Pogacha, also spelled pogača, is a white bread that Serbians, Croatians, Macedonians and other Balkans, Turks and Hungarians all claim as their own.
It is similar to Italian Vienna bread in texture and flavor — soft crust, fine crumb — and there are as many recipes for it as there are shapes, although round is traditional.
Balkan Pogacha Bread Recipe
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 5 cups all-purpose flour (plus additional for shaping)
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
- 1 tsp salt
- Scald milk and add butter. Allow to cool to lukewarm. Add yeast and sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Measure 5 cups flour into working bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add milk-yeast mixture, sour cream, oil, egg, and salt. Mix well.
- Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-low for about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Turn out into a large greased bowl. Flip dough over to grease both sides, cover and let rise until doubled. See this quick tip for faster rising.
- Heat oven to 350 degrees. Punch down dough and place in a 10-inch round greased pan with high sides (about 3 inches) or handshape into a 10-inch round and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Using a sharp knife or a lame, slash top of dough three times. Some make an "X" on top. Bake about 1 hour or until the instant-read thermometer registers 190 degrees. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.