Archive for October, 2011

Povitica – Daring Bakers Challenge October 2011

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

The Daring Baker’s October 2011 challenge was Povitica, hosted by Jenni of The Gingered Whisk. Povitica is a traditional Eastern European Dessert Bread that is as lovely to look at as it is to eat!

I have a long list of desserts I would love to make, and I am slowly getting through them, although so many times I log in to see what we are making for the Daring Bakers and find I have never heard of the dish we will be making.

I had never heard of a Povitica before this challenge, and neither had anyone I shared the two loaves I made with. Although, when I found out it was a nut bread I thought it sounded similar to the yeasted meringue coffee cake we made in March, and in many ways it was.

Both had a lovely walnut filling swirled through the bread. The recipe for the povitica was lovely – the dough rolled beautifully and thin, and rolling it to make the swirls was quite satisfying. I found the filling a little difficult to spread, and found adding a bit more warm milk helped, although the easiest way was to use a spatula and only put it on small sections at a time, to reduce the risk of tearing the dough.

It is a great cake alternative for someone who does not enjoy sweet cakes. For the top glaze, I used a little milk instead of the coffee mixture, and the top looked beautiful.

In the following photos hopefully you will see my lovely new* big granite benchtop – it was installed just in time for this challenge. I want to thank my Dad so much for all the hard work he has done making my kitchen more useable. I also want to thank Arthur for the benchtop and cupboards.

Povitica

(makes 4 loaves)
Recipe source: Jenni of The Gingered Whisk

To activate the Yeast:
2 Teaspoons (10 ml/9 gm) Sugar
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
½ Cup (120ml) Warm Water
2 Tablespoons (30ml/14 gm/½ oz/2 sachets) Dry Yeast

Dough:
2 Cups (480ml) Whole Milk
¾ Cup (180 ml/170gm/6 oz) Sugar
3 Teaspoons (15 ml/18 gm/2/3 oz) Table Salt
4 Large Eggs
½ Cup (120ml/115 gm/one stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
8 cups (1.92 l/1.12 kg/39½ oz/2½ lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided

Walnut Filling:
7 Cups (1.68 l/1.12 kg/2.5 lbs) Ground English Walnuts
1 Cup (240ml) Whole Milk
1 Cup (240ml/225 gm/2 sticks/8 oz) Unsalted Butter
2 Whole Eggs, Beaten
1 Teaspoon (5ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
2 Cups (480ml/450 gm/16 oz) Sugar
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/4 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/3 gm) Cinnamon

Topping:
½ Cup (120 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
2 Tablespoons (30 ml/28 gm/1 oz) Granulated Sugar
Melted Butter

To Activate Yeast:
1. In a small bowl, stir 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 teaspoon flour, and the yeast into ½ cup warm water and cover with plastic wrap.
2. Allow to stand for 5 minutes

To Make the Dough:
3. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk up to just below boiling (about 180°F/82°C), stirring constantly so that a film does not form on the top of the milk. You want it hot enough to scald you, but not boiling. Allow to cool slightly, until it is about 110°F/43°C.
4. In a large bowl, mix the scalded milk, ¾ cup (180 gm/170 gm/6 oz) sugar, and the salt until combined.
5. Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz) of flour.

6. Blend thoroughly and slowly add remaining flour, mixing well until the dough starts to clean the bowl.

7. Turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick. Note: I did not use all 8 cups of flour

8. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (they will each weight about 1.25 pounds/565 grams)
9. Place dough in 4 lightly oiled bowls, cover loosely with a layer of plastic wrap and then a kitchen towel and let rise an hour and a half in a warm place, until doubled in size.

To Make the Filling
10. In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.
11. Heat the milk and butter to boiling.
12. Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture.
13. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
14. Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough.
15. If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.

To Roll and Assemble the Dough:
16. Spread a clean sheet or cloth over your entire table so that it is covered.
17. Sprinkle with a couple of tablespoons to a handful of flour (use flour sparingly)
18. Place the dough on the sheet and roll the dough out with a rolling pin, starting in the middle and working your way out, until it measures roughly 10-12 inches (25½ cm by 30½ cm) in diameter.

19. Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons (5ml to 7 ½ ml/4 gm to 7 gm) of melted butter on top. (I didn’t do this)
20. Using the tops of your hands, stretch dough out from the center until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque. You can also use your rolling pin, if you prefer.
21. As you work, continually pick up the dough from the table, not only to help in stretching it out, but also to make sure that it isn’t sticking.
22. When you think it the dough is thin enough, try to get it a little thinner. It should be so thin that you can see the color and perhaps the pattern of the sheet underneath.

23. Spoon filling evenly over dough until covered.

24. Lift the edge of the cloth and gently roll the dough like a jelly roll.


25. Once the dough is rolled up into a rope, gently lift it up and place it into a greased loaf pan in the shape of a “U”, with the ends meeting in the middle. You want to coil the dough around itself, as this will give the dough its characteristic look when sliced.

26. Repeat with remaining three loaves, coiling each rope of dough in its own loaf pan.
27. Brush the top of each loaf with a mixture of ½ cup (120 ml) of cold STRONG coffee and 2 tablespoons (30ml/28 gm/1 oz) of sugar. If you prefer, you can also use egg whites in place of this.

28. Cover pans lightly will plastic wrap and allow to rest for approximately 15 minutes.
29. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
30. Remove plastic wrap from dough and place into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
31. Turn down the oven temperature to slow 300°F/150°C/gas mark 2 and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until done.
32. Remove bread from oven and brush with melted butter.
33. Check the bread at 30 minutes to ensure that the bread is not getting too brown. You may cover the loaves with a sheet of aluminum foil if you need to.
34. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20-30 minutes, still in the bread pan. Remember, the bread weighs about 2.5 and it needs to be able to hold its own weight, which is difficult when still warm and fresh out of the oven. Allowing it to cool in the pan helps the loaf to hold its shape.


35. It is recommended that the best way to cut Povitica loaves into slices is by turning the loaf upside down and slicing with a serrated knife.

Smaller batch measurements courtesy of Audax
Half Batch Dough Ingredients (Makes two loaves each 1.25 lbs/565 grams)
To activate the Yeast:
1 Teaspoon (5 ml/4 ½ gm) Sugar
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/1½ gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
¼ Cup (60 ml) Warm Water
1 Tablespoon (15 ml/7 gm/¼ oz/1 sachet) Dry Yeast

Dough:
1 Cup (240 ml) Whole Milk
6 Tablespoons (90 ml/85 gm/3 oz) Sugar
1½ Teaspoons (7½ ml/9 gm/1/3 oz) Table Salt
2 Large Eggs
¼ Cup (60 ml/60 gm/½ stick/2 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
4 cups (960 ml/560 gm/19¾ oz/1¼ lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided

Topping:
¼ Cup (60 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
1 Tablespoon (15 ml/14 gm/½ oz) Granulated Sugar
Melted Butter

Half Batch Filling Ingredients (enough filling for the two loaves(
3½ Cups (840 ml/560 gm/1¼ lb/20 oz) Ground English Walnuts
½ Cup (120 ml) Whole Milk
½ Cup (120 ml/115 gm/1 stick/4 oz) Unsalted Butter
1 Whole Egg, Beaten
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Cup (240 ml/225 gm/8 oz) Sugar
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/2 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/1½ gm) Cinnamon

Quarter Batch Dough Ingredients (Makes one loaf 1.25 lbs/565 grams)
To activate the Yeast:
½ Teaspoon (2½ ml/2¼ gm) Sugar
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml/¾ gm) All-Purpose (Plain) Flour
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Warm Water
1½ Teaspoons (7½ ml/3½ gm/0.125 oz/½ sachet) Dry Yeast

Dough:
½ Cup (120 ml) Whole Milk
3 Tablespoons (45 ml/43 gm/1½ oz) Sugar
¾ Teaspoon (3¾ ml/9 gm/0.17 oz) Table Salt
1 Large Egg
1 tablespoon (30 ml/30 gm/¼ stick/1 oz) Unsalted Butter, melted
2 cups (480 ml/280 gm/10 oz/0.62 lb) All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divided

Topping:
2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Cold STRONG Coffee
1½ Teaspoons (7½ ml/7 gm/¼ oz) Granulated Sugar
Melted Butter

Quarter Batch Filling Ingredients (enough filling for one loaf)
1¾ Cups (420 ml/280 gm/10 oz) Ground English Walnuts
¼ Cup (60 ml) Whole Milk
¼ Cup (60 ml/58 gm/½ stick/2 oz) Unsalted Butter
1 Egg Yolk From A Large Egg, Beaten
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml) Pure Vanilla Extract
½ Cup (120 ml/115 gm/4 oz) Sugar
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml/1 gm) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
¼ Teaspoon (1¼ ml/¾ gm) Cinnamon

Storage:
There are several options for storing (and eating) your four loaves of Povitica:

• The Povitica will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature.
• The Povitica will keep fresh for 2 weeks if refrigerated.
• The Povitica can be frozen for up to three months when wrapped a layer of wax paper followed by a layer of aluminum foil. It is recommended to not freeze Povitica with cream cheese fillings as it doesn’t hold up to being thawed really well – it crumbles.

Pineapple Sorbet and Tropical Granita with Fruit Salad

Thursday, October 6th, 2011


Daylight savings has just begun, it is no longer dark when I get home from work (and only mildly darker when I leave). I am able to stop and smell the roses (and this is not just a saying in my case, as my first roses are opening for the season, and it just so happens to be a double delight rose).

It is starting to feel like summer, with the all the extra light, although I would not wish Spring gone too soon – as it is my favourite season.

More fruits are coming back in season, and we can start eating icy cold sorbets again.

As pineapples are one of my favourite fruits, I started making this pineapple sorbet at least a year ago now. It can certainly be eaten by itself, although it also pairs perfectly with this refreshing tropical granita and the fruit salad.

This is certainly a great way to make a fruit salad stand out a bit more and grab attention.

I have tried to plate the fruit salad artistically. It is simpler to serve it in a bowl, but it looks very pretty this way.

I have only tried the sorbet using an ice cream maker and it becomes almost creamy in texture. It’s amazing how the colour changes too, lightening up and becoming whiter as the mixture thickens. I am sure you could make it using the alternate method of removing the mix from the freezer and mixing it every hour for 3 or more hours and returning to the freezer. Although I am unsure as to whether it will result in the same creamy texture.

I am entering this recipe into a competition held by King of Fruit, a Queensland based business that supplies fresh pineapple to most outlets in Australia. I was lucky enough to be sent 3 lovely pineapples to inspire some recipes. If you have a chance, please check it out and vote for me 🙂 ( I think you only get one vote per email address.)

I have also entered my Herb and Orange Chicken with Pineapple and Capsicum served with Pomegranate, Orange and Baby Spinach Salad recipe into the competition.

Pineapple Sorbet and Tropical Granita with Fruit Salad

Recipe by Anita @ Leave Room for Dessert

Serves: 4 (with some leftover sorbet and granita)

Pineapple Sorbet

Makes: 1-1.4L sorbet

650g pineapple, cut into pieces
200g sugar (white sugar or castor sugar) (1 cup)
200ml water

Process the pineapple in a food processor. Place the pureed pineapple, sugar and water into a medium saucepan and cook on medium/high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture comes to the boil (this may be difficult to see as the pureed pineapple can create a layer at the top). Boil for 5minutes, then strain into a bowl or jug. Allow to cool and refrigerate for a few hours or preferably overnight until very chilled.

Churn in ice cream maker according to instructions of machine. Eat straight away or freeze in a sealable container until ready to serve. Lasts at least 2 weeks in the freezer.

Tropical Granita

150g caster sugar (3/4 cup)
500 ml water (2 cups)
150g pineapple, cut into pieces
100g strawberries, cut in half
100g passionfruit pulp, fresh or frozen

Process the pineapple and strawberries in a food processor. Place the sugar, water, passionfruit pulp and pureed pineapple and strawberries into a medium saucepan (you can use the saucepan that was used for the pineapple sorbet if you want to save on washing up). Bring to the boil on medium/high and continue to boil for 5min. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place a piece of muslin cloth over a sieve, place this over a large pan that will take more than 1L of liquid (20cm x 30cm x 5cm). Pour the granita mix into the muslin cloth and allow the liquid to pass through. Use a spoon to help more liquid through, or use your hands to squeeze excess liquid out. If you don’t have muslin cloth, using a sieve on its own will work fine.

Place the pan in the freezer until solid (overnight). Use a fork to scratch the granita into fluffy ice crystals. Return to the freezer for another 2 hours (if longer, place in a sealed container) before serving.

Fruit Salad

2 slices pineapple, cut into wedges
1-2 apples (I used pink lady apples), cut into slices
2 oranges, peeled and cut into segments
1 punnet (125g) blueberries
1-2 punnets (250g – 500g) strawberries, cut in half or quarters
1-2 bananas, sliced

Mix all fruit together in a bowl or place artistically on a plate.

To serve the Pineapple Sorbet and Tropical Granita with Fruit Salad, prepare the fruit salad and place the pineapple sorbet on top. Place the granita on the fruit salad just before serving.

Any component of this dessert can be served independently.

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