Thursday, June 7, 2012

Povitica ~ with walnuts, pecans, and flaxseeds

Early Thursday morning, woke up with the sun barely streaming down into my bedroom. A welcoming sight after last night's thunder storm (and an odd thunderstorm at that: big splatters of rain mixed with sudden downpours and large balls of hail in the northern parts of the GTA). Snuck downstairs to make some coffee, which is a lovely pairing with the "Povitica" made just yesterday night.

Recipe adapted from Deeba Rajpal.

Dough Ingredients:

3/4 cups warm soy milk (or cow milk)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 3/4 cups bread flour
extra flour for rolling dough

In a mixer or a bread machine under 'mix only' setting, dissolve the yeast in soy milk and sugar for about 5 to 10 mins. Add in salt, egg, oil, vanilla, and flour and mix until dough becomes homogeneous. Dust the top with a little flour and loosely cover with plastic wrap and proof for at least 8 hours until tripled in size. I proofed the dough in my bread machine before heading to work, then 9 hours later came back to find it a beautiful round and smiling balloon. Yeasts are awesome like that.

Filling Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups ground nuts (1 cup walnuts, 3/4 cup pecans, 2 tsp flaxseeds)
3/4 cups brown sugar (save about 1 tbsp for the topping)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup soy milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg yolk, beaten (save egg white to brush on the top)

Mix ground nuts with brown sugar and cocoa powder. Under medium heat, melt the milk and butter together, then mix in vanilla. Once cooled, add nut mixture and egg yolk. 

Find a large surface area. This part of rolling the dough takes some patience but it definitely pays. Dampen the surface of the area and cover with plastic wrap (I used two pieces of 60 cm x 20 cm plastic wrap for total of 2400 squared cm area). The dampened surface will prevent the plastic wrap from moving around while you roll out the dough. Lightly dust the dough and a rolling pin and start to roll into roughly a rectangular shape. 

And keep rolling and rolling and rolling until it is about 1/2 cm thick, then roll once more!

Once it's as thin as you can get it, spread on the filling. Using the plastic wrap to guide you, roll starting from the long edge of the dough into a long log, then serpentine the log into a large loaf pan. Actually, at this point, you can shape it into any pan. I used a square baking pan and generated a wreath shape instead.

Let it rest for about 15-30 mins. Toronto was more humid than usual yesterday, 15 mins was more than enough! 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Brush dough with egg white and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake for about 15 mins until browned, then reduce heat to 300 F and bake for additional 30 - 45 mins depending on your povitica shape and thickness! 

How did yours turn out?

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