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!

Classic Walnut Filling

Have you ever heard of this before? I know I haven’t. I’ve read from other bakers that it is similar to babka, which I have tried, but only in its lifeless, supermarket variety. This stuff, by contrast, is really, really good. The recipe is here, if you want to try it.

Espresso Pumpkin Butter filling

Povitica, if you are wondering, is pronounced poh-va-teet-sa. The recipe we were given made four loaves. I’d intended to half it, but forgot to. But that’s ok, because it gave me the chance to try out some interesting fillings. The walnut filling pictured first is traditional. For the rest of the loaves, I experimented. I’d recently come across a recipe for Espresso Pumpkin Butter that I just had to try, so that went into the second loaf.

Salted Caramel Sweet Potato filling

I also had some mashed sweet potatoes leftover from dinner a couple nights earlier, as well as some caramel leftover from a cake project that I need to post soon. (Really, the things you will find in my fridge!) So I threw caution to the wind and mixed them both together, tossed in a pinch of salt (which may not technically be enough to define it as it salted caramel, but, whatev.) and rolled it all up in dough. The result for both this and the pumpkin one were quite good, but I think the pumpkin is a bit better.

And finally, the greatest experiment of all – a maple bacon filling!

While savory ingredients are not common in povitica, I was encouraged by some of my fellow Daring Bakers to try out less traditional fillings.

This one was really delicious. I did have some trouble with it because it contained too much liquid – next time, less syrup – but it made the perfect accompaniment to a strong cup of coffee. This became my breakfast for several days.

It was really dense, so I can’t imagine wanting to eat more than one slice. And it did tend to sit heavily in the stomach for a while. But still….