This Homemade Povitica Recipe is a beautiful and delicious treat that's perfect to give as a gift for the holidays! It's a rich cinnamon swirl bread with a cinnamon walnut filling that is an old family favorite!
In a small bowl, stir 1/2 tsp sugar, and yeast into warm water. Set aside until foamy (about 5 minutes)
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk to just below boiling (about 180°F), stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110°F.
Once cooled, whisk in the melted butter, 3 TBS sugar and salt to the milk until combined. Add egg, vanilla and yeast mixture and stir to combine.
Add flour into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook or the Vitamix Dry Grains Container and pulse until a hole forms in the middle.
Pour wet ingredients into the hole in the flour in the Vitamix and pulse for 2 seconds Scrape down the sides and pulse again. Repeat this process (pulse for 2 seconds the scrape down sides) until the ingredients are combined and form a dough. (Be careful not to pulse longer than 2 seconds or the dough could become too warm and kill the yeast).
If using a standing mixer, mix the dough with the dough hook until it forms a smooth, elastic ball of dough.
Add up to 2 TBS more flour until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a ball.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a warm, damp tea towel.
Let the dough rise for 1.5 hours in a warm place, or until doubled in size.
Make the filling:
While the dough is rising, put the milk and butter into the wet container of your Vitamix
Blend on medium-high speed until mixture is hot and steam is coming out of the Vitamix (2-4 minutes).
Add Walnuts, sugar, salt, and cinnamon and pulse a few times until the ingredients are combined and walnuts are crushed into smaller pieces.
Add egg yolk and vanilla and pulse to combine.
Allow mixture to stand at room temperature until dough is ready.
Putting it together:
Line a 9x5” loaf pan with parchment paper and grease with butter. Set aside.
After the dough has doubled in size, remove it from the bowl and place on a well-floured surface.
Roll the dough into a rectangle about 18” by 17” in size. Be sure dough is thin but not so thin that you can see through it (about ¼” thick).
Spread the filling evenly on the dough, leaving about 1/2” at the edges bare. (If your filling has become too thick to spread, add warm milk ½ TBS at a time until it just reaches spreading consistency).
Staring at the edge of your rectangle, roll the dough tightly together making a jelly roll (see picture). Be sure to apply pressure and keep rolling tightly until it resembles a rope.
Gently stretch out the “rope” and lift it into your prepared loaf pan, making an “S” shape as you put it in. (To do this, fold the dough into thirds in your pan (see pictures)).
Cover the pan with a damp towel and let it sit in a warm place for at least 15 minutes while you preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
After 15 minutes turn down the oven to 300 degrees F and bake for an additional 45 minutes (about 1 hour total), or until done (will sound hollow when hit with a wooden spoon). Check your bread after about 30 minutes and cover with aluminum foil if it is getting too brown.
Remove bread from the oven. Cool for 20-30 minutes on a wire rack before removing from pan.
Cool completely before cutting and serving!
I do not recommend any substitutions in this recipe. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled to make more loaves to share with loved ones!If you do not have a Vitamix, knead the dough by hand or in a standing mixer!