Citizens, the fantastic bread known as Poğaça or Pogacha is a type of bread baked in the ashes of the fireplace, and later on in the oven – similar to focaccia, with which it shares the name (through the Byzantine Greek: Πογάτσα).
Poğaça is found throughout the cuisines of the Balkans, Hungary and Turkey, where it spread through the region during the Ottoman Empire’s dominion.
It can be leavened or unleavened, but only experienced cooks can make good quality unleavened pogača, while the pastry with yeast is easier to make.
Poğaça can also be made from white flour, whole-wheat flour, and a mix of two thirds to three quarters of wheat flour and the rest either barley, or (less frequently) rye.
It can have potatoes or cheese inside and it can also have some grains and herbs like sesame, black sesame, or dried dill mixed with its flour.
My version is Turkish-style and is stuffed with feta, herbs and lemon zest, with fresh dill and the eccentric touch of powdered bay leaves mixed into the dough.
Battle on – The Generalissimo
3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup plain yogurt
3 beaten eggs
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
2 tsp ground bay leaf (TFD addition to recipe, ignore if you want the traditional version)
1 ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ pound Sheep milk feta cheese, cubed
finely grated zest of 2 lemons
½ cup minced parsley
2 tsp paprika
½ tablespoon olive oil
2 Egg yolks, beaten
2 tablespoons mixed black and white Sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix the flour with baking soda in a bowl; set aside.
Mix the olive oil, butter, yogurt, eggs, sour cream, dill, optional powdered bay leaf, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until smooth.
Gradually stir the flour mixture into the wet ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead and squeeze the dough in the bowl until it is no longer sticky, about 5 minutes.
Stir the feta cheese, parsley, olive oil, lemon zest, pepper and paprika together in a bowl with a fork to make a filling.
Make each dumpling by pinching off about 2 ½ tablespoons of dough; roll into a ball about 1 ¾ inches across between your hands, and press it into a flat circle 3 inches across on your palm.
Spoon 1 scant tablespoon of filling into the center of the circle. Bring the edges of the circle together over the filling, and pinch them together to make a fat, round little stuffed dumpling.
Set the dumplings onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet, seam sides down. Brush the pogaca tops with the egg yolks. Sprinkle each with about ¼ teaspoon of sesame seeds.
Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are shiny, brown, and crackled, 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.