There’s a lot of compromise involved in life, particularly in relationships. Having married a Turkish man-bear who is completely different from me in culture, religion, and ethnicity, clashing is a daily affair in our home. When it comes to mealtime, the fluctuations are particularly amusing. One evening we may have kimchi stew with Korean sidedishes and the next morning, an elaborate Turkish breakfast spread, complete with olives, feta cheese, and Turkish tea. At least it’s hard to get in a food rut when you’re taste-trotting across continents daily.
Pogca (pronounced Poh-cha) is a Turkish breakfast bun that is filled with feta cheese and parsley. The dough itself is soft and light- the taste is a unique cross between a buttery biscuit and sweet dinner roll. It’s not difficult or time consuming to make, perfect for your weekend brunch table. Do note, you should firmly resist the urge to substitute any other cheese for the feta. The saltiness and texture of the feta imperative to complement the bread and parsley inside.
Turkish Feta Parsley Buns
¼ cup warm milk
¾ cup warm water
1 TB dry yeast
½ cup vegetable oil
1 TB sugar
1 tsp salt
4 cups flour, all purpose
1 ½ TB dried parsley
1 ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
For egg wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
Mix sugar and yeast with milk. Combine all the dough ingredients including this milk mixture and mix them well. You can add a little more flour or water if needed. You should end up with a pliable and non sticky dough. Cover with a moist cloth and let it rest for 45 min.
For the filling, mix the parsley with the cheese.
Divide the dough into 20 pieces and flatten each with your hands. You can do this on the counter. Put a tsp of cheese mixture on it and close it up folding the edges upwards like a bundle. Do the same for the rest of the dough. Place a parchment paper on a baking sheet and place the buns on it. The folded side of should be at the bottom.
Preheat the oven at 350F. Beat the egg yolk with the water and coat all the pogacas with it using a brush. Sprinkle poppy seeds on top.
Bake about 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve warm.