Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Olive Oil-Kissed Walnut Garlic and Dill Povitica (Vegan)....jazzed-up !!

"[Breadbaking is] one of those almost hypnotic businesses, like a dance from some ancient ceremony. It leaves you filled with one of the world's sweetest smells...there is no chiropractic treatment, no Yoga exercise, no hour of meditation in a music-throbbing chapel, that will leave you emptier of bad thoughts than this homely ceremony of making bread."
M. F. K. Fisher, The Art of Eating

I admit I have been lazy. While I have been in the kitchen all the time experimenting, peeking into my friends' and commenting on various other blogs....however I stayed away from posting any recipe on Zaayeka. I blame it on the season...the lovely glassy droplets on my balcony makes me just so whimsical with its pitter-patter; that I just can't tear myself away from them. The lush greenery on the hills (that I see from my window) just perks up when the clouds kiss the earth. Romanticism.....s-i-g-h! :p

Ok I know this is essentially a food blog so I will stick to that without further ado--FOOD!

I made this savoury Povitica, a while ago. I post it only today as the varied types of breads I have been baking is increasing in number and threatens to overtake every other recipes' place on the index, (its been over a month and a half that I have not used store-bought bread, instead making my healthy versions at home) and I do not want my friends/readers to miss out on the magic of breadbaking. Trust me if someone as 'yeast-phobic' as me can make it...sure anyone can!

I am not an authority on bread baking...but I certainly can tell you all about what and how I bake my own bread. I have certainly come a long way from where I started.
And no I ain't talking about quick breads and no-knead breads...I am talking hard-core kneading and rising and rolling and proofing and baking ....et al. All the different colours of the 'rainbow' that is bread-baking.

Traditionally Povitica is a Croatian rolled sweet yeast bread. Essentially a feast bread, it is rolled thin, smeared with the choice of filling (cinnamon sugar, walnuts etc) and then rolled like a jelly roll and baked. The end result is a beautiful swirled slice that the filling creates when the rolled bread is cut.

I made mine a tad bit more ...ahem...gorgeous! (Don't go by my word...look at the pictures.)

The lovely spirals filled with my favourite nut and herbs.

This bread is a little tricky when it comes to putting it together but not impossibly difficult!
Once the dough is rolled out, smeared with filling and cut into strips; the tricky part begins.
Remember not to rush through this process of 'coiling' the strips. Take your time rotating the spring form pan so you can easily start the next strip of dough where the last one left off and gently pressing strips onto the ones that came before it.
Any loose nuts will fall down, so do not worry. Just be gentle. :)

Oh did I forget to mention its vegan !!

Olive Oil-Kissed Walnut Garlic and Dill spiral Povitica (Vegan) :


For the dough:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour + extra for dusting
1/2 tsp sea-salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups luke-warm water
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tbsp margarine

For the filling:
3 tbsp or more garlic paste
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil for brushing


In a large bowl,combine the warm water, yeast, sugar and salt and let it rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Add the olive oil.

To the flours add the margarine and dill. Stir with a wooden spoon or use your fingers to mix,till the margarine is well combined with the flour.
Now add the liquid ingredients. Stir with wooden spoon.
When the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl dust with flour and turn out onto a lightly-floured surface to knead by hand. Knead by hand for 10 minutes, dusting with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Allow the dough to rest for 10-15 minutes in a greased bowl.

Roll the dough out to an 18×10 inch (moderately thin in thickness) rectangle. Brush the garlic paste all over the surface of the dough, then sprinkle with the chopped walnuts on top.
IMPORTANT-Press the nut filling into the dough by lightly rolling over it with a rolling pin, to allow minimal spillage.

Cut the dough lengthwise into 2-inch-wide strips. Take one strip and roll it around itself before placing it in the center of your springform pan, cut side down. Now, one at a time, wrap the remaining strips around the center strip, until you have a mass of shaped dough that looks like a concentric shell . Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let the dough rise in a warm spot for 40 minutes or until doubled in bulk (see pic above).

Brush with olive oil and bake in a pre-heated oven for upto 30 minutes at 190 degrees C.

If the middle of the povitica browns faster than the outer portions of the dough, cut a small square of aluminum foil and place it over the part of the cake that is browning faster.

Cool for 5 minutes before running a greased knife around the edges and removing the sides of the springform pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  1. i am sure this si the best bread of the season..loved ur describe on pittar patter and the great bread to go along..i wouldnt have saved it for photographs..would have finished it all right out of the oven!!!

  2. Navi,what a true baking there..professional bread..worth for the time and effort..real joy..(btw happy to see you back)

  3. Woah..Navi,great bread..lovely shape n I can feel the warmth n aroma..!:)

  4. This looks incredible! Like a giant cinnamon roll! How delicious with that walnut filling!

  5. love the spiral look! Looks sooo tempting :) Yum!

  6. Wow this is such an amazing bread. Never seen that kind before. Glad you're back with this post :)

  7. Gorgeous clicks namita..making me drool, loved the walnut, dill combination, fantastic dear :)

  8. ooops i think i spelt your name incorrect, sorry :(

  9. Gorgeous click and gorgeous bread.Thanks for the info on bread.New to me and a must try it looks.

  10. You have written the method, step by step and seems like it is easy to prepare. Let me try one of these days. Nice photographs.

    I had prepared bread earlier and somehow they were not very soft. This looks pretty soft, Navitha.

  11. It's beautiful, and the ingredients are FANTASTIC, but I'm no bread baker! I'm just not good at it! So I'll live vicariously through you! Ha.

  12. Olive Oil Kissed... oh gosh I just LURV that title, how have you been darling?

  13. I love this so!! Look awesome and tasty!! xxGloria

  14. Walnut, based in olive oil and garlic...omgg , impossible to not turn out stunning, such a great burst of flavor :)



  15. Fantastic! What great flavors! A beautiful povitica!



  16. I should really make some time for doing some hardcore kneading one of these days - it's been ages. As for povitica, I hadn't heard of it before, but I certainly feel well acquainted with it now!

  17. your version looks splendid! I've been thinking of baking my own bread for about a year now and still haven't gotten around to it.

  18. oh wow, it looks beautiful! Wonderful flavours too.

  19. Incredibly tempting-love the spiral look on this bread.

  20. That looks really pretty! Must have smelt gorgeous:)

  21. Love this fancy bread,woven with garlic and walnuts ,flavors sound simply divine :P

  22. Hey there, my dear! I'm glad you didn't post too much while I was away on vacation. ;) To say your bread is gorgeous would be an understatement! I'm in awe of it. Am definitely copying this recipe to try it myself (but maybe in the winter when it cools off enough to bake).

  23. For sure one of the most gorgeous breads I've ever seen! Sounds delicious too with walnuts, garlic, and dill!

  24. That looks beautiful.. so professionally done!!

  25. Simply love the shape of the bread and can smell the lovely aroma of garlic and dill used in the bread...

  26. Hi Navita,
    There is an award waiting for you on our blog, please check the awards page there.

  27. hey something for you on my blog!

  28. It sure looks beautiful! I am sure it smelled delicious as it was baking!

  29. Oh, this looks so yummy - I would shock, SHOCK and awe my husband if I made something like this. Hhhmmm, sounds like I need to get started =)


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