Povitica Recipe (Nut Bread)

It’s pronounced poh-va-teet-sa! Povitica is a sweet nut bread that has its tasty origins in Eastern Europe. The following Povitica recipe is from Knead Bake Cook. This was the first time Kara from Knead Bake Cook attempted to make Povitica and we think she did an awesome job! Here’s what she had to say about it:

I couldn’t help but marvel at the layers and the variety of textures in this bread. I should appreciate it because it is pretty impressive. It’s not as pretty as others I have seen but I do think in the end, the hard work was worth it.

Povitica (Nut Bread)


  • 300g (10½ oz) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 40g (1½ oz) granulated sugar
  • 7g salt
  • 10g (? oz) active dry yeast
  • 30g (1oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 150ml (5½ fl oz) milk, warmed
  • Filling
  • 60g (2¼ oz) unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 280g (10 oz) walnut pieces (we used pecans)
  • ½ vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g (3½ oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • To assemble
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 100g (3½ oz) powdered sugar


  1. For the dough, proof the yeast in the warm milk, about 10 minutes. Mix in the eggs, butter, salt, vanilla seeds or extract until combined. Stir in the flour until the dough starts to come together. Dump on a lightly floured surface and knead for 5-8 minutes or until the dough is soft, smooth and stretchy.
  2. Tip 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 9 in x 5 1/2 in x 3 in (2 lb.) loaf tin.
  3. For the filling, place the butter and milk in a small pan and heat gently until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat.
  4. Place the walnuts, vanilla seeds or extract, sugar and cocoa powder into the bowl of a food processor and blend to a sandy powder. Add the egg yolk, milk and butter mixture and pulse to combine. Set aside.
  5. To assemble, spread a clean bed sheet over a kitchen table and dust with flour. Turn the risen dough out onto the sheet and roll out the dough into a large 50 x 30cm (20 x 12 in) rectangle. Brush the surface with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
  6. Dust your hands with flour and ease them underneath the dough. Using the backs of your hands, stretch the dough out from the centre until very thin and translucent (you should be able to see the sheet through the dough). The rectangle should measure approximately 1 m x 60 cm (40 x 24 in).
  7. Taking care not to tear the dough, spread the filling over the dough until evenly covered. If the filling has been standing for a long time and is too thick, add a little warm milk to loosen it. Note: To do this, we placed teaspoon-sized spoonfuls over the surface and used our fingertips to spread it out. If it got too sticky, we used a little bit of water as a lubricant.
  8. Starting at the long edge of the dough, lift the sheet and gently roll the dough up tightly, like a Swiss roll.
  9. Carefully lift the dough and place one end in the bottom corner of the greased loaf tin. Ease the roll into the base of the tin 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.
  10. Cover the loaf tin with a damp towel and let proof for 1 hour.
  11. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan)/ 350F/Gas 4.
  12. Brush the dough with beaten egg white and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 150C/130C(fan)/300F/Gas 3 and bake for a further 45 minutes, or until golden-brown. Cover with foil if the top begins to darken too much.
  13. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  14. 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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