Pogaca… Another Staple Item for the Turkish Tea Time!

Not sure how to describe pogaca… little cheese filled biscuits? or cheesy turnovers? cheese breads?

However I would describe it, it does not change the fact that once you bite into these little cheesy things, the buttery crust melts in your mouth. The combination of parsley and feta cheese leaves slightly salty, refreshing taste on the tongue, and is balanced with the crust. The key is to get a good feta cheese that is creamy, made from whole milk, not overly salty and that wraps the parsley well when blended together.

I had mentioned the get-togethers that the Turkish ladies have when I posted a borek recipe!. Pogaca takes its crowned place in these get togethers as well… Why? Because it is easy… because everyone has some type of filling in the fridge, waiting to take its place in the dough: feta cheese, cooked ground beef, mashed potatoes, olives… Because that is what we do… we get together, talk, drink tea and eat fattening things! And after we gain weight due to the high fat content of the goodies, we laugh, mention the old saying  about how “the woman with hips and the dish with paste (tomato/pepper that is) are worthier” to justify all that!

I have many different pogaca recipes but this has become my favorite one. This recipe comes from my Great Aunt Ruziye who has been my grandma’s dear friend and good neighbor for over 40 years! She can whip up anything in a short notice! Not only her pogaca, but her rice pudding, borek and various recipes have made to the top ten list of everyone in my family. She is actually family… after standing by each other all those years, she and my grandma are practically sisters!

This recipe makes 35-40 pogacas. I would not recommend to halve the recipe if you have a big family because it goes quick. We eat this as an afternoon snack or it makes an easy breakfast to take on the road. Or just sit down and savor it with a cup of tea.

Don’t make me talk anymore about it! We just finished these and now I want more! Just make and eat it!  Then let me know how you like it! Remember … the woman with hips…is much worthier in some cultures!

Aunt Ruziye’s Pogaca

  • ~2.2 lbs sifted unbleached all purpose flour(equates to 1 kg, you can set aside 1 cup of it and add that cup gradually after you mix all ingredients until the dough comes together, not sticky and not too stiff)
  • 2 sticks and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (about 250 gr – very soft, at room temperature)
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 3 whole eggs and 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • For the brushing on top: Whisk one egg yolk with one tablespoon of yogurt and a pinch of salt very well.
  • Nigella and/or sesame seeds
  • Filling: 3 cups of crumbled/mashed feta cheese and 1 cup of finely chopped parsley
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  2. Add all the others and knead until the dough comes together. If the dough is sticky after 5 minutes of kneading, add small amounts of flour.
  3. Make 35 to 40 balls (size bigger than golf ball but not as big as tennis ball). Set aside, cover with a clean towel. Let it rest 15 minutes.
  4. Pat each ball into a 3-inch diameter circle, put two teaspoon of filling on one half of the circle, leaving some room on the edge to close it. Close the other half over the filling, pinch the sides to close.
  5. Line them on a baking tray, brush the egg yolk-yogurt mixture on all of them and top with the seeds.
  6. Bake at 395 degree (not preheated oven) for 35-40 minutes or until it is golden brown.

Afiyet Olsun!


 

 

15 Comments:

  1. by Lana
    12:19 am
    Jun 14, 2011

    That photo could have been taken at my Dad’s “ranch”:) I know many old ladies who can whip up pastries at the moment’s notice, not measuring, not weighing, just throwing the ingredients together. I have to approach it differently and I fret all the time, worried that my breads are going to end up like hockey pucks:)
    I love these little pogaca (pronounced pogaCHa? – in Serbia we call all the breads that are round pogaca:)
    SO happy I have found your blog!

  2. by C1tr4@My Home Diary in Turkey
    2:04 am
    Jun 14, 2011

    it’s always being my favorite breakfast with my Turkish tea :D

  3. by Jennifer
    7:16 am
    Jun 14, 2011

    I see you used your new basket! ;) You were up awfully late doing this lady!
    Jen

  4. by Geni
    7:33 am
    Jun 14, 2011

    I can’t wait to make these soon! I can’t believe it doesn’t have yeast?! I just want to make sure that is correct because I truly am going to make them ASAP. They are making me drool. Also, how do you know you have gotten good feta? Just go for the whole milk variety or is there another good tip? Thanks!

  5. by Ilke
    7:54 am
    Jun 14, 2011

    Hi Geni, I normally buy the Turkish brand feta from a Middle Eastern store here. I find the brands they sell at Bi-lo very dry. But in the past, when I used the dry feta, I mix it with cottage cheese or even cream cheese a bit to give it a little creaminess. So , there are ways around it. No it does not have yeast. That is the best part of it. Let me know how it turns out. Hope it turns out good! I always get nervous when someone tries my recipes :)

    @Jen, yes, I was up late, waayy past my bed time! I love my new baskets, thanks for convincing me to get those :)

  6. by Lisa @ Tarte du Jour
    2:30 pm
    Jun 14, 2011

    These look so delicious!! I love the feta in them. These lovely ladies warm my heart… I assume they are your grandmother and great aunt. Great post!!

  7. by Ilke
    6:08 am
    Jun 15, 2011

    Yes Lisa, the one in the front is my grandma, the other one is my great aunt.

    Lana, would love to try your pogaca some day!

  8. by Parsley Sage
    8:31 am
    Jun 15, 2011

    YUM! Never heard of pogaca before but they sound delightful! Feta cheese is probably my favorite cheese and I sneak it into all kinds of stuff. Gonna have to take a crack at this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  9. by Shelley
    3:30 pm
    Jun 15, 2011

    Isn’t it funny that every culture has some version of cheesy bread? No wonder- few things are more delicious when combined together. Not sure I can pronounce pogaca correctly but I am sure I’d love them!

  10. by rebecca
    4:19 pm
    Jun 15, 2011

    send me some with apple tea :-)

  11. by Peggy
    7:12 pm
    Jun 15, 2011

    I’ve never heard of pogacas before, but this sounds like such a great little pastry! And so great that it’s passed down from family too =)

  12. by Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen
    11:33 am
    Jul 6, 2011

    These look great! Anything that combines cheese and carbs is good for me. ;)

  13. by Jenny Hartin
    8:20 pm
    Feb 3, 2014

    I will be making these yum!

  14. by NanouC
    6:45 am
    Feb 12, 2014

    Hello,
    Your pogaca look lovely! I am trying them right now. Just wondering what do you mean by the oven no preheated? I put the pogaca in the cold oven and then turn it on at 395 degrees?
    thanks!
    NanouC

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