My daughters (who will deny all responsibility) have got me started watching a baking competition show. I have always loved to bake, but haven’t done a ton of it in the past few years.
Watching this baking competition has been entertaining for me. My youngest daughter and I watch it together and when I see the baker do something that’s going to ruin their bake I get a little bijankety and may or may not yell at the TV about how stupid they are. My youngest then asks me why they shouldn’t do what I’m telling them they shouldn’t do. So I explain the process to her. She’s learning by watching the bakers and by me explaining why they should do it one way or the other. Usually my commentary is backed up by the judges explaining to the contestants what they’ve done wrong. Occasionally, I fuss at the judges and let them know (because obviously they can hear me through the TV) that it WILL work a certain way.
Oh, the conversations we have – the judges and I. My daughter just giggles at me.
Because this show is in Great Britain, there are a number of dishes that I’ve never heard of, and if I have heard of them I’ve never tried them. As I watch them make delicious looking things my brain turns to put an American spin on what they’re doing.
And then I putter.
For example, Povitica. It’s basically a glorified cinnamon roll baked in a bread pan. I’ve been making cinnamon rolls since before most of you were born, so I thought What The Hell!! I did NOT use the recipe from the show. I Americanized it and used my Buttermilk/Honey bread recipe. In hindsight, I wish I would not have used an enriched dough (one with milk and eggs), but instead used my standard bread dough. It’s a sturdier dough and the bottom layer would have held up against the weight of the top layer much better. But…that’s why they call it “puttering.”
This is the bread recipe I used. And it is BEAUTIFUL dough!
While it was rising I pulled out my trusty old food processor (which I haven’t used in ages and began kicking myself for not using it more often), put a fair amount of brown sugar in it (2 cups, maybe), a stick of softened butter (1/4 pound), a fistful of flour (1/4 cup??), and I zizzed it all up into nice little chunks.
I moved that into another bowl and filled my food processor up about halfway full of walnuts and chopped them into pretty fine chunks – not pulverized, but not huge pieces. I mixed that in with the brown sugar mix.
Once the dough had doubled in size (about an hour) I rolled the whole thing onto my kitchen table. It’s a two loaf recipe, so I used every bit of my table.
Then I put the nut/brown sugar mix on it. I spread it out as evenly as possible and then went over it with my rolling pin to give me a much better chance at getting the beast rolled up. I wanted a very tight roll so that there wouldn’t be air bubbles in it when I baked it.
Once I got it rolled out, I worked with the roll to lengthen and tighten the roll a bit more. I wanted to be able to cut it into six even sections the length of my bread tins. I put two sections in the bottom of the tin and one section on top of them and let them rise again. This is where I was wishing I hadn’t used an enriched dough because it took forever to raise it the second time. If I would have been making regular bread with my dough recipe it would have taken only 20 minutes, but adding the filling really inhibited the yeast in the dough, so it took a bit. Plus, my house is like the arctic and that didn’t help the proofing process.
A normal loaf of bread takes about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, but this is not a normal loaf. I knew it would be a long bake because of the rolls so I had to bake it for nearly an hour. If I do this again, I will cover the dough with foil after the first 15 minutes when it has finished with its initial burst of rising in the oven, then remove the foil for the last 20 minutes of baking. I felt like it was a little bit burned on the top.
You can see just around the edges where it’s scorched a bit. Once I frosted it, the burnt edges did not matter.
Povitica normally has a drizzle of glaze over it. But in my American world, I felt it called for cream cheese frosting! I was spot on with that feeling! Be sure to let it cool completely before frosting it or you’ll have a mess.
I made a pretty basic cream cheese frosting, but used Rum Chata instead of milk. The hint of cinnamon that Rum Chata has was a great complement to the frosting.
Overall, my Americanized Povitica was delectable! And so pretty!
My co-workers have not been complaining about my puttering!