Provitica “Nut” Roll

Not too long ago, I saw an ad in our Sunday paper for Provitica Roll. It was mail order and cost per loaf was about $21.95 plus shipping.  I would never pay that much for one, but I loved the way it looked, especially the Poppy Seed one.  I love Poppy Seed rolls better than nut rolls. I think it stems back when I was a little girl and the bread man would make home deliveries to my grandma’s house.  My grandma would always buy a poppy seed pastry. I was always so fresh and I loved it…I used to think she bought it just for me!

The technique for shaping the nut rolls/poppy seed rolls is what gives it that look! Taking my recipe for homemade nut roll, I made these today.

Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

My mom taught me to shape the nut rolls like horseshoes, but when you buy nut rolls from church groups they are always long. These are made in a loaf pan, shaped by putting one end in, wrapping it around to the other side, (shaped like the letter “U”) then taking the last part and laying it on top of the bottom roll. It looks a little “strange” (oh my) but the end results are amazing!

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

So here is my recipe for the dough: If you have a Kitchenaid mixer this dough will fit even though it calls for 8 cups of flour! 


  • 2 Cups  Whole Milk
  • ¾ Cup  Sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons Table Salt
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 8 cups All-Purpose Flour, measure first then sift, divide

To activate the yeast:

2 Teaspoons Sugar

1 Teaspoon All-Purpose (Plain) Flour

½ Cup  Warm Water

2 Tablespoons Dry Yeast
Mix all together, cover with plastic wrap and wait 5 minutes.

It will look like this after about 5 minutes.

I needed a bigger bowl!

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove


1.  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.  Scalding the milk makes the dough nice and tender!

Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

2.  Fit your electric mixer with the dough hook attachment (you can also knead this by hand, but this is a large amount of dough.) In the bowl of an electric mixer (the Kitchenaid bowl will just fit this dough in it), mix the scalded milk, ¾ cup sugar, and the salt until combined.

3.  Add the beaten eggs, yeast mixture, melted butter, and 2 cups of flour.

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

Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

5.  When it starts to get shaggy turn dough out onto floured surface and knead, gradually adding flour a little at a time, until smooth and does not stick. You may or may not have to use all of the flour-I used a little over 8 cups of flour.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

6.  Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces (they will each weight about 1.25 pounds)

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

7.  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.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

While the dough is rising, you can make the nut filling:  First, you need to grind your nuts. If you don’t have an electric grinder attachment, you can do it in a food processor in small batches!  Last alternative would be to buy the nut filling already made in the jar! You can find it where the pie filling is in the grocery store. Expect to use 2 jars per roll.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

Walnut Filling 

  • 7 Cups Ground English Walnuts
  • 1 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Cup (2 sticks/8 oz) Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Whole Eggs, Beaten
  • 1 Teaspoon  Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Cups  Sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

In a large bowl mix together the ground walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and cocoa.

Heat the milk and butter to boiling.

Pour the liquid over the nut/sugar mixture.

Add the eggs and vanilla and mix thoroughly.

Allow to stand at room temperature until ready to be spread on the dough.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

If the mixture thickens, add a small amount of warm milk.

To Roll and Assemble the Dough:

  • Sprinkle counter top or dough cloth with a couple of tablespoons to a handful of flour (use flour sparingly)

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

  • 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 in diameter, until the dough is thin and uniformly opaque.  This is a great dough to work with, it rolls out so easy!
  • 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.
  • When you think it the dough is thin enough, try to get it a little thinner. It should be very thin if you can get it to measure about 14 inches by 22 inches that is good.

Spoon 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of melted butter on top.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

Spread nut filling all over the dough until the whole surface is covered.

Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

Then, rolling from the long end, roll up jelly roll fashion or into a long rope!

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

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.  OR you can it into four pieces and lay two on the base of the greased loaf pan and two on top.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

Repeat with remaining three loaves, coiling each rope of dough in its own loaf pan.

Brush the top of each loaf with a mixture of ½ cup (120 ml) of cold STRONG coffee and 2 tablespoons of sugar. If you prefer, you can also use a beaten egg in place of this which will give it a nice glossy coat.
 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

  • Cover pans lightly will plastic wrap and allow to rest for approximately 1 hour in a warm place.
  • Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C.
  • Remove plastic wrap from dough and place into the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes.
  • Turn down the oven temperature to slow 300°F/150°C and bake for an additional 45 minutes, or until done.
  • 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.
  • Remove bread from oven and brush with melted butter.
  • Allow to cool completely in the pan. Remember, the bread is heavy 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. If some of your filling is sticky and has leaked I find running a knife around the edge of the bread while hot helps to loosen it.

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove


These are nut rolls- I’m giving one to my mom so I can’t cut it to show you the inside!

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove



Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

This is the poppy seed one I made. I used the poppy seed in the jar and also added about 1 teaspoon of milk to make it spread easier.

Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

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.

Look how beautiful this is and it tastes delicious! 

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

This recipe is a little time consuming but so worth the time.  If you give Christmas gifts, this would be very impressive!!

 Povitica Roll: Timeless Treasure TrovePovitica Roll: Timeless Treasure Trove

Here is the PDF if you want to print the recipe!

Swirly Povitica Roll