Pogača is a yeast free bread, popular throughout Turkey, which usually contains some sort of savory filling. The dough which is made from wheat flour, contains yogurt. Pieces of dough are filled and pinched shut. Before placing in the oven, the bread is brushed with egg yolk then sprinkled with seeds or herbs. The egg yolk gives it a shiny exterior and acts as a an adhesive so the seeds don’t easily fall off.
Pogača has many variations. It can be filled with cheese, meat, potatoes or have no filling at all. The most common cheese filling is feta. Meat fillings include ground lamb or beef.
They can be large or small. Topped with sesame seeds, poppy seeds or herbs. Its shape also differs, rolled almost flat, shaped into rolls, oval or decoratively shaped. It takes a bit of skill to make Pogača without using a bread leavener so some recipes include yeast.
This bread is also popular is Slovenia and Hungary. Its appearance in Slovenia is similar to a flatbread which is scored into squares and is meant for tearing apart rather than cutting. In Hungary where they are made with yeast and sour cream, they appear as big flaky biscuits. They can also be sweet or savory.
Origin & Cultural Significance
Pogača is pronounced po-chaa. It’s derived from the latin word ‘panis focacius’ Panis is bread and focacius could mean fire, fireplace or hearth. Turkish pogaca is an any occasion bread. They are enjoyed as a snack, are filling enough to have as breakfast, popular amongst workers on the go, and still special enough to serve to welcome house guests.
Turkish Pogača (Pogacha) Recipe
- Flour – 4 cups
- Milk,warm – ¼ cup
- Dry instant yeast – 1 tbsp
- Vegetable oil – ½ cup
- Butter, softened – ½ stick
- Sugar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Water, at room temperature- 1 cup
- Parsley – ½ bunch
- Feta cheese – 1 ½ cup
- Egg yolk – 1
- Poppy seeds
- Mix the sugar and yeast with the warm milk.
- Combine all the dough ingredients including the milk mixture and mix them well into a pliable and non-sticky dough.
- Add a little more flour or mineral water if either of them is not enough.
- Cover it with a moist cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for 45 min to an hour.
- Chop the parsley and mix it with cheese.
- Take a small piece from the dough and flatten it with your hands.
- Put a teaspoon of cheese mixture on it and close it up folding the edges upwards like a bundle. Do the same for the rest of the dough
- Place a parchment paper in a baking tray and place the pogacas on it. The folded side of pogacas should be at the bottom to give it a ball shape.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Beat the egg yolk well and using a brush, coat all the pogacas.
- Sprinkle poppy seeds on each pogaca.
- Bake them for about 20-30 minutes or until golden.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 493Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 16gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 598mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 12g