The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica ( pronounced po-va-teet-sa) is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!
I know I usually show you the final product after the recipe, but this bread is so pretty I wanted you to see it now, so you will be tempted to make it yourself! : )
Potivica- Recipe by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk
To activate the yeast:
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons Dry Yeast
1/2 cup whole milk
3 Tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 cups all-purpose flour, measure first and then sift, divided
2 tablespoons cold STRONG coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 3/4 cup ground walnuts
1/4 cup whole milk
1 /4 cup unsalted butter
1 egg yolk from a large egg, beaten ( Save the egg white )
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into 1/2 cup warm water and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.
While the yeast is activating. In a medium saucepan, heat milk up to just below boiling stirring constantly so a film does not form on the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but not boiling. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the scalded milk, 3/4 cup sugar, and the salt until combined. Add the beaten egg, yeast mixture, melted butter and 1 cup flour. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until dough starts to clean the bowl. Turn the dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick. I let my Kitchen Aide mixer do the kneading so I did not add any extra flour. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover loosely with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise for 90 minutes or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising mix up the filling. In a medium size bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar,cinnamon and cocoa. Heat the milk and butter in small saucepan to boiling. Pour the liquid over the sugar/nut mixture. I beat the egg in a small bowl and added a spoonful of the hot nut mixture to the egg to temper it and then poured the egg into the bowl, added the vanilla and mixed thoroughly. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to spread on the dough. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.
Once the dough has risen, sprinkle a large table top or counter with flour( Use flour sparingly). Place the dough onto the floured surface and roll out with a rolling-pin, starting in the middle and working your way out, until it measures roughly 10-12 inches in diameter. Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of melted butter on top. Using the tops of your hands, stretch dough out from the center until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque. I used the rolling-pin to continue rolling out as thin as possible and lifting the dough up from the counter to keep from sticking and it helps to stretch the dough even further. When you think the dough is thin enough, try to get it a little thinner. The dough should be so thin, you should be able to see the pattern or color of the counter underneath.The original recipe had the dough being rolled out onto a floured cloth or sheet but the dough was very easy to work with on my counter so I did not use a sheet to help with the rolling out.
Spoon the filling evenly over the dough. Do this slowly to keep from tearing the dough. Keep the filling at least 1 inch from edge of dough all the way around. Now to roll the dough, starting on one edge start rolling slowly and tightly towards the center of the circle of dough, just like rolling cinnamon rolls, just very thin dough. Then roll the other edge of the dough towards you until the two rolled edges meet. Fold the dough ends towards the center, overlapping the two so that you have a nice rectangular “package”. Place in a lightly greased loaf pan and cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rest for 15 minutes.
While dough is resting preheat over to 350 degrees farenheit. You can either brush the top of the dough with the strong coffee mixture and sprinkle with sugar or brush the top of the dough with the reserved egg white and sprinkle with sugar.
Once the oven is preheated. Bake the bread on center rack of oven for 15 minutes and then reduce the oven to 300 degrees farenheit and continue baking for 45 minutes. Remove the bread from oven and brush with melted butter if you like, I did not brush with additional butter. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Remove from pan to finish cooling. The easiest way to slice the bread is bottom side up with a serrated knife. Get your coffee or hot tea ready and then enjoy!
Leftovers will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature, two weeks in the refrigerator , or wrapped and frozen for 3 months when wrapped in wax paper and then in foil.
Verdict: This is a delicious bread , not overly sweet so perfect with your morning coffee or tea. You can also change-up the fillings with other flavors you may like; apples, cinnamon, raisins, cream cheese, Nutella, etc The filling needs to be the consistency of peanut butter to spread across the dough but not runny. I hope you will try this bread, it is awesome and you will amaze your family. Thanks Jenni of The Gingered Whisk for a great challenge. This is a keeper that I will definitely be making again especially with the holidays on the way!