Pumpkin Cheese Pie Povitica, and the Traditional One.October 27, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Posted in Breads, Breakfast, Daring Bakers, Dessert, Vegetables, Yeastspotting | 50 Comments
Tags: Chocolate, cream cheese, Povitica, Pumpkin, Pumpkin Cheese Pie Povitica, Walnuts
OK, this is the weirdest thing I’ve ever done on this blog. I simply cannot write normally at this time, so outside of a few blurbs, I’m going to post the photos, and the Daring Kitchen bot stuff. I’m in a really bad mood. I might say things I may regret..or not. Wow, that sounded all vigilante. I embarrass myself sometimes.
Ever go through those blogging ruts where nothing seems to turn out right, from the dish, to the photos, and it’s so frustrating, it takes away the fun in writing the post? You literally stop flowing. Herky jerky, forced writing. I’m deep in one of those ruts now, and it’s got a grip on me like quicksand laced with super glue.
The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni (my cassoulet comrade) of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!
Throughout the next day or two, as I exorcise the bitch, I will start adding text to this post. Nice stuff..I promise. I know…it doesn’t always have to be nice, but the last thing I want to do is type in characters, because the expletives could be rampant. Can a thesaurus give me a more suitable word for F%$^&%$% &^%$%%?
The two poviticas you see are the traditional walnut from the challenge, and my creation, a pumpkin cheese pie povitica. Yes, ‘pie’. How I got there was by adding ground cinnamon graham crackers to pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, an egg and spices. The filling minus the graham crackers would have been too runny by itself to spread on the dough. The graham crackers thickened it while adding a ’graham cracker crust’ flavor to it. It’s a big slice of pumpkin cheese pie in a graham cracker crust, rolled in a rich, paper-thin, yeasted dough.
Povitica (poh-vah-teet-sah) is an Eastern European bread that’s called a dying art, as in not many home bakers make it anymore even though it’s pretty amazing. Now I know why. It’s not easy by any stretch. The dough has to be rolled super-duper thin…transparency thin -read the paper through it thin, LIKE strudel thin. See the relationship? I cannot do strudel dough either. I’m Eastern European and I cannot turn out an aesthetically pleasing Eastern European bread or pastry to save my life. I’ve been asked to make a babka for a friend. Not sure what it will end up looking like..but I’m pretty certain it won’t look like a babka. My Russian – Hungarian badge may be revoked soon.
Having said all that, the dough is not even the hardest part. The traditional walnut filling being spread on this paper-thin dough IS. This stuff is as thick as old honey. We were told we could add milk to thin it once it cooled. I added milk…and stirred. Added more milk, and stirred. It was a sponge, a ravenous brown blob..it literally soakied up all the milk with nary a change in viscosity. I gave up and dumped scoops of it all over the delicate dough to cover as much ‘land’ as possible..then the 45 minute spread.
To all those who took part in the challenge, how did you spread this stuff without ripping the dough??? My dough was so elastic and perfectly thin, BUT, it lifted and tore on and off as I tried to spread the thick walnut filling. By the time I finished and started to roll, the holes were sticking to the floured sheet, so I couldn’t pull up the sheet and roll it using the sheet – like this video shows (why is their walnut filling so loose and easy to spread??). Below is what the ropes of long dough looked like in my bread pans. I used the S-shaped method shown in the video for these two, but by the time I finally got them into the pan, they were torn C’s that sunk into each other with a tired moan. The pumpkin filled ropes tore because I accidentally let go of one end while lifting it – and the heavy filling pulled it open. Elephant trunks after a night out drinking and fighting. Not a pretty sight..look away if you must!!
The first loaf I made, (which isn’t pictured because we ate it up quickly. I wanted to make it again because although delicious, t felt it was too dense and thought I did something wrong – so I called it a test run), I used Wolf’s rolling method, shown in the collage above, in hopes of turning out a loaf just like hers. Isn’t it gorgeous?? Well..that ended up being a far away dream because I didn’t get even one swirly coil, in any of my three loaves! Everyone in the challenge got them. Now I know for sure I’m not destined to have swirly coils in my povitica.
So, thhis is the last thing I’m adding to this post. I’ve come to the conclusion that when you bake or cook angry or sad, it translates into the final result – hence why I had so many problems and no swirls. I think I should meditate or do yoga, before cooking or baking, next time I’m out of sorts. At the very least, I’ll be limber. I have to try the povitica again..LIMBER and relaxed!
Swirly coils or not, this is one delicious and wonderfully delicate, crumbly textured sweet or savory bread, so I implore you to make it. No doubt you will have swirly coils!
Finally, If you leave a comment, and add a joke, since I’m still kind of bitchy and down, I may have a little gift up my sleeve for the one that makes me shoot water (or whatever beverage I might be drinking at the time) from my nasal cavities
Half Batch Dough Ingredients
Recipe by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk
(Makes two loaves each 1.25 lbs/565 grams)
To Activate Yeast:
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 Teaspoon All-Purpose flour
1/4 cup (60 ml) warm water
1 tablespoon (15 ml/7 gm/¼ oz/1 sachet) active dry yeast
1 cup whole milk
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons table salt
2 large eggs
1/4 Cup unsalted butter, melted
4 cups All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided
Melted butter for brushing the loaves
1. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into ½ cup warm water and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes
3. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk up to just below boiling (about 180°F/82°C), stirring constantly so that a film does not form on the top of the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but not boiling. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110°F/43°C.
4. In a large bowl, mix the scalded milk, ¾ cup (180 gm/170 gm/6 oz) sugar, and the salt until combined.
5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz) of flour.
6. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until the dough starts to clean the bowl.
7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick. Note: I did not use all 8 cups of flour
8. Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces (they will each weight about 1.25 pounds/565 grams)
9. Place dough in 2 lightly oiled bowls, cover loosely with a layer of plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and let rise an hour and a half in a warm place, until doubled in size.
To fill and roll the povitica, use Jenni’s fantastic step-by-step photo directions, HERE.
Recipe by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk
for one loaf povitica
1 3/4 cups ground English walnuts
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 Egg Yolk, beaten
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 reaspoon cinnamon
1. In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.
2. Heat the milk and butter to boiling.
3.. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture.4.. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
5. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough.
6. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.
Pumpkin Cheese Pie Filling
For one loaf povitica
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup ground cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
*1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
*1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, dark brown sugar, and vanilla extract; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg,then the pumpkin puree and spices. Stir in graham cracker crumbs.
* You can substitute the all the spices with 1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.
• The Povitica will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature.
• The Povitica will keep fresh for 2 weeks if refrigerated.
• The Povitica can be frozen for up to three months when wrapped a layer of wax paper followed by a layer of aluminum foil. It is recommended to not freeze Povitica with cream cheese fillings as it doesn’t hold up to being thawed really well – it crumbles.