Pogacha is a delicious soft bread from the Balkans. This one-rise recipe produces a simple round loaf that can accompany any meal.
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Makes: 1 loaf
  • 400 g (14 oz) white bread flour (or AP)
  • 125 g (4 fl oz) milk
  • 125 g (4 fl oz) sour cream (or crème fraiche or yoghurt)
  • 50 g (2 oz) butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 small egg
  • 1½ tsp dried yeast
  • ½ tsp salt
  1. Heat together the butter and milk in a pan. Just as it comes to the boil remove from the heat, dissolve in the sugar and allow to cool.
  2. Once the temperature of the mixture has fallen below 40°C (100°F) add the yeast, mix and leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Mix together the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the milk/butter mix, the sour cream and the egg. Mix to a soft dough.
  4. Knead the dough for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface.
  5. Place the dough in a lightly-greased bowl, cover and put in a warm place until the dough has about doubled in size.
  6. Turn the dough out onto a surface, knock back then shape into a ball.
  7. Place the dough on a lightly-greased baking tray, cover with an upturned bowl and leave to prove in a warm place for 30 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the dough with flour then make 3 slashes into the top of the dough with a sharp knife.
  9. Bake at 180°C (360°F) fan oven, 200°C (395°F) normal over for 25-30 minutes.
  10. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
There are many variations of pogacha, not only in size but also in what you can add to the dough or sprinkle on top before baking, or both! For example: medium-firm fresh cheeses, aged dry hard cheese(s), cabbage, black pepper, hot or sweet paprika, garlic, red onion, caraway seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or poppy seeds. The world is your oyster!