Almost Turkish Recipes

Melt-in-your Mouth Cheesy Poğaças (Peynirli Çıtır Poğaça)

Poğaça, a kind of savory pastry / bread, is a traditional baked good in Turkey and Eastern European+Balkanic countries that crossed paths with Ottoman culture and cuisine. Poğaça, pronounced as poa-cha, is the indispensable part of afternoon teas or on-the-go breakfasts when you grab your poğaça from your neighborhood patisserie on your way to work or school. Usually poğaças are made in half-moon shape. Several pieces of round dough, 3-5 inch in diameter, would be filled with stuffing (variations on stuffing are numerous: feta cheese, potato, ground meat, spinach, cheddar, onion, etc) and folded in to two for the half-moon shape, and sprinkled with sesame or nigella seeds. 

There are hundreds of different ways of making poğaças, with or without yeast, with or without meat, in rounds or almond shapes, etc. This particular recipe requires vinegar to have that delicious melt-in-your-mouth taste last a couple of days after they're baked.

makes ~24 poğaças
1 1/2 sticks butter (~200gr) at room temperature
2 eggs (save one of the yolks for brushing the tops) 
1/3 cup vinegar (red wine, apple)
1/3 cup olive oil
1,5 tsp salt
a heaping 1/2 cup yogurt
2 tsp baking powder
3 to 3 and half cups of flour

1/2 cup white/feta cheese for the stuffing
1/4 or 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley
sesame and/or nigella seeds for the top

-Mix all the ingredients except for one egg yolk, feta/white cheese, parsley and seeds.
-This is going to be a soft yet a non sticky dough. 
-Divide it into 24-25 parts. You can make them bigger or smaller.
-Roll them between your palms into balls first and then flatten them into a circle.
-Mash the white cheese with the back of a fork. Add parsley and mix well. 
-Place ~1-1,5 tsp cheese filling in the middle of the circles and close them by bringing the edges together to form a almond-like shape. Place on a lined oven tray.
-Finish forming all the poğaças and brush them all with egg yolk. 
-Sprinkle sesame seeds or nigella seeds or both on top. 
-Bake in a preheated oven at 390F for 25-30 minutes until golden.
-Let cool for a couple of minutes if you can and dig in!

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