Tis the season for good, old-fashioned, homemade, comfort food! This is an authentic Croatian recipe from my husband’s family and, in my opinion, WAY better than the Strawberry Hill Brand sold at Costco. The seasonal tradition is to make “Povi” from scratch, like Grandma Skradski used to. To say Povi is a comfort food for my in-laws would be an understatement. This desert bread (also referred to as Nut Roll) brings about heart-warming memories of holidays with loved ones dearly missed.
Fun Fact: This Christmas, my husband’s aunt told us a traditional way Croatians served Povi was at breakfast with a slice of ham on top! YUMO
This is a challenging recipe but very rewarding if you are willing to put in the work! The intense parts are Step 1 and 3, but the entire recipe uses common household ingredients.
Step 1: Make Croatian Bread
1c Warm Milk
½c Warm Water
1 Package Yeast
2 tsp salt
4 Egg Yolks
1 Stick of Butter
7-10c Flour (best if used while you work vs. measuring)
- Put sugar, warm milk, water and yeast in a large bowl. Add enough flour to make thick batter (3-4c).
- Beat well then add the salt and egg yolks, mix, then melt and add butter.
- Add flour until dough doesn’t stick, kneading until smooth and elastic (unless you have one of those handy kitchen aid mixers).
- Place into greased bowl and cover with cling wrap to rise. After 1 to 2 hours the dough should be about double original size.
- Separate into desired sized for loaves (recipe makes 3-4). Smaller Loaves = Flaky, Bigger Loaves = Moist
Step 2: Make Povitica Filling (Best time to make filling is while dough is rising)
4c Ground Walnuts
1 Small Jar Honey
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1 Stick Butter
1c Golden Raisins (if desired)
- Scald milk.
- Mix nuts, sugar, and cinnamon mixture in pan with hot milk, melted butter & eggs (add 1 at a time) – mix & cook until thick.
- After cooled, add honey – mix.
Step 3: Roll Dough
- Roll dough on floured cloth covering table (photo above). This should be very thin and fragile by the time you are done (almost see through).
- Spread filling on dough & sprinkle with raisins if desired.
- Roll dough into a tube from wide end (photo above).
Step 4: Bake
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Curl dough into greased bread pan or cut for smaller loaves.
- Large loaf – bake at 375° for 20 minutes, then 325° for 45 minutes.
I would love to see your twist on the family recipe – please share!
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