The Povitica-Style Swirled Brioche is beautiful. It looks complicated but is so much easier than it looks. Can you roll a cinnamon roll? If so, you can make this!
What Makes This Bread So Good?
One of my favorite things about this recipe is how deceptively simple it is to make! It comes together relatively quickly and looks so beautiful when baked!
You will love the flavor of this povitica-style brioche loaf! The rich flavor of the bread mixed with the delicious walnut filling is perfect for any day of the week!
- Whole wheat flour- My family loves white wheat, but there are a lot of other options as well. Red wheat is delicious, as is spelt and rye. You can also use kamut too.
- All-purpose flour
- Active dry yeast
- Brown sugar
- Ground walnuts
Mixing the Brioche Dough
Start by adding your warm milk (you can heat it in a small saucepan or microwave. It is only heated to about 100 degrees), yeast, salt, eggs, brown sugar, and flours to the bowl of a stand mixer.
It is not recommended to mix brioche by hand. Not only do you have to knead for a really long time, but your hands will warm the dough too much. Use the dough hook for this recipe
Mix for about 1 minute. Then you will start adding the butter in 1 tablespoon increments. Butter is added slowly to the dough in making brioche. In fact, the process of adding the butter should take about 10-15 minutes.
So add a tablespoon, let it mix in, then add another. do not rush this process. At the end of the mixing time, you should have a very smooth dough.
The dough might feel too sticky to you, don't worry, after the chill, it will be so much easier to work with!
Once the butter is all added and mixed in, it is time to chill. Now, transfer dough in a ziplock bag sprayed with pan release, or you can turn dough into a greased bowl and cover it with a piece of plastic wrap. Make sure and give it room to rise. It will double.
Fillings for the Brioche
Traditional fillings for a povitica are ground walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar, milk, and egg. As mine is a modified version, I only used butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and ground walnuts. I ground the walnuts in my Cuisinart Food processor. I have had this workhorse for so long and love it!
Forming the Povitica-Style Swirled Brioche
To start, pull out your brioche and get the dough ready to go.
You will roll this dough out to about ¼ inch thick.
Roll it into a large rectangle shape. Just to note, this is a double batch. You roll with be the same length, half the width. Brush it with butter.
Next up is your brown sugar. Notice there is an inch at each end. This is what I will use to pinch closed each of the 2 rolls I was making.
Now sprinkle with the ground walnuts. Roll each roll and pinch closed. Brush with the melted butter. Spread the brown sugar over the melted butter.
To form the loaf, make an "S" shape across the bottom of the pan. Then with the leftover dough, for another snake on the top of the "s" shape. Allow the dough to double.
Once it has doubled, place it in the preheated oven.
You will probably need a little tinfoil to keep the bread from baking too dark. You form a "tent" and place it over top of the bread. Bake until it is a deep golden brown. My preferred method for telling if the bread is done is by taking its temperature. it should read 195 degrees on a quick read thermometer.
I like to remove the bread right away from the oven. This caramel that has formed over the bread will make it stick in the pan once it starts to cool. Then it will be a mess to get out!
With brioche, it is important to take your time adding the butter. You don't want to add too much at one time, give each piece time to mix in before adding in more.
It is really important to chill your dough before trying to work with it. It is too soft to work with when you first make it. The next day is so much easier to work with the next day!
Make sure the bread doubles fully before baking. Give the bread the full rise before placing it in the oven.
I really like to judge doneness by temperature, especially with filled loaves. They can easily be over or underbaked. 195 degrees is the golden temperature for whole wheat brioche.
It is a very "rich" dough. Meaning LOTS of butter and eggs.
The overnight chill time makes the dough so much easier to work with. The dough is tacky and can be really hard to shape if you try and make it right away. The overnight time also helps to hydrate the flours, especially the whole wheat.
It is not. Croissant dough is a laminated dough, meaning the dough has butter rolled into the dough, then folded over and over forming layers. With brioche, the butter is added directly into the dough during the mixing process.
Other Brioche Recipes
Partial Wheat brioche povitica shaped
- 1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour I prefer a white wheat. You can use a red wheat if that is what you have.
- 1 ¾-2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup warm milk
- 2 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup softened butter
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ⅓-2/3 cup brown sugar
- ⅔ cup ground walnuts
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
Coating for bread
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- ¼-1/3 cup brown sugar
- Activate yeast in warm milk. Make sure your milk is warm, not hot. You don't want to kill the yeast. This should only take about 3-5 minutes, depending on the heat of the milk and your house. Add milk mixture and remaining ingredients to mixer. Start with only 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour, you don't want to add too much to begin with. Mix for a few minutes before you decide if you need more or not. It's taking some mixing time to know. You want this dough to be tacky, slightly sticky. Normally when you mix a dough, you will want the dough to pull away from the edges of the bowl, with this brioche, because of the whole wheat, you will want to have more moisture in the dough to begin with. The wheat will absorb more moisture than a regular all purpose flour would. So, if you have a little bit sticking, don't sweat it. Mix for about 4-5 minutes. Immediately place in buttered container, cover ( I used a tupperware container with lid) and place in fridge. You can let it rise and use it the day of, but I think it is so much better after a cool rise. So, let place in an airtight container and it goes in the fridge for at least 12 hours. The next day, prepare your bread pan. I brushed mine with melted butter. Set aside.Remove dough from fridge. Lightly flour your surface and set the dough out. Roll to a rectangle about 10x30 inches. The dough will be very thin. Now, in the photos on the post, I had doubled the recipe, yours will not be that big. Brush all but about an inch on the bottom of your long end with melted butter. You will need that inch to pinch closed your roll at the end. It is impossible to do with the butter on it!Once it is brushed with butter, sprinkle your brown sugar over the melted butter and spread. Then add your ground walnuts and cinnamon on top of that. Let's start rolling. You will start at the top and carefully start rolling down. The dough is thin, so be careful not to tear. I started at one and, rolled and inch or 2 down, then moved down the line doing the same, until you have rolled the roll all the way up. Now, pinch the end to close the roll. I cut the 2 ends on my roll just to clean it up and make sure it was all the same size. You can skip this next step, but I think it is so good to add a sweet crunch to the bread. Brush your roll with melted butter. Yes, this will be messy. Now spread the brown sugar over the melted butter, again this will be messy.Now, you will lay the roll in your pan in an "S" shape. It will form an "S" on the bottom, then with the extra keep snaking the dough across the top. Sorry for that descriptor, I am not sure how to explain this, you will see in the photos on the post. Cover the loaf and allow to double at room temp. Towards the end of the rise, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the loaf in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and bake another 35 minutes. If the top starts to get too dark, tent with tinfoil. I did. It is a large loaf, covered in butter and brown sugar, it will get a deep golden brown. No stress. Once it is baked, remove from the oven. I like to carefully remove from the pan right away. Once the caramel starts to harden on the edges on the loaf, it can be really hard to get it out of the pan. I would recommend waiting at least 5-10 minutes before cutting into the loaf. This bread is perfect hot, slathered with butter. It is great cool, it is so good as french toast, it is great toasted. I mean, it is good any way you eat it!!Now, sit back and enjoy. You deserve it!!