Turkish Katmer Pogaca / White Cheese Filled Savory Pastry

This Turkish pogaca (pogacha) is a famous savory pastry made with fresh or dried yeast. They are puffy but flaky at the same time with butter layes. Filling it with feta cheese makes it irresistible! It goes well with a glass of Turkish tea. It looks similar to a croissant but easier to make with my technique

Ingredients for Turkish Pogaca

  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 30gr. fresh yeast or 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 2 eggs (separated, keep one and a half egg yolk for topping)
  • about 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp mahaleb (optional)
  • for the filling: about 1+1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • half bunch finely chopped parsley (optional but recommended:)


  1. To a mixing bowl add 1 cup lukewarm milk, 3/4 vegetable oil, and 1 cup lukewarm water.
  2. Crumble the fresh yeast or sprinkle dry yeast and 1 tbsp sugar and mix everything. Wait about 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy.
  3. Add the whites to the dough, keeping the 1 yolk for egg wash along with about 7 cups all-purpose flour, 1+1/2 to 2 tsp salt, mahalep (if you are using), and begin to mix everything, adding more flour if needed until you have a smooth, unsticky dough.
  4. Turn the dough into a ball, cover it with a tray, plate, or a damp kitchen towel and let it rest until doubled in size.
  5. Cut the dough in half and to 8-10 pieces and make them in ball shapes
  6. Roll out the pieces with a rolling pin and spread the top with some butter at room temperature (about a tbsp)
  7. Continue to roll out the other pieces and layer them on top of each other. Don’t butter the last piece.
  8. Get the layered dough batch, first press it with your fingers, and roll out as much as you can with a rolling pin. You can sprinkle flour if needed.

How To Shape The Katmer Layered Pogaca

  1. Cut the big round shape of dough you had first to half and half again. And cut the quarters into small triangles. (You can watch the video)
  2. To a wider side of the triangles add a mix of cheese and chopped parsley and roll the dough. While you are rolling you can stretch out a bit to make more layers.
  3. Transfer the poachas into the tray and let them rise for a second time until it is almost doubled. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C degree. Brush the pot of the doughs with egg yolk and cook until in golden color in on top and bottom for about 25 minutes. (check after 20 or there are nice smell coming from the oven 🙂

These pogacas are very popular among ladies tea parties. Here you can see an example menu for it and add this pogaca recipe to the menu too: 20 minutes Turkish Bulgur Salad Kısır

About Mahleb

Mahleb or Mahalepi is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry, Prunus mahaleb (the Mahaleb or St Lucie cherry). The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel, which is about 5 mm diameter, soft and chewy on extraction. The seed kernel is ground to a powder before use. Its flavor is similar to a combination of bitter almond and cherry and similar also to marzipan

Mahleb is used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods and cakes and is used in the production of cheese. It has been used for centuries in the Middle East and the surrounding areas as a flavoring for baked goods.

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