a symbol of our family tradition
I use a round tray, 30 cm diam
My dear husband is the Master Chef of this pogacha. Pogacha is his most attractive baking. Years ago (while we were at the university), we found the recipe in an old booklet, and since then we have changed it a lot. He always prepares it on special days, and as to Christmas – it’s a must-have baking – preparing it is one way he relaxes, and we, the family around him, are more than happy and satisfied. The taste is typically Balkan – rich in butter, cheese and eggs. I share our family pogacha with a lot of excitement – it is absolutely irresistible, with an authentic aroma of freshly baked home-made bread!
for the mixture with the yeast:
1/2 cup fresh milk, warmed
50 g fresh yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
a pinch of flour
for the dough, some more products:
3 1/2 cups flour, sifted
2/3 cup lukewarm water
3 tbsps. sunflower oil
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 yolk (to spread the bread (pogacha) before baking)
Keep in mind that about one handful of flour is added when the dough is knead (the mixture is knead twice).
for the filling:
120 g melted butter;
2 eggs + 1 egg white (whipped) + 280 g hard cheese, mashed – mix the three ingredients;
Dissolve the yeast in the milk, add 1 teaspoon of sugar, sprinkle with a pinch of flour and let it get activated.
In a large bowl, place the flour with a well in the middle, in which I pour the ready yeast mixture. Add salt, eggs, sunflower oil, water, 1 teaspoon of sugar. I knead soft, sticky dough.
It rises for 25 minutes and then I gently knead it once again, briefly (on a floured surface).
I roll a filo sheet with 0.5-1 cm thickness (by hand) with rectangular-oval shape. I sprinkle it everywhere with the butter. Spread out of the filling with eggs and cheese all over the surface.
Roll on a tight roll. Cut the roll on rectangles. I start from the middle – cut a nice rectangle (or square) piece that I place in the middle of a tray on previously greased baking paper. The remaining rectangles I cut diagonally into 2 to get triangles. These triangles are arranged in the tray around the central piece (see the photo).
Spread all the pieces with the remaining butter, yolk and sprinkle with poppy and sesame seeds. It rises a second time (shorter than the first one).
Bake in preheated oven at 200ᴼC. I watch constantly and check with a wooden skewer whether the pogacha is ready. If the upper crust is ready and the middle part is ‘wet’ (which might happen), then cover the pogacha with wet baking paper. The approximate baking time is 45 minutes (the grid on which I place the baking tray in the oven is closer to the bottom side).