Croatian Walnut Swirl Bread (Povitica)
Sweet walnut paste is rolled into yeast dough in this Croatian bread recipe.
Yield: serves 8-10
FOR THE DOUGH
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 3⁄4 cup milk, heated to 115°
- 1⁄2 tbsp. kosher salt
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more
- 1 (1/4-oz.) package active dry yeast
- 2 1⁄2 cups flour, plus more
- 1 egg
FOR THE FILLING
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted
- 1⁄2 cup sugar
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. milk
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 egg whites
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Heat oven to 350°. Bake until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean, about 1 hour. Let cool.