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!
This might just be my favorite daring bakers challenge yet! The bread recipe makes for a stunning presentation, it works beautifully with both savory and sweet fillings,a great gift idea and it is actually fun to make.
I experimented a little with the recipe. I made the half patch and that gave me 2 big loaves and one small one.
Filling: I filled one with the walnut recipe provided in the challenge, one with Zaatar and one with sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, basil and herbs de province paste and it is actually hard to choose a favorite!
Thickness of the dough: I tried stretching the dough until it was super thin (you can see the filling through the dough) with the zaatar filled loaf. For the walnut filled one, I left the dough slightly thicker and the kids did the sun-dried tomato one so it was pretty thick.I have to say that though the super thin made beautiful patterns when it was cut, I loved the slightly thicker version better. You could taste the bread along with the filling as opposed to a predominant filling taste with the thin one.
Topping:I used melted butter for the zaatar loaf and it gave it a beautiful rich golden brown color, The tomato garlic one was brushed with milk, it came out lightly golden brown. For the walnut one I used milk and then I also attempted bread painting, which is a form of decorating bread by drawing on it and this is something I will definitely be doing again.The recipe and the step by step to drawing on bread is detailed with the recipe
The only problem I had was that the central past of the walnut loaf didn’t was a little under baked..I baked it the full-time listed in the recipe but still the very center was slightly under baked and the top collapsed a little..didn’t affect the taste though..it was heavenly but I think next time I may have to cook it longer at a slightly lower temperature.
Thank you Jenni for an amazing challenge.I loved every minute of it and I can’t wait to make Povitica again and again.
Half Batch Dough Ingredients (Makes two loaves each 1.25 lbs/565 grams)
To activate the Yeast:
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/4 ½ gm) Sugar
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/1½ gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
¼ Cup (60 ml) Warm Water
1 Tablespoon (15 ml/7 gm/¼ oz/1 sachet) Dry Yeast
1 Cup (240 ml) Whole Milk
6 Tablespoons (90 ml/85 gm/3 oz) Sugar I only used 5
1½ Teaspoons (7½ ml/9 gm/1/3 oz) Table Salt
2 Large Eggs
¼ Cup (60 ml/60 gm/½ stick/2 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
4 cups (960 ml/560 gm/19¾ oz/1¼ lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided
¼ Cup (60 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
1 Tablespoon (15 ml/14 gm/½ oz) Granulated Sugar
Half Batch Filling Ingredients (enough filling for the two loaves)
3½ Cups (840 ml/560 gm/1¼ lb/20 oz) Ground English Walnuts
½ Cup (120 ml) Whole Milk I used 3/4 cup
½ Cup (120 ml/115 gm/1 stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter I used 3/4 cup (one and a half sticks)
1 Whole Egg, Beaten
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup (240 ml/225 gm/8 oz) Sugar
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/2 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/1½ gm) Cinnamon
Zaater mixed with olive oil until it is of honey consistency
sun-dried tomato filling
sun-dried tomatoes (drained of oil if packed in oil or soaked in water then drained )
one clove garlic
small bunch basil leaves
1 teaspoon herbs de province (or use dried oregano, basil,rosemary and thyme)
Pulse all the ingredients in the food processor or blender while drizzling the olive oil until you get a paste consistency
To Activate Yeast:
1. In a small bowl, stir 1 teaspoons sugar, 1/2 teaspoon 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,6 tablespoons sugar, and the salt until combined.
5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 1 cup 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: you may need more or less than 4 cups flour according to type of flour you use.
8. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces
9. Place dough in 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.
I then placed the filling in a pot and on medium heat brought it up to a boil while stirring, cooked it for 5 minutes then took it off the heat
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)
I have a marble-topped kitchen table so I sprayed it with oil and spread the dough on it without a sheet or flour
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 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.
I used a rolling technique explained by Wolf (a wonderful and talented fellow daring baker)
Then you take the ends and fold them to the center of the rolls.
It’s easier to pick the whole thing up after you’ve rolled the sides to the center, and position it over your loaf pan so the ends are underneath, then folding them so they are in the bottom of the pan and the top is smooth
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.
as mentioned earlier, I used ,melted butter for one, milk for the other two
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.
1 tablespoon instant coffee
dissolve the coffee in the hot water
allow it to cool
whisk in the egg
when the bread is almost done,draw the pattern you like on the bread using a clean brush and then put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.
if you like the color to be darker draw over the pattern again and put it in the oven for 2 more minutes
I am including the 1/4 recipe that makes one loaf just in case you are tempted to make this but feel intimidated by the amounts…trust me, this is REALLY worth trying
Quarter Batch Dough Ingredients (Makes one loaf 1.25 lbs/565 grams)
To activate the Yeast:
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/2¼ gm) Sugar
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml/¾ gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Warm Water
1½ Teaspoons (7½ ml/3½ gm/0.125 oz/½ sachet) Dry Yeast
½ Cup (120 ml) Whole Milk
3 Tablespoons (45 ml/43 gm/1½ oz) Sugar
¾ Teaspoon (3¾ ml/9 gm/0.17 oz) Table Salt
1 Large Egg
1 tablespoon (30 ml/30 gm/¼ stick/1 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz/0.62 lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
1½ Teaspoons (7½ ml/7 gm/¼ oz) Granulated Sugar
Quarter Batch Filling Ingredients (enough filling for one loaf)
1¾ Cups (420 ml/280 gm/10 oz) Ground English Walnuts
¼ Cup (60 ml) Whole Milk
¼ Cup (60 ml/58 gm/½ stick/2 oz) Unsalted Butter
1 Egg Yolk From A Large Egg, Beaten
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Cup (120 ml/115 gm/4 oz) Sugar
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml/1 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml/¾ gm) Cinnamon
There are several options for storing (and eating) your four loaves of Povitica:
• The Povitica will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature.
• The Povitica will keep fresh for 2 weeks if refrigerated.
• The Povitica can be frozen for up to three months when wrapped a layer of wax paper followed by a layer of aluminum foil. It is recommended to not freeze Povitica with cream cheese fillings as it doesn’t hold up to being thawed really well – it crumble