Oh my goodness. The saddest day is upon us. The end of the weekly splendour of fresh vegetables!
It’s always hard to know what to do with the last weekly blog recipe, because we want to make it special, but we also want all of these recipes to be pretty accessible! But we have a simple rule in this house, and it is that if you aren’t sure, put it in a pocket. Pogaca are savoury Turkish buns that are often served for breakfast, but are good any time of the day or night! And this recipe is originally vegan, so if the dough works even slightly as well as it does with our non-vegan adaptations, it is a delightful dough you could stuff with anything you like!
DOUGH (FOR AROUND 30 45g POGACAS)
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 15 g instant yeast or two active dry yeast packets
- 1 cup water lukewarm
- 6 tablespoons aquafaba or two large eggs
- ⅔ cup neutral oil
- ½ cup + 5 tablespoons milk or milk alternative
- 5 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons table salt
- ½ cup extra flour for shaping the dough
- about 3 cups chopped potatoes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
- green onions onions, and/or leeks, totally about 2/3rds of a cup diced allium
- 1 tbsp mixture of black pepper red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika
- 6 cloves of garlic minced (optional)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 2 tablespoons aquafaba or 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds optional
- 1 tablespoon nigella seeds optional
MAKING THE DOUGH
Mix yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a large bowl. Whisk and set aside until foamy—takes about 10 minutes for active dry yeast, pretty much instant for… instant yeast. Once the yeast is activated, add in the aquafaba or egg, neutral oil, milk, and mix.
In a separate large bowl, mix the flour with salt. Gradually add this flour mixture into the other bowl while mixing with a wooden spoon. Once most of the flour is incorporated, switch to kneading with your hands for about 8-10 minutes, or for 3-4 minutes if using a stand mixer, until the texture is smooth (see photo in the post for reference).
Place the kneaded ball of dough back into the bowl, cover with cling wrap, and let rest for at least two hours, until the dough doubles in size. You may also place it in the refrigerator overnight after the first rise.
Boil the potatoes. Peel and mash them with the olive oil or butter in a large bowl.
Place the diced alliums of your choice in a pan with olive oil over medium heat. Add a pinch of salt and the pepper mix, and caramelize the onions—about 12-15 minutes. Add the tomato paste and the minced garlic and cook for another few minutes, until the raw taste from the tomato paste is gone.
Add the spicy onion mixture into the bowl with the mashed potato and add more salt. Thoroughly mix and let cool.
ASSEMBLY & BAKING
After the first rise, deflate the dough fully by pressing out the large air bubbles and divide into thirty 45g pieces.
Lightly flour the working surface and press down each 45g piece of dough into a circle shape with your hands. Place 1 tablespoon or so of the potato filling, then fold all sides over and lightly press the edges into each other to seal.
Roll each piece into a ball between your hands, place on a lightly floured surface, cover with a damp dish cloth, and set aside for the final proof. It should take about an hour for the balls to approximately double in size (about 2 ½-inch diameter). If the dough was refrigerated, give the second proof at least three hours.
Preheat oven to 360°F.
Following the second rise, brush the tops with a mixture of aquafaba/egg and olive oil. Sprinkle sesame and nigella seeds on top.
Bake for 22-30 minutes until the crust is golden, turning the tray halfway to ensure even baking.
While still hot, brush the pogacas with olive oil. Serve hot for breakfast or as a snack, ideally with Turkish (black) tea.
You may save pogaca for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator, or up to three months in the freezer. You may enjoy it at room-temperature as well, but baking them again gives the best results. You could also microwave them for 10-20 seconds.