I love Turkish breakfast more than any other morning menu. One of my favorites is a soft, buttery breakfast roll called 'poğaça' (poe-ah-CHA').
'Poğaça' has the tender texture of a baking powder biscuit, and is often stuffed with delectable fillings like black olives, olive paste, Feta, spiced ground beef, Turkish pastrami called 'pastırma' (pah-stir-MAH'), a spicy Turkish sausage called 'sucuk' (soo-JOOK') and mashed potato.
Bakeries all over the country prepare fresh 'poğaça' daily for breakfast eaters on the go. Many home cooks also have their own recipes to serve at more leisurely family breakfasts and afternoon tea gatherings.
In recent years, it's become popular to add a mixture of fresh herbs like dill weed, oregano and mint to the dough. This gives the rolls a wonderful, green color and the flavor of the herbs goes very well with cheese fillings.
You can make your 'poğaça' as large or small as you wish. Bite-sized 'poğaça' also go very well with tea and coffee and make great snacks.
- 2 cups plain yogurt
- 3/4 cup melted butter (or margarine)
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. sugar
- 2 cups flour (plus as much flour as the mixture can take in)
- 1/3 cup Feta or goat cheese (crumbled)
- Optional: 1 tbsp. fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- Optional: 1/4 cup fresh herbs (finely chopped)
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds (or poppy seeds or black cumin seeds, for garnish)
- First, prepare the filling. Crumble the Feta or goat cheese with a fork. Add about 1 tablespoon of finely chopped parsley. If you're adding herbs to the dough, omit the parsley in the filling.
- In a large mixing bowl, starting with about 2 cups of flour, combine all the ingredients and work them together with your hands. Keep kneading the mixture and adding flour gradually until you have a smooth, firm dough about as firm as an earlobe.
- If you are using fresh herbs in the dough, knead them into the dough thoroughly. Decide what size you wish to make your rolls. For breakfast rolls, make balls of dough about the size of a small plum. For bite-sized 'poğaça,' make the balls about the size of an apricot.
- Take a ball of dough and press it down on a lightly floured surface to flatten it. Put a small amount of your chosen filling in the center. Fold the circle in half over the filling so the edges come together and pinch them closed very gently. On a baking tray lined with grease-proof baking paper, place the 'poğaça' seam side down and tuck the ends under gently as you go. Your roll should be an oval that is wider and rounder in the center and narrower at the ends. Repeat this with all the dough balls, leaving about one inch between each roll.
- With a pastry brush, coat the top of each roll with egg yolk. Sprinkle the sesame, poppy or black cumin seeds on top of each roll. Bake in a 350°F/ 175°C oven until the rolls puff up and the tops turn a golden brown.
- Serve the 'poğaça' while still warm with fresh fruit preserves and honey.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||7 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||2 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|