Pogaca are little cheese/herb-filled Turkish pastries that I got a sudden hankering for last week. My sister-in-law has never been afraid of making Turkish foods that she loves, so I was inspired to try these even though I'd never made nor seen them made before.
First off, we must work on our pronunciation. It might be tempting to look at "pogaca" and want to say "po-gak-a". Um, no. I apologize for not having Turkish characters (or not knowing how to access them), but the "g" should have a curl on its head (making it silent, drawing out the preceding vowel) and the "c" really needs it's tail (making it a "ch" sound). Thus, we say "poh-ach-a" with a kind of dip in the voice after the "o". All right, then. Practice makes . . . good enough.
I found a great recipe online that yields a dough with a kind of flakiness. It was very easy to work with and the pogaca were delicious--cold or re-heated--several days following. The only changes I made to the recipe were to make a 1/2 batch (which I made into 20 pastries) and to use a mixture of feta and cottage cheese rather than all feta to make the inside a little creamier. I think next time I would even go 1/2 and 1/2 on the cheeses; I would also make a 1/4 batch and do something like 15 pastries to get more of a two-bite size rather than a four-bite.
I shaped mine by taking the ball of dough in both hands, sticking my thumbs in the center and turning it as if making a vase or cup on a pottery wheel. You don't have to kick your foot as you do this, though. Once I had the "walls" of the dough thin enough I put about a TBSP of filling in, pinched it shut, then turned it over and smoothed it back into a ball shape.
As the recipe says, there is no need to pre-heat the oven (fun!), but I would recommend checking on them after about 25 minutes to see if they're browned to your liking. I thought 35 minutes got them a little too dark for my taste.
If you're looking for an easy, fun pastry project that tastes delicious and keeps well, try making pogaca! Did you remember to say "poh-ach-a"?