I’ve been enjoying the “Great British Baking Show” lately. I am not generally a baker, but I have been inspired by some of the recipes from the show. The one for Povitica brought back so many memories.
I was about 10 years old, biking with my special basket to Mrs. Feester’s farm to get eggs. I liked to visit her because she had a little accent and told great stories. She would give me slices of what she called Pocatisa. Maybe I didn’t understand the name right, but I was always excited to get a taste of that wonderful nutty treat.
In later years, my husband’s family made nut roll for Christmas. I was thrilled to find that it was the same treat Mrs. Feester used to give me. This recipe is from Doug’s Aunt Marge. I do recommend that you watch the PBS episode to get the general technique (http://www.pbs.org/food/recipes/povitica). I make it a little differently, but I hope it brings you as many wonderful memories as it has for me. This makes two rolls and freezes well.
¼ cup butter melted 6 cups ground walnuts (about 20oz)
1 cup milk 1 cup milk
1 cup warm water 1 stick butter
1 egg 1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 packages (½ ounce) yeast 1 tablespoon vanilla
½ cup sugar 2 teaspoon cinnamon
3-4 cups flour 1 teaspoon allspice
2 beaten eggs
Note: I used salted butter and therefore omitted salt from the dough. If you prefer using unsalted butter, add 1 teaspoon salt to the dry ingredients, just place it in the bowl away from the yeast.
Put the dough hook on your mixer. In the bowl of your mixer, place the sugar, flour, yeast (on one side). Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the egg. Add the milk, water, vanilla and the melted butter. Stir to blend. With the mixer running on low, slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer up to medium and blend for 10 minutes. The dough will be smooth but very soft. Allow the dough to rise for an hour or until the dough is doubled.
Grind the walnuts until they are fine crumbs. Put all the filling ingredients in a saucepan except for the eggs. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn off the heat and allow the mixture to cool a little. Stir in the eggs, then set aside until the dough is ready.
On your counter top, spread a thin tea towel. (I like a flour sack style towel.) Using about ½ to ¾ cups of flour, sprinkle the entire surface of the towel. Flour the rolling pin. Using half of the dough, roll out until the dough is about the size of a regular cookie sheet. The dough will be thin. Dollop the nut filling over the surface of the dough and spread it gently and evenly over the dough. Roll up from the long side like a jelly roll and place onto a greased cookie sheet, forming a circle or roll it up like a snail if you wish. Cover and allow the roll to raise for one hour or until double. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes. The roll will be quite dark. Brush with butter when you take the roll out of the oven, or you can drizzle with a little powdered sugar and water icing. ♦