Thursday, October 27, 2011


Povitica is a Central European holiday cake/bread also known as potica or nut roll. It is typical for Slovenia, Croatia, Poland, Slovakia and Hungary and its name means something like “rolled up”.
We were not familiar with this bread and it was fun making it (as well as eating it) while taking part at the October's Daring Bakers Challenge which was chosen by Jenni from The Gingered Whisk.

The bread turned out to be very delicious with all that cream inside. We made two loaves with different fillings – walnut one and poppy seed one. Although the poppyseed filling contains a couple of spoonfuls of the walnut filling, since we were short of poppy seeds.
We liked both of the fillings but we liked the poppy seed one a little bit more.

Povitica Recipe:
Makes: 2 loaves (using 20x10cm loaf pans)

For the Dough:

  • 610 gr all purpose flour;
  • 50 gr lukewarm water;
  • 10 gr fresh yeast;
  • 240 gr whole milk;
  • 60 gr butter;
  • 85 gr sugar;
  • 9 gr salt;
  • 2 eggs;
  • freshly grated zest of 1 lime or lemon.

Dissolve yeast in the water. Then mix in 50 gr of the flour. Cover and leave it to double, even triple in bulk.
In a saucepan heat milk together with the sugar and butter just until the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool to lukewarm.
In a big bowl mix together the rest of the flour, salt and lime zest Add the lukewarm milk-butter-sugar mixture, the pre-fermented dough and the eggs, and using a hand (or stand) mixer equipped with dough hook knead to form dough and then for 10 more minutes to develop the gluten. Cover the dough and leave it to double in bulk. The time depends considering the room temperature.(Meanwhile, prepare the fillings and butter 2 loaf pans 20x10cm.)
Knock the dough back. Give it a quick knead on a floured counter top in order to let the gas escape. Divide the dough in two equal parts (for making two breads). Divide each part in 3 balls – thus it would be easier to roll it out. Roll each ball out to a very thin sheet, so thin that you could see through it. Spread over a thin layer of the filling and roll the dough sheet up. Place the roll into a buttered loaf pan , fold it two or three times if needed. Proceed the same way with the rest of the dough.
Cover pan with plastic wrap or a clean towel and leave the to proof for 30 – 40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Brush the top of the loaves with milk and bake for 15 minutes, then turn down the temperature to 150ºC and bake for further 45 minutes or until done.
Remove loaves from the oven and leave them to cool as they are - in the pans – this would help the loaves to hold their shape.
Jenni's tip: 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.

For the Walnut Filling:
It's a nice and very easy filling, but I find mum's walnut filling to be better, although a little bit more complicated.
  • 280 gr ground walnuts;
  • 60 gr milk;
  • 60 gr butter;
  • 125 gr sugar;
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder;
  • ½ tsp cinnamon;
  • 1 egg;
  • 1 Tbsp rum.
Bring milk, butter and sugar to a boil. Remove from the stove and add in ground walnuts, cocoa and cinnamon. Mix well to combine, add in the egg and rum and mix again. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.

For the Poppy Seed Filling:
Initially we intended to make this filling but the amount of the poppy seeds we had was too little, so we had to improvise and we ended up with this:
  • 85 gr blue poppy seeds;
  • 35 gr almond meal;
  • 30 gr finely chopped sultanas;
  • 30 gr milk;
  • 20 gr sugar;
  • 25 gr jaggery (melted);
  • 1 Tbsp rum;
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp from the walnut filling (actually we added what's been left after rolling the first loaf).
Heat milk and sugar in order to dissolve sugar. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well.


  1. Your poviticas look awesome! I loved the walnut filling but the poppy seed one is very intriguing too :)

  2. We usually use a poppy seed filling in Poland, than it's traditional christmas cake called makowiec :) We do add some nuts, raisins, honey and almond extract to poppy seed:)

    This one looks amazing, like many roll ups in one cake :)


  3. Great job with the challenge and beautiful photos not only in this but in every post!



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