Daring Bakers Challenge: Poviticia

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Poviticia, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Poviticia is a traditional Eastern Dessert Bread that is lovely to look at as it is to eat!

This bread has kept me from sleepless nights, woken me up with nightmares, and took 4 hours out of my precious night to make; but it was all well worth it! Why so dramatic? Because when you work a full-time job, and have very little time to do such a tedious task..it can be stressful! The instructions were very detailed and I think that when so much detail is added to a recipe it becomes a little overwhelming.

The most challenging part I feel, was kneading the dough without it sticking to my hands and fingers! The dough was incredibly sticky, so as I was kneading it, and I was trying to add more flour in order to firm it up a little..bottom line, my kitchen turned into a cloud of flour!

I started making the bread at 9 o’clock at night and didn’t finish until 1:30 am! The baking time is about 40 mins, but the whole process of waiting for the dough to rise is quite long. The house smelled so good! The bread did turn out delicious. Its not a very sweet bread, which is nice. The filling I used is the traditional walnut filling. You can add cream cheese, apple cinnamon, and even Nutella! I think I will make this again, but next time I will choose a different filling.

This was my first Daring Bakers Challenge and I really, really enjoyed it! I would have never made this bread if it weren’t for this challenge! I love that I got to try something new and share it with you guys!

Dough Ingredients:

~To activate the yeast~
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon flour
2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/2 teaspoons dry yeast

1/2 cup whole milk
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 cups flour, sifted & divided

2 tablespoons cold strong coffee
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Melted butter

Filling Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups chopped Walnuts
1/4 cups whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 large egg yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


~To Activate Yeast~
In a small bowl, stir 1/2 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into 2 tablespoons of warm water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes.

~To Make the Dough~
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to just below boiling, stirring constantly so that the film from the milk does not form on the top of the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but not boiling. Allow it cool a little.
In a large bowl, mix the milk, sugar, and salt until combined. Add the beaten eggs, melted butter and flour. Blend really well with a wooden spoon and slowly add the remaining flour, mixing well until the dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead, slowly adding flour a little at a time until the dough no longer sticks to your hands and fingers. Put the dough into a large oiled bowl. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel. Put the dough in a *warm area.  Let is rise for an hour and a half, until it has doubled in size.

*I turned my oven on for about 5 minutes at 100°C (212°F) and turned it off. I let it cool down a little and then placed the dough in there for it to rise.

~To Make the Filling~
In a large bowl add the walnuts, sugar, cinnamon, and cocoa, and mix well. Heat the milk and butter together until they boil. Pour the liquid over the nut mixture. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Allow this to stand at room temperature until your ready to spread it on the dough. If the mixture thickens by that time, add a small amount of warm milk.

~To Roll and Assemble the Dough~
Cut a large piece of parchment paper about 12-14 inches long. Flour the area surrounding the parchment paper. Place the dough on the parchment paper and roll it out with a rolling pin. Start in the middle and work your way out until it measures about 12-14 inches in diameter. Spoon about a tablespoon of melted butter on top of the dough. Use your hands, or a rolling pin, and stretch out the dough until you can opaquely see the surface underneath the dough. As you’re going along, continually pick up the dough from the table to make sure it isn’t sticking. Once the dough is thin enough, using a wooden spoon, evenly spread the filling over the dough until it is covered. Lift the edges of the dough and start to roll is from the top towards the bottom like a jelly roll. Once you see the parchment paper, you can start to lift the paper and the dough will gain momentum and continue to roll on its own.

Once the dough is rolled up, gently lift it and place it into a greased loaf pan in the shape of a “U”. Tuck the ends in towards the middle of the pan so that gap is filled. Brush the top of the loaf with a mixture of 1/4 cup cold strong coffee and 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar. You can also use egg whites in place of this. Cover the loaf with plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove plastic wrap from the dough and place in the oven for about 15 minutes. Turn down the heat to 300°F (150°C) and bake for an additional 40-45 minutes, or until done. Remove the bread from the oven and brush it with melted butter. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes

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