Serbian / Balkan Lenten Bread (Posna Pogača) Recipe

Serbian / Balkan Lenten Bread (Posna Pogača) Recipe

The Spruce / Julia Estrada

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 1 loaf
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
159 Calories
3g Fat
29g Carbs
4g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 159
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 4%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 355mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 29g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 2mg 9%
Potassium 45mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Serbian Lenten pogacha (POH-gah-cha), also spelled pogača, uses no eggs, milk, or butter, so it is perfect for fasting times, like the period before Christmas (Advent) and Easter (Lent). 

Christian Orthodox Great Lent, in general, is a time of great fasting and there are many rules on what types of oil, if any, can be consumed. This lean Lenten white bread fits well within the guidelines.

Pogača (Balkan spelling), Pogacha (Anglicized spelling), Pogácsa (Hungarian spelling), poğaça (Greek), pogaçe (Albanian) are all rustic leavened or unleavened breads made with white flour or whole-wheat flour or a mixture a combination of the two. Some breads have a potato or cheese filling and herbs like dill and sesame mixed in with the flour.

In Bulgaria, where the bread is known as pogačice, it is more of a puff pastry affair and often served hot as an appetizer filled with sour cream or curd cheese or Bulgarian feta cheese. This is also popular in Turkey.

In Hungary, for example, pogácsa are made from either short dough or yeast dough. There are dozens of shapes and sizes with round being the most traditional.

A multitude of add-ins can be found either in the dough or on it, such as fresh cheese, aged cheese, pork crackling, sautéed cabbage, pepper, paprika, garlic, red onion, caraway, sesame, sunflower, or poppy seeds.


  • 1 1/4 cups warm water, not more than 110 F

  • 1 (1/4-ounce) packageactive dry yeast

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons oil

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Serbian / Balkan Lenten Bread (Posna Pogača) Recipe

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  2. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.

    In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  3. Add salt, sugar, and oil and stir until completely mixed.

    oil, sugar and salt added to the yeast mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  4. Add flour and mix until a cohesive dough forms. Knead until smooth.

    dough ball

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  5. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled.

    dough ball in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  6. Preheat oven to 300 F. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a flat round.

    dough ball on a floured surface

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  7. Transfer to a sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Prick loaf all over with a fork. Rub top of bread with oil. Let stand, uncovered, 15 minutes in a warm place.

    dough ball, pricked all over with a fork, on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada

  8. Bake 30 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer registers 190 F. Let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting.

    Serbian / Balkan Lenten Bread (Posna Pogača)

    The Spruce / Julia Estrada