Povitica – Croatian Walnut Swirl Bread

  • Author: adapted by Laura from Little House Big Alaska
  • Prep Time: 3 hours 20 min
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Croatian/Polish/Slovakian


a walnut forward, swirly bread




  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Walnut Filling

  • 4 1/2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 1/4 cups walnut halves
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk save the white!

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


Povitica instructions

  • put flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook
  • warm the butter and milk together, do not boil, just warm until the butter melts
  • once the butter has melted cool until lukewarm
  • then pour the butter and milk in the flour mix, add the egg, and the vanilla, and mix
  • once ingredients have formed a dough let it continue mixing for 5-8 minutes or until smooth
  • place in a greased bowl, cover, and let double in size

walnut filling

  • warm the milk and butter together until the butter is melted
  • meanwhile pulse the walnuts, sugar, and cocoa powder together in a food processor until finely chopped
  • when the butter has melted cool until room temperature or so, then add it, the egg yolk and vanilla to the food processer and pulse until completely combined

rolling and filling the bread

  • once the dough has doubled in size cover your dining table with a clean sheet, OR wash it down thoroughly, and dust either down with flour
  • roll the dough out to a rectangle 12X20 inches, brush with melted butter and continue rolling and/or stretching with the backs of your hands underneath the dough until its 24X40 inches
  • spread the filling evenly across the dough, if your filling feels thickened up add an extra TBSP of milk and blend again
  • once it’s covered roll from the long side into a log and trim the ends
  • butter an 8-inch loaf pan, lay the dough in the pan in a U shape, then repeat over top looping it into another U
  • cover loosely and let rise for 1 hour OR until almost doubled in size, it will be working filling in all the gaps so don’t expect a MASSIVE rise out of it
  • brush with egg white and bake at 350˚ for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 300˚ and bake another 45 minutes, if the top starts to darken cover loosely with foil
  • once it’s baked cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes
  • then take it out and cool completely
  • if you like icing, mix the powdered sugar with a few drops of water and drizzle it over the cooled bread


If I were to try this again I would not make the filling the same way. I would go with probably half the walnuts, up the sugar, eliminate the cocoa and add a lot of cinnamon. Instead of spreading it would more sprinkle. I would then press it lightly into the buttered dough and roll. Just sayin’

I have counter for days so I did not need to move this exercise to my dining room table. I respect that I am fortunate in my kitchen. Also, my countertops are very dough friendly.

Keywords: povitica, walnut swirl bread

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