Friday, January 13, 2017

Recipes from Macedonia - Pogacha with White Cheese (Breadrolls baked with feta)

Bread is one of my favorite things to make, especially when I can hide cheese in it. Of course I'm never exactly sure if I'm pairing all of this stuff correctly, but to me these cheesy rolls seemed like a good fit with the creamy Selsko Meso. And they're easy to make, especially if you cheat and let your bread machine do the kneading for you.

So this recipe starts out like no other bread recipe I've tried--you proof the yeast in yogurt instead of just sugar water. I figured the yogurt should probably be room temperature for this, so I left it out of the fridge for an hour and then mixed in the yeast. I really didn't see anything happen in the few minutes I left it out, although the dough certainly did rise.

Now add the eggs, oil, flour and salt. The dough should be soft and pliable, not sticky, so don't worry if you have to add a little more flour. Knead (yay bread machine) and let rest for 15 minutes.
Roll the dough out on a floured surface into a roughly rectangular shape, then brush with melted butter. Sprinkle the cheese over and then roll the whole thing up lengthwise like a jelly roll.
Cut the roll up into pieces the size of dinner rolls (coz that's what you're making).

Place in a baking tray and let rise until roughly doubled. Then brush the top with beaten eggs and sprinkle sesame seeds over.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until lightly browned.

So this bread was actually kind of hilarious, not the recipe itself but my family's reaction to it. My daughter gobbled it down with much enthusiasm and declared, "You should make this once a week!" And then my son, who apparently hates me, chimed in "But it has cheese in it!" At which point my daughter's expression changed from delight to disgust and then she threw the rest of her pogacha in the trash.

Actually that's more depressing than it is hilarious. But anyway, the rest of us really liked these things. They were an unusual twist on a traditional dinner roll, and the yogurt made them really moist and delicious.

Here's the recipe:

Pogacha with White Cheese

from Macedonian Cuisine

Pogacha with White Cheese: Breadrolls baked with feta


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/8 cup oil
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 3.5 oz feta cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Sesame seeds


  1. First bring yogurt to room temperature. Add the yeast and sugar and mix together. Leave for a few minutes to give the yeast time to become active.
  2. Gradually add the eggs, oil, flour and salt. If the dough is too sticky, add a little more flour.
  3. Knead, then let rest for 15 minutes or so.
  4. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and roll to a roughly rectangular shape. Coat with melted butter, then sprinkle the feta cheese over.
  5. Roll the dough up jelly-roll style, then cut into dinner roll-sized pieces.
  6. Butter a casserole dish and transfer the rolls to the dish. Let rise for an hour, or until rolls have doubled in size.
  7. Brush the tops of the rolls with the beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until lightly browned.
Approximate time: . Serves 8.


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