If you live in Turkey, you will know all about poğaça. The pronunciation is difficult: that ğ is silent but it makes the preceding vowel long, and the ç is pronounced ch. So, pooo/a/cha?
You see them in the windows of those marvellous little places that bake and sell all sorts of wonderful pastries – what they call tuzlu here: savoury, a firm 5 o’clock teatime favourite across the country.
Well, I don’t know that for an absolute fact but I am ready to bet that from Mardin to Erzurum, they will exist in more or less this form!
We are still in our village so pretty dependent on what we’ve bought from the weekly market and what we have in our store cupboard. So basics like flour, yogurt, white cheese, eggs and the like are all here. At any time.
Normally we would go to the beach but today our little granddaughter is running a temperature so things are on hold. Instead, why not a spot of baking? I’ve been wanting to try my hand at poğaça for some time now because they are such a classic, and luckily Şaziye Teyze is with us to show me how.
Of course she does everything ğöz kararı, in other words, nothing is measured 🙁 .But we did it together and she was very patient and let me weigh everything. Here we go:
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F.
- Melt butter gently in a saucepan. Put the cooking oil in a bowl and add the melted butter and stir to incorporate. Add the yogurt, stirring.
- Crack in one egg and mix well.
- Add the flour and salt, then sugar.
- Mix well and then knead to a soft malleable dough.Turks say until it’s like kulak memesi or as soft as an ear lobe!!! But it’s true, it actually is!
Take a small amount of the pastry in your hand – ceviz büyüklüğünde/ as large as a walnut – roll it and pat into a round the size of an upturned glass. You could even use a fluted cutter if you gently rolled the pastry out on the counter.
In the middle, place a spoonful or so of the cheese mixture and bring one side of the pastry over to completely cover and press the sides together. It will be something like a small Cornish pasty :). The description says in the shape of a D.
Grease the baking tray and place each poğaça one by one in rows on it.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. You will know by the inviting smell that your teatime treat is at hand!
These are really not difficult: I do recommend that you try them! I would add however, that these don’t keep well: best to bake …. and EAT!!!!