Poğaça (Turkish Pastry)

This recipe, a traditional turkish pastry known as Poğaça,  was given to me from a good friend. Even tough I have eaten these small and cute pastries on my trip to Turkey, I have not made them myself until now.  You can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They stand well on their own or as a side dish for meat and fish.  The best thing is that you can fill them either with meat or vegetarian alternatives, or even leave the filling out, using the pastries instead of bread. They keep well for a few days in a dry place. Hope you like the taste.

Serves 35-40 | Time needed 3 h

For the dough:
1 kg flour
1 cup warm milk
1 yeast cube
2 egg whites
1 cup oil (e.g. sunflower oil)
1/2 cup water
250 g curd cheese
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp salt
2 egg yolks
sesame and black kumin

For the filling:
200 g sheep cheese
1 bunch of parsley
1 onion
250 g minced meat
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sweet pepper powder
1 tsp spicy pepper powder
salt and pepper to taste
oil

  1. Chop the cube of yeast into the cup of warm milk and let it rest for approx. 15 min.
  2. Place the flour into a big bowl, make a well in the middle and add the yeast milk mixture.
  3. Add all other ingredients (except egg yolks, sesame and black cumin) and mix very well. Let the covered dough prove for 30 min at room temperature. Meanwhile, prepare the filling.
  4. For the cheese fillng, chop the parsely and cheep cheese coarsely and mix it together.
  5. For the meat filling, peel and chop the onion, roast it together with the minced meat and add the tomato paste, sweet and spicy pepper powder, salt and pepper.
  6. Apply oil to the hands and shape small dough balls (approx. 5 cm in diameter) out of the dough. Press the dough balls flat with the hands (or a rolling pin), forming a little well in the middle. Place 1-2 tbsp of the filling into the well and close the dough, by pressing both ends on each other. The shape of the pastries should look like a crescent.
  7. Coat the pastries with egg yolk and sprinkle with sesame and black kumin.
  8. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 20-30 min at 200 °C until the pastries are golden brown.

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