Traditionally, Povitica is filled with walnuts and cinnamon, but for a little twist, I have swapped the walnuts for pistachios and ditched the cinnamon for chocolate.
Yet again, this week’s technical challenge was all about timing. Two and a half hours will go in the blink of an eye, especially considering the loaf itself takes an hour to bake. Richard made the mistake of following Nancy’s lead in this challenge, when a sly glance in Chetna’s direction may have seen him ranked higher in the leader board.
Hats off to Chetna for completing the challenge and presenting a fully baked loaf to the judges. Even though she had already made a version for her signature bake, it is no mean feat to prove enriched dough in the time allocated, as well as to shape and fully bake it.
The dough itself is not complicated to make and nor is the filling, but a lot of things can go wrong. Firstly, enriched dough takes longer to prove than ordinary bread dough, as the butter and eggs retard the yeast and slows down the rising time. Not all the bakers proved their dough for long enough, so remember that it needs to have doubled in size before you roll it out. Next, was the confusion with how thinly to roll it. Most of the bakers looked like they were attempting filo pastry. Yes, it needs to be rolled thinly, but there are limits. You are making a loaf, not ravioli.
The contestants also had issues with their filling, which should not be stiff enough to pipe, it should be easy enough to spread with a palette knife. Martha rolled her filling between two sheets of cling film like a sheet of pastry, which showed ingenuity but shouldn’t be necessary. If your filling has seized up, simply stir some warm milk into it until it becomes pliable enough to spread.
The rest is just a big roly-poly folded up in a tin. It’s a really fun bake to make and the hidden design inside (however it turns out in the end) will be sure to impress. This bake requires a gung-ho attitude, so don’t be scared! Get your pinny on and get baking!
For this recipe, use a 2lbs loaf tin.