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!
What a beautiful challenge. While I am usually more interested in the taste of food than the look, it is fun to make something that also looks lovely. And I had never heard of or seen this kind of bread before.
The basic idea is to make a sweet bread dough, roll it out very thin, top it with a sweet nutty filling, roll it up jelly roll style, then loop the roll around in the bread pan to create a pretty pattern in the baked loaf.
The challenge recipe called for a 1.5 hour rise time, but with a really busy week and an inability to stay up late, I made the dough in the evening, left it to rise all night, then rolled and baked early the next morning. Surprisingly this didn't seem have any adverse effect on the finished product.
You can find the recipe I used, which was created by the host, here in the Daring Kitchen archive. I made the half batch to produce 2 loaves. For one loaf I used the suggested walnut filling and for the other I used poppy seeds, simply replacing the amount of ground walnuts in the recipe with poppy seeds.
You can see from the pictures that the poppy seed version was more successful. I think that was partly because I allowed the loaf longer to rise/rest after it was placed in the plan, and party because the poppy seed mixture was thinner and easier to spread than the walnut version.
It seems that this bread also goes by the name Potica, and you can find many different recipes by searching for that.
Thanks to Jenni for the excellent challenge - it was fun to make and yummy to eat and I will definitely be making it again. This last picture features one of my favorite op-shopped linen tea towels - I thought it was appropriate as it was made in Czech republic.