Croatian Walnut Swirl Bread (Povitica)

  • Serves

    serves 8-10


Sweet walnut paste is rolled into yeast dough in a recipe adapted from one at Toni's Country Kitchen in Laurium, Michigan. It first appeared in our October 2013 issue with the article Upper Crust.



  • 14 cup sugar
  • 34 cup milk, heated to 115°
  • 12 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more
  • 1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
  • 2 12 cups flour, plus more
  • 1 egg


  • 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
  • 12 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 egg whites


Step 1

Make the dough: Combine yeast, 1 tbsp. sugar, and half the milk in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining sugar and milk, plus salt, butter, and egg; blend. With the motor running, slowly add flour; beat until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 2

Make the filling: Purée walnuts, sugar, butter, milk, and cinnamon in a food processor into a smooth paste. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form; fold in walnut paste.

Step 3

Grease a 9" x 5" x 2 3⁄4" loaf pan with butter. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 10" x 4" long oval about 1⁄16" thick. Spread dough with walnut mixture. Starting from one narrow end, roll dough into a tight cylinder. Trim ends and transfer to pan; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 4

Heat oven to 350°. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool.

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