Pogacsa (Hungarian Cheese Buns or Biscuits)

Our family adores bread, in practically any form. Especially warm bread. In biscuit or bun-size. So this recipe fits us to a T. And it’s a nice remembrance of our dear Hungarian daughter Szilvia, who lived with us in 1996-97. Thanks to The Baking Wizard for the recipe and photo…these will be featured at our upcoming Open House! Nums!

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Simple Cheese Pogácsa (Hungarian cheese buns)

Dough

1/2 cup whole milk, heated to 110-115 degrees F.

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 20 ounces (dip dry measure into flour container, fill to overflowing and sweep off excess to level)

5 ounces finely shredded Gruyère or Gouda cheese, plus more for topping

1 tablespoon salt

2 large eggs

7 ounces (14 tablespoons; 1 3/4 sticks) softened unsalted butter

1/2 to 1 cup sour cream or Chèvre

Topping

1 egg yolk

Finely grated Gruyère or other cheese

1. Combine the milk, yeast, and sugar and let stand until yeast is softened, about 10 minutes.

2. In the large bowl of a stand mixer put the flour, cheese, salt, eggs, butter, softened yeast, and 1/2 cup sour cream. Mix on low speed with the flat beater until the dough masses on the blade. If the dough seems dry, add a bit more sour cream. Beat on medium speed 1 to 2 minutes. The dough should be nice and smooth and non-sticky.

3. Line a large baking sheet (17 x 12 inches) with parchment. Adjust an oven rack to the lower third position but do not turn the oven on.

4. Roll the dough 1/2-inch thick (no thinner!) on a lightly floured surface. Make a shallow cross-hatched pattern with the point of a sharp knife all over the top of the dough and brush with the egg yolk. Sprinkle the cheese on top, and cut out rounds with a 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-inch diameter cutter. Use the palms of your hands to cup each circle of dough to smooth the sides.

5. Arrange the circles in rows about 1/4-inch apart. You’ll have 7 rows the short way and 9 rows the long way. Put the pan in the oven and turn the oven on to 400 degrees F. Bake about 25 minutes, until the pogácsa are nicely browned on their tops and bottoms. Cool completely and store airtight.

6. Pogácsa may also be frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat to refresh them.

Makes about 60 cheese Pogácsa. 

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