This is an authentic Croatian recipe from my husband’s family. You may be familiar with the Strawberry Hill brand sold at Costco around the holidays, which comes in different flavors, but nothing compares to a homemade classic. The seasonal tradition is to make “povi” from scratch, like Grandma Bazis used to, and her mother before her. Since her passing, Ben’s aunts have carried on her cooking legacy making things like Lithuanian kugela and apple strudel (They’re both Lithuanian + Croatian – beautiful!). For the last few years, i’ve been the povi maker.
First: Make a batch of Croatian Sweet Bread
To say povi is a comfort food for my in-laws would be an understatement. I first learned to make povi in Florida when I asked Ben what he missed most about the holidays at home. Apart from family, he said he missed povitica the most. This dessert bread brings about heart-warming memories of winters with loved ones dearly missed. Povitica is definitely a challenging recipe but very rewarding if you are willing to put in the work! Fingers crossed we make it to Croatia in the near future to enjoy their culinary goodness first-hand.
- 2c Milk
- 4c Ground Walnuts
- 2c Sugar
- 1 Small Jar Honey
- 1 tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 Stick Butter
- 4-6 eggs
- 1c Golden Raisins (if desired)
- Scald milk.
- Mix nuts, sugar, and cinnamon in pan with hot milk.
- Add butter & eggs 1 at a time.
- Mix & cook until thick.
- Cool over night or in the freezer while Croatian bread is rising.
- Add honey when dough is ready.
- Preheat oven to 375°
- Lay tablecloth or sheet on table and cover with flour.
- Roll out dough until very thin (should be see through).
- Evenly spread filling on dough covering to the edges.
- Sprinkle with raisins if desired.
- Roll edge of the dough with hands then continue by lifting the sheet until fully rolled.
- Cut povitica tube into sections that fit into large greased bread pan.
- For large loaves, bake at 375° for 20 minutes, then 325° for 45 minutes.
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