proving time & when is the best time to start baking. Got to get my bake/work balance right!
  3. How to optimize oven usage with minimal effort, lets make some cookies & foccacia to bake at the same time.
  4. Do I really have time to do this? Think about eating delicious brioche-like cake tomorrow for breakfast, of course I have time!

Here are my creations:

Week 1

Raspberry (from my garden!) and coconut

Chocolate & mixed nut

Week 2

Tomato puree & pesto (I omitted the sugar)

Tahini, chocolate spread and damson jam

Week 3

Banana & macadamia nut with chocolate dough (swirls didn’t come out as contrasted as I’d hoped)

Cashew nut, chocolate spread & peanut butter (pictured as main image)

Week 4

Tapenade & Za’atar (I omited the sugar for this)

Double chocolate!

Here’s the recipe…

Preparation time:
To make Dough: 40 minutes
Rising: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Rolling and Assembly: 20 minutes per loaf, a generous total of 1 hour
Baking: 1 hour
Cooling: 30 minutes
To Make the Filling: 15 minutes, including the grinding of the nuts

Equipment required:
• A large work space, like a 4-person table or large kitchen island
• 4 large bowls to rise dough
• Plastic Wrap
• 4 Kitchen/Tea Towels
• 4 bread loaf pans (or as many as you own, and re-use them)
• Rolling Pin
• A Sheet or Cloth (the better the thread count and the softer they are, the less likely the dough will stick)
• Measuring Cups and Spoons
• Wooden Spoons
• Pastry Brush
• Medium Saucepan
• Candy Thermometer
• Small Bowl
• Small Saucepan
• Nut Grinder
• Rubber Spatula
• Pastry scrapper

Povitica(makes 4 loaves)

Ingredients

To activate the Yeast:
2 Teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) Sugar
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
½ Cup (120ml) Warm Water
2 Tablespoons (30ml/14 gm/½ oz/2 sachets) Dry Yeast

Dough:
2 Cups (480ml) Whole Milk
¾ Cup (180 ml/170gm/6 oz) Sugar
3 Teaspoons (15 ml/18 gm/2/3 oz) Table Salt
4 Large Eggs
½ Cup (120ml/115 gm/one stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
8 cups (1.92 l/1.12 kg/39½ oz/2½ lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided

Walnut Filling:
7 Cups (1.68 l/1.12 kg/2.5 lbs) Ground English Walnuts
1 Cup (240ml) Whole Milk
1 Cup (240ml/225 gm/2 sticks/8 oz) Unsalted Butter
2 Whole Eggs, Beaten
1 Teaspoon (5ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Cups (480ml/450 gm/16 oz) Sugar
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/4 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) Cinnamon

Topping:
½ Cup (120 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
2 Tablespoons (30 ml/28 gm/1 oz) Granulated Sugar
Melted Butter

Directions:To Activate Yeast:
1. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into ½ 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, ¾ cup (180 gm/170 gm/6 oz) sugar, and the salt until combined.
5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz) of 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. Note: I did not use all 8 cups of flour8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (they will each weight about 1.25 pounds/565 grams)
9. Place dough in 4 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 (25½ cm by 30½ cm) in diameter.

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 (25½ cm by 30½ cm) in diameter.

19. Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons (5ml to 7 ½ 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 ½ 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 at 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, still in the bread pan. Remember, the bread weighs about 2.5 and it needs to be able to hold its own weight, which is difficult when still warm and fresh out of the oven. Allowing it to cool in the pan helps the loaf to hold its shape.
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.

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4 responses to “Povitica (Daring Bakers Challenge October 2011)

  1. Holy Moses! you went crazy with this challenge!!!! They all sound great, but I would love a slice of the tomato pesto version. Well done indeed!
    Best, Sandie

  2. Wow these were fabulous Povitica. I had a look on wikipedia and yours looks very authentic! It looks like they are called Povitica in Croatia and Slovenia but go by different names in Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. The raspberry worked very well here, its moist sweetness permeating the bread deliciously. The chocolate, cashew and peanut butter was also scrumptious! Creating these Povitica got you away from your business plan writing for awhile. Its important to get away from work and baking provides the perfect excuse!

  3. Wooooah, eight different varieties! And each and every one of them looks amazing! I’m seeing faces in everything at the moment, but that top bread is showing the widest grin, perfect for Halloween…

  4. AMAZING job!!! Your poviticas turned out really great! I love not only how you coiled each loaf, but also how you spread your fillings out (and the fillings you chose!) Wonderful job!!

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