Pogacsa are savoury Hungarian Cheese Biscuits that are so addictive you can never eat just one!
Different regional versions of the cheese bread can be found throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe. The pastries are often stuffed or topped with flavourings like dill or caraway seeds.
Traditional Hungarian Pogacsa look similar to American buttermilk biscuits or British scones, crispy on the outside and tender on the inside.
It’s a quick & easy comfort food you can serve with soup or stew instead of crackers or sliced bread. Or enjoy them as a snack with a chilled bottle of your favourite white wine.
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What is Pogacsa?
Pogacsa, also known as pogácsa, is a type of bread that was traditionally baked in the ashes of a fireplace, and later on in an oven. Pogacsa literally translates to “biscuits” in Hungarian.
Typically found in the cuisines of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, they’re generally made from wheat flour, but barley and sometimes rye or semolina may be added. The pastries can be stuffed with potatoes, ground beef, or cheese, and have grains and herbs like sesame, black nigella seed, caraway seeds or dried dill in the dough or sprinkled on top.
The word pogácsa was taken from the South Slavic languages, which call the pastry pogača in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.
Different regions make slightly different varieties of pogacsa so there is a wide variety of textures and flavours. Some may be just an inch in diameter; others are much larger. Some have a crumbly scone-like consistency, while others are more tender like a fresh dinner roll or croissant.
Our pogacsa recipe features sour cream and butter as a fat incorporated into the dough but many regional recipes might use pork lard and pork rinds to flavour it as well.
Travel to Hungary by Baking Pogacsa at Home
I love traveling to Europe!
During my first visit to the continent I traveled for 5 months by train and plane. I had the opportunity to eat my way through Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Portugal, Spain, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland,Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Czech, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece, Turkey and Italy.
I visited Hungary on my first trip to Europe. I backpacked to 18 European countries in the summer of my third year of university. I was living on a shoestring, sleeping in friendly hostels and eating my way from the stunning sunsets of the Portuguese Algarve to scenic fjords on the west coast of Norway.
I spent 4 days exploring Budapest, the Hungarian capital. The two scenic cities (Buda and Pest) straddle the Danube River and offer visiting foodies gorgeous architecture, scenic views, bustling markets and friendly and affordable restaurants.
If you’re staying in a fancy hotel in Hungary you’ll likely find a variety of pogacsa available to sample at your daily brunch buffet. They’re usually organized in a bread basket near the sliced sourdough and morning pastries.
At taverns and pubs in Budapest these popular cheese biscuits are often served as a snack with cured meats, cheese and pickles. Or as an accompaniment to a hearty stew or soup.
Once home from a Hungarian holiday celebrate the newly discovered flavours of your trip with friends and family by preparing this easy pogacsa recipe at home!
My Family Loves Cheese Pogacsa
I love making homemade bread and pastries for friends and family.
As a professional food and travel journalist I’ve had the opportunity to visit several countries in Europe that have a tradition of baking pogacsa. I usually eat them at breakfast with scrambled eggs or as a substitute for crackers or sliced bread with a hearty stew or soup.
Before baking my own batch of pogacsa I made Turkish Pogaca Feta and Dill Bread Rolls for my family. They were such a hit I wanted to introduce my parents to the Hungarian version, petite cheese and caraway biscuits.
I knew my family would love Hungarian pogacsa because they enjoy freshly baked biscuits and any recipe made of cheese. In the Fall and Winter they’re big fans of soup and stew so these little cheese biscuits were a delicious replacement to the typical crackers they’d enjoy at lunch with a steaming bowl.
My father has a tradition of baking English cheese cookies every Christmas but think these Hungarian pogacsa will make an annual appearance now too!
Hungarian Pogacsa Recipe Baking Tips
This traditional Hungarian Pogacsa recipe is quick and easy to make at home.
- We’ve used All Purpose flour in this recipe but you can use cake flour if you prefer.
- We suggest using full fat sour cream to moisten the dough. It adds a tangy flavour to the biscuits.
- Use unsalted butter as the dough already features salty cheese. The biscuits are also topped with salt before baking.
- We suggest using shredded edam or gruyere cheese in this recipe but any hard aged cheese can work. Cheddar or asiago would taste great too!
- Brush the biscuits with egg wash before baking to ensure they have an attractive brown colour.
What To Serve with Hungarian Biscuits
There’s nothing more comforting than cozying up to a plate of homemade Hungarian cheese biscuits!
After baking your first batch you’ll quickly find that pogacsa are very versatile!
They are best served warm, but we also like to pair them with a chilled wine as part of a cheese and charcuterie board. Day old pagacsa are best reheated quickly in a toaster or oven.
Do you typically serve soup or stew with crackers and sliced bread? Why not place a basket of pogacsa in the centre of the table instead? Your guests will thank you!
You May Also Enjoy These Bread Recipes…
- Turkish Pogaca Feta and Dill Bread Rolls
- Bolo de Caco Madeira Sweet Potato Portuguese Rol
- Sweet Lebanese Sesame Tahini Rolls
- Kardemummabullar Swedish Cardamom Buns
- Best Cheesy Garlic Pull-Apart Bread
- Best Sourdough Discard Recipes
How To Make Traditional Cheese & Caraway Biscuits
Pogacsa Hungarian Cheese Biscuits
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- cheese grater
- baking sheet
- mixing bowl
- Rolling pin
- Cookie Cutters
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- 300 g All Purpose Flour
- 175 g Semolina Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 cup Sour Cream
- Pinch Salt
- 1 cup Butter
- 1 cup Edam or Gruyere Cheese grated
- 1 Egg beaten
- Kosher Salt
- Caraway Seeds
- Sift the flours with the baking powder into a bowl. Add the sour cream, salt, butter and grated cheese.
- Stir together the ingredients, then gently knead the dough, adding more flour if you find the mixture too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thick and cut into circles using a 4 inch cookie cutter. Place on the baking sheet.
- Brush each pagace with beaten egg. Sprinkle with salt and caraway seeds, then bake for 15- 20 minutes, or until lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack. Serve with butter and cheese or as the base of a sandwich.
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