Pogaça (Turkish Mezze)

Pogaca

Every Turkish meal should have bread. Usually this is Pide, a form of flat bread, but I went for Pogaça; stuffed bread rolls. These are made with fresh yeast, but don’t let that scare you off! It’s an amazingly simple recipe that works even if you’re not too careful with measuring. The soft bread can be filled with many things, but my favorites are with white cheese or minced meat. They are perfect for lunch or dinner, accompanying soup or a hearty meal. They just go with everything because you want any excuse to eat these fantastic bread rolls!

Makes 30-36 small rolls

Ingredients

For the dough

225 ml. Milk
45 gr. Fresh Yeast

900 gr. Flour
1 tsp Sugar
1 tbsp Salt
250 gr. Butter (room temperature – soft, not melted)
225 gr. Yogurt
2 Eggs

1 Egg for an Egg wash

Peynirli Pogaça (White cheese filling)
Makes 15 rolls

250 gr. White cheese (salt-pickled cheese from goat (Feta) or cow milk)
Fresh Dill

Kiymali Pogaça (Minced Lamb filling)
Makes 15 rolls

500 gr. Minced meat (lamb, but pork or beef would be fine as well)
1 Onion
1 tsp Pimento (all spice)
Fresh Parsley

Preparation

For the dough

– Warm up the milk into a small pan to lukewarm (not boiling!). Take off the heat and add the yeast for it to dissolve.

– Take a huge bowl or (clean!) washing-up tub. Put in the flour, sugar, salt, butter, yogurt and eggs.
TIP 1: To get soft butter, just put the butter in your microwave for 15-30 seconds until it’s soft enough to squeeze but not liquid. 

– When the yeast is dissolved in the milk, pour in the milk with the flour.
– Mix this, with your hands, very well. Knead the dough on the kitchen counter. The dough should just form a ball, but stays a bit wet. Do not worry; in the beginning it is very sticky, but should become more dough-like after about 10 minutes.
If the dough keeps sticking to your fingers just add a bit more flour. If it’s too dry and crumbles; add a bit more milk.

– Shape the dough into a ball and put back into the bowl. Cover it with clingfilm.
– Leave to rise for 1 hour.

– After the dough has risen, take half of it for the cheese filled rolls and half for the meat filling.

Peynirli Pogaça

– Drain the cheese from it’s pickle liquid. Crumble above a bowl and add in finely chopped dill and a bit of white pepper. It doesn’t need salt because it’s salty enough from pickling.

– Take a small piece of dough, pingpong-ball size, and roll it out on a lightly floured counter. It needs to be quite thin.
– Lay the flattened dough in one hand and spoon in some of the cheese mixture.
– Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and press it together.
– Turn the roll up side down and lay on a with baking parchment covered baking tray.
– Keep repeating until no dough and/or cheese is left.
– Give the rolls an egg wash.

– Pre-heat the oven to 220 Celsius (Electric oven)

– Bake the rolls for 15 minutes until golden brown.

 

Kiymali Pogaça

– Heat some oil or butter in a pan and brown off the minced meat.
– Chop the onion finely and add, together with the pimento, to the minced meat. Bake for a few minutes.
– Add some finely chopped parsley, season to taste with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
– Leave it to cool down for 15-30 minutes.

– Take a small piece of dough, pingpong-ball size, and roll it out on a lightly floured counter. It needs to be quite thin.
– Lay the flattened dough in one hand and spoon in some of the meat mixture.
– Fold the edges of the dough over the filling and press it together.
– Turn the roll up side down and lay on a with baking parchment covered baking tray.
– Keep repeating until no dough and/or meat mixture is left.
– Give the rolls an egg wash.

– Pre-heat the oven to 220 Celsius (Electric oven)

– Bake the rolls for 15 minutes until golden brown.

 

TIP: The pogaça can be kept in the fridge for a few days. If you have many left over put them, in a sealed bag, in the freezer. When you need them, take out what you need, let them sit for 15 minutes to get to room temperature and heat them up for about 1 minute in the microwave.

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