In Traveling Feasts in a Gourmet’s Pocket, Hazal Muhtar shares unique and easy-to-make recipes from International cuisines.
Every Turkish person knows that, on a cold winter morning, when everyone is rushing to school or work, there is nothing more tempting than stepping into a bakery close by and buying a freshly made and warm “Poğaça ” with a cup of black tea.
Just to give you an idea of its cultural presence, let’s look at its different names in different cultures mostly in the Balkans: Pogačice in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro; Pogácsa in Hungary; Bougatsa in Greece; Pogatschen in Austria and Poğaça in my country, Turkey.
Poğaça can be described as oven-baked small bread mostly popular in the Balkan area. Quality of the Poğaça can be determined by the bakers’ mastery of the “leavening” method but, for the purpose of familiarizing you with the basic recipe, I won’t get into that! It is often made with white flour, although wheat flour and gluten-free versions can be made.
- 3 Eggs
- 1 Tablespoon of Baking Powder
- 2 tea spoon of Salt
- 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt (Fage Plain from WesShop)
- 1 stick of butter
- 2.5 cups of flour
- Feta Cheese (amount depends on how much you would like to put in)
Step#1: How to prepare the dough
- Melt the butter and mix it with the yogurt and 2 eggs.
- Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.
- Mix until the dough is very soft and very buttery but no longer sticks to your fingers. Feel free to add more flour until it doesn’t stick.
Step #2: Filling
- Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
- In a mixing bowl combine crumbled feta cheese and parsley. Leave it aside.
- Take a handful of dough and flatten the piece with your fingertips into a circle the size of your palm.
- Grab as much as you would like from the feta cheese and parsley mix (make sure it is not more than the half of the dough circle in your hand) and fold the circle to cover the stuffing and form a half-moon.
- Stretch the upper part of the dough to enclose the stuffing.
- With your fingertips tap the round edge of the half-moon to make sure it is perfectly closed.
- Once you prepare everything and place them on plate, crack the remaining egg in a different bowl, mix it and spread it on top of each “Pogaca”. You can use your hands for this! You can sprinkle it with sesame and other seeds but that is optional.
- Bake on the middle rack until golden, or 30-40 minutes. Serve warm with some tea!