As we ramp up to the festive season we seem to be inundated with heavy treats and baked goods. Guests are tramping through our houses by the coach load, and we feel we must provide for them, but really there are only so many mince pies we can plate up and plough through. (No offence mince pies, it’s nothing personal.) Instead, we’ve got an Eastern European option for you today.

Do you remember this year’s Great British Bake Off? Do you remember that twisty, pily marbled loaf that half of the contestants couldn’t pronounce? It was Povitica and it is a traditional Christmas sweet bread served in various forms in Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia, Hungary and Turkey. So if you fancy something a bit different this Christmas, this is for you.


Made with enriched dough that is slathered in a chocolatey-nutty spread, Povitica is special and scrummy without the heaviness of lots of dried fruit and pastry. Be warned though, things do get a little bit tricky in the construction, where you have to roll, twist and generally cram your creation into a loaf tin. Because that seems like a sane thing to do, doesn’t it?

At least you know Paul Hollywood won’t be sticking his mitts in your loaf.

The great thing about this bake is that it would make a great partner to so many Cosy Teas. Although you could go down the traditional route and opt for English Breakfast, we think there’s room for experimentation. Earl Grey would offer a lovely lift after the richness of the dough and chocolate, while Jasmine Green would act as a wonderful palette cleanser between each mouthful. Or how about light Chamomile, for a soothing afternoon treat?

The options are endless and really, isn’t that the fun?

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