1 hour 30 minutes


For the starter

  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp plain flour
  • 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 2 tbsp of warm water

For the dough

  • 125ml of whole milk
  • 25g of butter
  • 50g of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 300g of strong white bread flour

For the filling

  • 200g of pistachio paste, unsweetened
  • 150g of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of cocoa powder, heaped. Sift the cocoa
  • 60ml of whole milk
  • 60g of butter
  • 1 large egg yolk, or a duck egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste

For the glaze

  • 1 tsp instant coffee granules, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot wate
  • 25g of butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp of caster sugar


Stir the starter ingredients together in a small bowl and cover the top with cling film. Leave for 5 minutes, or until the mixture is frothy and has more than doubled in size
In the meantime, make the dough. Put the milk in a saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the milk scalds. Pour the milk into a large bowl and stir in the butter until it has melted. Leave to cool slightly
Whisk the sugar, salt and egg yolk into milk before stirring in the starter and sifting over half of the flour. Roughly combine the ingredients with a fork, before sifting over half of the remaining flour. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead until the dough is elastic and no longer sticky. You may need to add the remaining flour, but you may not. It will depend on the absorbency of the flour. This kneading will take a while, so be patient
Pop the dough in a lightly oiled bowl and cover the top with cling film. Leave the dough somewhere warm to rise for an hour, or until the dough has doubled in size
Knock back the dough and tip it on to a lightly floured work surface. Roll the dough into a large rectangle ā€“ about 20-inches x 12-inches. The dough should be thin enough to see through. Make the filling by simply mix together all of the to make a thick paste. Spread the filling evenly over the dough and carefully roll it up (like you would a Swiss Roll) until you have a long sausage. Lift it carefully and let the weight of either end stretch it a little longer
Butter a 2lbs loaf tin and place the dough (with the join underneath), in a ā€œUā€ shape in the tin, with a tail of dough hanging out of the tin on either side. Coil the tails of dough in on themselves, tucking the ends in
Make the glaze by mixing the melted butter and coffee together. Paint the top of your loaf with the butter mixture and sprinkle over the sugar. Cover the dough with a clean tea towel and leave to rise again for another hour. Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/Gas mark 4
Bake for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 150°C (130°C fan)/Gas mark 2 and continue to bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until done. Leave the povitica to cool in its tin on top of a wire rack for half an hour before turning out to cool completely