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Povi Bread for Christmas

December 25, 2010

Povi bread is my favorite food. We usually eat it at Christmas. This year, my mom sent out the family recipe with very detailed instructions and a little history of povi bread.

Povitica, or Croatian walnut bread, is a nostalgic favorite of many Eastern Europeans and their descendants.  Also known as Orehnjača (walnut bread) and Makovnjača (poppy seed bread) in Croatia, Povitica is a favorite of many other neighboring cultures. Povitica is rolled yeast bread, somewhat akin to strudel.  It is typically served at special occasions, such as the holidays, birthdays and weddings. By some, the process of making povitica is revered as a dying art, made by long gone grandmas and aunts in the “old country.”  In the United States, many immigrants have brought their family recipes for povitica and have passed them down, preserving the tradition.

Since we won’t be back with the family until after Christmas this year, I decided to try to make some povi myself. A good buddy of mine was doing the same in Cincinnati. The whole process took him seven hours. It took me a couple hours just to round up the ingredients. They didn’t have poppyseed filling at the grocery store, so I started calling some Kosher markets. I asked one of the guys there where else I might try, and he suggested I ask a bakery. The kind guy at the Grand Bakery on Grand Avenue said he’d be happy to make some poppy filling for me. So after a quick stop there, I had everything I needed.

Here’s my dough, after letting it rise in the oven the first time:

Here I am mixing the filling while Dude stands by in case I need a taste tester.

Terri rolling out the dough.

Walter supervising.

Then we put the filling on the rolled out dough:

Roll ’em up and put ’em in the pans:

And put them in the oven to rise again:

Waiting for povi or Santa, whichever comes first:

And finally, here they are!

I’m waiting for them to cool down now. We left for the store around noon today. Right now it’s 11: 30 pm. But a piece of this with a little butter and it’ll all be worth it.

Merry Christmas!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Pat (the Mom) Bosiljevac permalink
    December 25, 2010 1:30 pm

    The bells were ringing in heaven at midnight Christmas Eve. Grandma Honey, Great-Grandma Jacksich and Great-Grandma Bosiljevac were oh so proud… and so am I! Congratulations!

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