Peynirli Pogaca - A Turkish Puff Pastry Filled With Cheese
Poğaca, one of the many puff pastries I love to eat for breakfast or as a tea-time snack is a type of dough-based salty puff pastry which has so many diffrerent varieties in terms of filling.
Peynirli poğaca, which literally means 'pastry with cheese' or simply 'cheese bread', is just one of its wide varieties. Poğaca, pronounced ‘poh-ah-jah’ in Turkish, is considered as one of the many delicious specialties and favorites among the Turks. It is usually served along with beyaz peynir or Turkish white cheese, butter, black or green olives, eggs, tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted green peppers and preserved fruits (like jams and marmalades) which all consist of a typical kahvaltı sofrası or a full Turkish breakfast.
Moreso, poğaca is also commonly served as an afternoon snack with a nice warm cup of Turkish tea.
Here’s how to make your own poğaca at home to make your breakfast a little more like Turkish...
- 4 ½ cups flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup plain yoğurt
- 2 cups softened butter or margarine
- 1 ½ cups white cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon dry yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds (optional)
For the dough:
- Pour flour on a flat stable surface and make a small space in the middle.
- Melt the butter and mix with yoğurt. Pour mixture over the space in the middle of the flour.
- Dissolve yeast in a few tablespoons of lukewarm water. Pour in the middle of the flour where the butter and yoğürt has been added.
- Add the lemon juice with the mixture. Combine all the added ingredients together to form a dough.
- Cover dough with a clean damp towel. Let stand for about 20-30 minutes in a dry place and set aside.
For the filling:
- In a mixing bowl, put in white cheese, chopped parsley and one whole egg. Blend together and set aside.
- After the dough has risen and set, take a small amount of it almost like the size of one large egg.
- Shape the dough to a flat 1 cm-thick disk.
- Place an appropriate amount of filling on the half of the disk and fold in the other half to cover it resembling like a half moon shape. Seal the dough by pressing the edges with your fingers. Continue the same process with the rest of the dough.
- Place all the poğaca on a buttered cookie sheet. Brush each top with an egg yolk. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 350 F for about 30-40 minutes or until they turn golden brown.
- Serve hot with a nice cup of coffee or tea.
Afiyet olsun! (Have a good appetite!)
- Sprinkling black sesame seeds on top of each poğaca right before baking is optional. In Turkey, the different varieties of poğaca may have or may not have black sesame seeds on top.
- You don’t need to add more salt to the dough mixture since the white cheese (or feta) in Turkey already has a salty flavor.
- You may also add finely chopped Turkish green or black olives to the white cheese, though this is optional.
- In Turkey, you may also find varieties of poğaca which is filled with white cheese and black or green olives. Either way, plain cheese or with olives, this recipe already gives a delicious cheese bread taste.
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