Povitica

Most often enjoyed during the Christmas season, this Croatian dessert bread is made of thinly rolled dough that is spread with a chocolate & walnut filling and then rolled tightly and wrapped in a U-shape in a loaf pan and drizzled with icing after baking. This technique creates four swirls of nut filling when sliced. Enjoy a slice of this on Christmas morning with a hot cup of coffee.

Povitica

Ingredients

For the dough:
300g (10½ oz) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
40g (1½ oz) granulated sugar
7g salt
10g (⅓ oz) instant yeast
30g (1oz) unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, beaten
½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
150ml (5½ fl oz) whole milk, warmed

For the filling:
60g (2¼ oz) unsalted butter
4 tbsp whole milk
280g (10 oz) walnut pieces
½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
100g (3½ oz) granulated sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg yolk, beaten

To assemble:
15g (½ oz) butter, melted
1 egg white, beaten
100g (3½ oz) powdered sugar

Method
1. For the dough, combine the flour and sugar into the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl. Add the melted butter, egg, vanilla seeds and warm milk and mix on low speed. When the dough begins to come together, mix for a about 5-8 minutes more on medium speed until the dough is soft, smooth and stretchy.

2. Put the dough into a lightly oiled mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise until at least doubled in size – about one hour. Butter a 2lb (1kg) loaf tin and set aside.

3. For the filling, heat the butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat just 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 until the texture of course sand. Add the egg yolk, milk and butter mixture and pulse briefly to combine. Set aside.

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

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

6. Spread the filling over the dough until evenly covered, taking care not to rip the thin dough as you spread it. If the filling has been standing for a long time and is too thick, add a little warm milk to loosen it.

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7. Starting at the long edge of the dough, lift the sheet and gently roll the dough up tightly, like a Swiss roll.

8. Carefully lift the dough and place one end in the bottom corner of the buttered loaf tin. Place the roll into the base of the pan 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.

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

10. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Brush the dough with beaten egg white and bake for 15 minutes.

11. Reduce the oven temperature to 300F/150C and bake for a further 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil if the top begins to darken too much during baking.

12.Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the pan for half an hour before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

13. 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.

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Dobar tek!

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