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Homemade Pogaca; Turkish savory pastry with cheese and parsley

Scrumptious pogacas, savory pastry with cheese, olives and vavious fillings, displayed at a bakery in Istanbul

Scrumptious pogacas, savory pastry with cheese, olives and various fillings, displayed at a bakery in Istanbul

Delicious pogacas and pastries; a favorite Turkish breakfast or tea time treat

Delicious pogacas and pastries; a favorite Turkish breakfast or tea time treat

These delicious cheesy pogacas (poh-ah-cha) are a favorite breakfast or tea time treat in Turkey and we love them. They are easy to make at home; make your kitchen smell heavenly and they are very popular with children, as well as adults. Bakeries, street stalls sell freshly baked pogacas (plain, with white cheese, olives or with potato & cheese filling) in Turkey and with a glass of cay aside, they make a delicious and affordable breakfast or tea time treat.

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with feta and parsley; easy to make and delicious

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with cheese and parsley; easy to make and delicious

My children adore pogaca and we made our peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with feta cheese together; they loved getting involved. My pogacas are rather chunky, like the ones you would get in bakeries in Turkey and one is enough per person. You can make smaller ones if you like. They are absolutely delicious straight from the oven, but they also keep well for a few days. The next day (if any left!), you can microwave them for 10 seconds or gently heat under the grill, so delicious. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

 Peynirli pogaca; Turkish savory treat with feta; great for breakfast or as a snack.

Here’s also my YouTube video on how to make pogaca:

Peynirli pogaca; Turkish savory treat with white cheese and parsley; great for breakfast or as a snack.I love the savoury pastries in Turkish cuisine and living abroad, greatly miss them; so pogacas, boreks, pide, gozleme frequently turns up at our table. You can find all these savoury Turkish pastries and many more at my cookery book, Ozlem’s Turkish Table, Recipes from My Homeland,  Signed copies now 30 % off at this link, delivered worldwide.

 

Makes 11 pogacas

Preparation time: 20 min (+1 hour for dough to rise)                  Cooking time: 25- 30 minutes

For the dough:

7gr dry yeast (1 sachet)

425 gr / 3 ¼ cups all-purpose plain flour

5 ml / 1 tsp. salt

3 oz./ 1/3 cup plain (whole milk) yoghurt

1 egg, beaten

4 fl. oz. / ½ cup mild olive oil or sunflower oil

4 fl. oz . / ½ cup warm milk

For the filling:

5.3 oz./ 1 cup Turkish white cheese (or Greek feta cheese, if Turkish white cheese is not available) crumbled

15 gr/ 0.4 oz./½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

For the topping:

1 egg, beaten

Sesame seeds and nigella seeds to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F

 

Combine the warm milk and dry yeast in a small bowl and mix well. Let it stand for 5 minutes so that it gets foamy.

Let the dough to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes

Let the dough to rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes

In a large bowl, stir in the flour and salt and make a well in the middle. Add the yoghurt, mild olive oil (or sunflower oil) and the beaten egg to the flour mixture, in the middle. Stir in the foamy yeast mixture and knead well with your hands for a few minutes, until the dough comes together. Shape the dough like a ball, place in the large bowl and cover with a cling film. Let it rise in a warm place for 45-60 minutes or until doubled in size.

Crumbled feta cheese and fresh parsley make a delicious filling

Crumbled Turkish white cheese or Greek feta cheese and fresh parsley make a delicious filling

While the dough is rising, prepare your filling. In a medium size bowl, stir in the crumbled Turkish white cheese or Greek feta cheese and chopped parsley and mix well.

Preheat the oven to 180 C/ 350 F and grease a baking tray.

Once the dough has risen, punch down and divide into 11 equal pieces, each about a size of a small tangerine. Roll each piece into a ball, and then flatten into a round flat circle with your fingertips, about 10 cm, 4” in diameter (you can make them smaller if you prefer). Place a spoonful of the filling mixture (take care not to overfill) at one side of the circle dough, leaving a little unfilled dough margin near the edges. Fold the circle to cover the filling to form a half moon shape. Make sure the dough covers the filling and meet the other end. Seal the two ends of the dough, pressing with your fingertips well. Place the stuffed dough on the greased tray and repeat this procedure with the rest of the dough pieces.

Pogacas, decorated with sesame & nigella seeds, ready to bake!

Pogacas, decorated with sesame & nigella seeds, ready to bake!

Place the prepared pogacas, stuffed dough pieces side by side on a greased tray. Brush them with the beaten egg and sprinkle with nigella and sesame seeds. Bake in the preheated oven on the middle rack for about 25 – 30 minutes, until they are golden brown at top.

Peynirli pogaca, Turkish savory pastry with feta & parsley, ready to eat!

Peynirli pogaca, Turkish savory pastry with cheese & parsley, ready to eat!

Serve warm; glass of Cay, Turkish tea goes really well with these delicious pogacas.

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with feta and parsley; easy to make and delicious

My homemade peynirli pogaca, savory pastry with cheese and parsley; easy to make and delicious

Afiyet olsun,

Ozlem

 

 

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A Favorite British Teatime; Plain and Savory Scones – Peynirli Pogaca

Plain and savory scones with feta cheese and parsley, just baked

I love the British teatime tradition and all the treats that come with it. Scones are a special favorite; I simply can not resist them with clotted cream and jam over the top. So I was delighted to see their appearance on the Telegraph food writer Rose Prince’s Baking Club  a few weeks ago.

What I also loved seeing at the column was that Rose Prince provided recipes for plain as well as the savory scones, which is quite unusual. Savory pastries, pogaca as we call it in Turkish, (with various fillings e.g. with cheese, grated potatoes, courgettes, onions) are very common in Turkey, and one of the favorite accompaniments to our afternoon tea. I vividly remember my mother baking pogacas with various fillings for afternoon teatime gatherings in our home. The savory scone recipe here therefore has a Turkish influence to it, as I added crumbled feta cheese and flat parsley to mine (you can replace the feta cheese with fresh goats cheese for a less salty and milder flavor, as Rose Prince did).

Cheese and parsley scones (peynirli pogaca), lovely with a cup of tea

Though there are only a few ingredients that make the perfect scone, it can be of a challenge to get that tearable soft inside, that wouldn’t go dry.Rose Prince gave two recipes using plain flour in one and strong stoneground strong white flour in another, which makes the scones lighter with a slightly elastic crumb. I had a go with the plain flour, as that was the one available, and we all very much enjoyed the end result.

Makes about 12 scones

Preparation time: 20 minutes               Baking time: 15 minutes

390gr plain flour

200gr butter

1 tsp (5gr) – or a little less, if you prefer – salt

2 tbsp baking powder

300ml butter milk

If you’d like to make half of the scones savory, please include:

80gr feta (or fresh goats cheese or cottage cheese for milder flavor), crumbled

Handful of flat leaf parsley (or fresh dill), finely chopped

Clotted cream and jam to accompany the plain scones

Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7

Put the flour in a bowl and rub the butter into it until it has a crumbly appearance. Add the baking powder and the salt and mix lightly but well with your hands. Add the buttermilk, mix with a spoon, until it just about holds together and tip out onto a floured work surface. Fold the dough onto itself two or three times. (Work the dough as lightly as possible, and keep it cool. Too much kneading will make the dough tighten up and the scones will not be airy.) Bring the dough into a ball shape and dust with flour.

 

Work feta (or any other cheese of your choice) and parsley into the dough

Divide the dough in two halves, if you are making savory as well as plain scones like I did.  For savory scones, dust first half of the dough with a little more flour and work the cheese and parsley into the dough until it ripples through. On a floured surface, roll lightly with a rolling pin to a thickness of 3cm. Use a straight edged round cutter, 4cm in diameter, to cut out the savory scones.

Shake them out of the cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

For plain scones, roll the other half of the dough and repeat the same procedure as above.

Bake the scones for about 15 minutes , or until pale gold and nearly doubled in size.

Teatime favourite; plain scones with clotted cream and jam

Afiyet Olsun!

Tuesday, March 20th; Offical Start of Spring

My diary showed Tuesday, 20th March, as the offical start day of spring. All the wonderful blossoms, newly emerging buds, daffodils are all around to prove it, so wonderful and uplifting to look at.

Beautiful daffodils are everywhere at the moment

Spring; beginning of new life, new growth, new hopes, beginnings. I hope you enjoy the spring shots from the RHS Wisley Gardens, England.

Magnolia tree with lovely pink blossoms

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