Friday, March 25, 2016


5 years ago I baked my first kind of Povitica. We visited Peter’s daughter, Nieke and her husband Miron and our granddaughter Stella (now she has a sister Emma). There we met Visnja, Nieke’s Croatian mother in law. We talked about baking bread and she told me about Povitica (poh-vee-TEET-sah) Croatian walnut bread. She told me that her father loved this bread, but her mother couldn't bake it. I told her I would (try to) bake it for them. Because we can’t give them the real bread, since they are in Holland and we are here in Thailand we will share it with friends. This way, more people will enjoy this Croatian Povitica. Povitica means "to roll" or "to wrap".

My first Povitica was NOT a success. 5 years ago I could find 1 recipe on Internet. The recipe was not clear and I had no idea how Povitica should look like. Today it's completely different. Internet is filled with recipes for Povitica. It was on tv too. The contestants of The British Bake Off baked it. I used Paul Hollywood's recipe and it worked good for me. 

Today I made it again. Next month we are going to the Netherlands again to visit our family and friends. Thinking of them helped me to choose bread to bake for Bread Baking Day #81 with the theme: Breads from all over the world. Sandra of Snuggs Kitchen is the lovely host for this month's BBD.

Povitica, this sweet or savory pastry is made with yeast-raised dough that is rolled or stretched out thinly and then spread with a filling. It is then rolled up jellyroll-style and baked variously as a log, in a crescent shape, in a loaf pan or in a Bundt pan. 

Finely ground walnuts sweetened with honey or sugar is the traditional filling and that's why many people refer to these pastries as nut rolls.

It's delicious, festive looking, great smelling and ready to eat bread. And it's really fun to make. I will make this again.

(*) I followed Paul's recipe, except for the sugar. I try to avoid sugar. But baking sweet bread asks for sugar or a sweet substitute. I grounded granulated organic sugar for the dough, because the size of the granules has an effect on the dough and the outcome of the bread. Since this doesn't apply for the filling I used natural sugar. In Thailand we have a lot of coconut sugar and cane sugar. I'm not saying this is better or healthy sugar. It's still sugar, but for me less bad then refined sugar.  

Paul Hollywood's recipe:

Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a clean, flat single bed sheet and a 1kg/2lb loaf tin.


For the dough
300g/10½oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
40g/1½oz caster sugar
7g salt
10g/oz fast-action yeast
30g/1oz unsalted butter, melted
1 large free-range egg, beaten
½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
150ml/5½fl oz whole milk, warmed

For the filling
60g/2¼oz unsalted butter
4 tbsp whole milk
280g/10oz walnut pieces
½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
100g/3½oz natural cane sugar *
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 free-range egg yolk, beaten (use the egg-white to brush the roll)

To assemble
15g/½oz butter, melted
1 free-range egg white, beaten
100g/3½oz icing sugar (I omitted this)

Preparation method
For the dough, tip the flour and sugar into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt into one side of the bowl and the yeast to the other. Add the melted butter, egg, vanilla seeds and warm milk and begin mixing on a slow speed. When the dough starts to come together, mix for a further 5-8 minutes on a medium speed until the dough is soft, smooth and stretchy.

Tip the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about one hour. Butter a 1kg/2lb loaf tin.

For the filling, place the butter and milk in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat.

Place the walnuts, vanilla seeds, sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of a food processor and blend to a sandy powder. Add the egg yolk, milk and butter mixture and pulse to combine. Set aside.

To assemble, spread a clean bed sheet over a kitchen table and dust with flour. Turn the risen dough out onto the sheet and roll out the dough into a large 50x30cm/20x12in rectangle. Brush the surface with 15g/½oz melted butter.

Dust your hands with flour and ease them underneath the dough. Using the backs of your hands, stretch the dough out from the centre until very thin and translucent (you should be able to see the sheet through the dough). The rectangle should measure approximately 1metrex60cm/40x24in.

Taking care not to tear the dough, spread the filling over the dough until evenly covered. If the filling has been standing for a long time and is too thick, add a little warm milk to loosen it.
Starting at the long edge of the dough, lift the sheet and gently roll the dough up tightly, like a Swiss roll.

Carefully lift the dough and place one end in the bottom corner of the greased loaf tin. Ease the roll into the base of the tin to form a long ‘U’ shape, then double back laying the roll over the first ‘U’ shape to form a second ‘U’ shape on top.

Place the loaf tin inside a clean plastic bag and leave to rise for one hour.

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan)/ 350F/Gas 4.

Brush the dough with beaten egg white and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C(fan)/300F/Gas 3 and bake for a further 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil if the top begins to darken too much.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Mix the icing sugar with a few drops of cold water to make a runny icing and drizzle it over the povitica. Slice and enjoy.

I send this Povitica to Zorra's and Sandra's We Love Yeast


  1. I'm fascinated about how thin the dough is rolled out! The filling with nuts and cocoa sounds great - I really like to try that!

    Thank you for your post for the BBD ♥

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