Legendary Dishes | Pogača (bread cake)

Punjena Pogača – stuffed version

There are hundreds of recipes for this iconic bread cake, popular across the Balkans. They all follow the same basic recipe with subtle differences between the quantity of the ingredients – liquid (milk and water or both) plus eggs, fat, oil and yeast – and the dry-wet ratio. If it is more of a bread the ratio should be 550 millilitres wet (egg, milk, oil, water) to 1000 grams dry, with a margarine fold into the dough or smeared on top. If it is more of a cake the ratio should be 650 millilitres (butter, cream, egg, juice) to 1000 grams dry. Some recipes combine the two methods to produce a pastry made with a slack dough of butter, eggs, milk, oil and yoghurt.

Punjena Pogača

stuffed bread cake

  • 600 g white wheat flour, t500
  • 200 ml sour cream
  • 150 ml margarine, softened
  • 120 g cheese, cubed small
  • 120 g salami, cubed small
  • 2 eggs, 1 with white and yolk separated
  • 20 g yeast dissolved in 50 ml lukewarm water, with two tablespoons of flour and a teaspoon of vanilla sugar, for between thirty and sixty minutes depending on the ambient temperature
  • 10 g sesame seeds
  • 5 g salt
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried, crushed

Sieve flour into a large bowl, add whole egg and egg white, sour cream, margarine, salt and yeast mixture, knead into a soft dough. Leave to rise for an hour.

Divide dough into two pieces. Roll each piece into a thin round, divide into eight triangles.

Put salami cubes and cheese cubes into a bowl, season with oregano and large pinches of black pepper and salt, place a tablespoon of this mixture on each triangle, shape into a round bun.

Coat two round baking trays with oil and a sprinkling of flour. Arrange the buns in a circle, in a tight side by side formation but leave the central area clear. Cut the remaining buns in half and fill the center with the tops of the buns round side up. Brush surface of each dough with egg yolk wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake at 250ºC until the surface begins to brown, about 15 minutes.