RECIPE: HUNGARIAN POGÁCSA
If you’ve been following along with me on social media, then you may have already guessed that I’m not a huge fan of traditional Hungarian cuisine. Call me picky, but it all tastes bland and exactly the same too me. I find the food to be too heavy, made up of mostly hearty foods like beef, pork, root veggies, and anything and everything pickled.
But, pogácsa has been my saving grace from the start — the one Hungarian snack food that I’m always guaranteed to get excited over. It’s basically a deliciously salty little biscuit, with cheese baked on top. (In my favorite version at least. Some recipes leave the cheese off and I simply don’t understand that!) These fantastic snacks are basically left out as finger food during various events like family get-togethers, church fellowship time, and work meetings. Everybody munches on them and they’re the perfect combo of salty and cheesy.
I made these a few weeks ago with a group from the RCH Refugee Ministries that I work with and they were a hit. A dozen of us, from all different nationalities and religious backgrounds, gathered together to make pogácsa and it was absolutely beautiful. I hope you have as wonderful of a time making them as I did with my international and interfaith community here in Budapest!
- 1 c (250 grams) Hungarian túró or dry curd cottage cheese
- 1 c (250 grams) cold butter, cubed
- 2 c (250 grams) all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg, for glaze
- 2 c (or more) shredded cheese for topping**
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine flour, butter and salt. Using your fingers, rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add baking soda and crumble cottage cheese and work it into the dough (it will be a bit sticky).
- Lay the dough on a surface and knead for 5 minutes. If necessary, add more flour (but not too much).
- With a floured rolling pin carefully roll the dough out into a 0,5 cm (0,2 inch) thick circle.
- With a sharp knife, cut straight parallel stripes on top of the dough in one direction and then make the same type of stripes perpendicular to the original stripes.
- Cut round shapes from the striped dough with a cookie cutter (a small cutter is better to get bite-sized pogácsa).
- In a small bowl, beat the egg. Place pogácsas on the baking sheet and brush the tops with the beaten egg.
- Sprinkle shredded cheese of your choice on top.**
- Bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown. Transfer pogácsas to rack and cool slightly. Serve immediately.
ENJOY : )