Poğaça (POH-gah-cha) is a type of savory bread from Turkey. Peynirli Poğaça are filled with Feta cheese and herbs. Peynirli (pain-eer-lee) means “with cheese” in Turkish. Other fillings for poğaça may include Kasar cheese, potato, olives, or minced meat. These little buns are highly addictive and there are many versions throughout eastern Europe. The slight saltiness of the Feta compliments the bread in each bite. This bread will definitely become a staple whenever I have some extra Feta to use up. I can’t wait to try them with the other fillings.
Nigella seeds come from the fruit of the Nigella sativa, a pale blue or white flower originating from southern Asia and northern Africa. These black, triangular seeds are known as çörek otu (bun’s herb) in Turkish and are used to top many breads throughout the Middle East to India and northern Africa. They don’t have much flavor when raw, but become more peppery with a smokey flavor when cooked.
Peynirli Poğaça (Turkish Feta Buns)
Adapted from Swapna’s Cuisine
Peynirli Pogaça (Turkish Feta Buns)
- 1/2 cup warm milk 105-115 degrees Fahrenheit
- 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
- 3/4 tablespoon dried Parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Poppy seeds, sesame seeds, nigella seeds, or cumin seeds
- In a small bowl, stir together milk and sugar. Sprinkle with yeast and let sit a minute before mixing. Let stand 5-10 minutes until foamy.
- In the bowl of a large food processor with a dough blade, mix together flour and salt. Add yogurt and olive oil. Add the foamy yeast mixture and process until the dough comes together. Add up to 1/4 cup warm water, a little at a time, if needed to make the dough pliable.
- Place the ball of dough in a large bowl, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled, 45-60 minutes.
- In a medium bowl, mix together all the filling ingredients.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment.
- Punch down the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, flatten, fill with a spoonful of feta mixture (don't overfill or the mixture will spill out during baking), and pinch together the sides to close the bun around the filling. Repeat with remaining pieces.
- Place buns seam side down on prepared baking sheet. Brush tops with milk and sprinkle with seeds, Lightly press the seeds down with your fingertips. Cover the buns with a cloth and let rise in warm place for 20-30 minutes. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown on top.
- Let cool slightly and serve warm.