Pogácsa - pronounced POH - gah - chuh. Kind of as in, "You were the head of the biggest crime family in Providence until the po-po gotcha!". Capisce?
These savory biscuits (my sweet tooth does not control me ALL the time) are a staple of every Hungarian bakery and home kitchen. A perfect snack for any time of day or part of a hearty meal, they come in a few, simple varieties: butter, cheese and--my favorite--pork crackling. As you should know by now, I have many childhood memories filled with these little buttery, cheesy biscuits made by this old lady my grandparents knew, who I called Erzsi néni - -"Aunt" Lizzie--who isn't just some old lady, but a family friend who ran her own baking business. She lives in Florida now. :( I'd call and ask her to ship up some pogácsa--the best I've ever had--but I wouldn't be able to ask in Hungarian any more. But that's a story for another day.
Back to the one at hand. This day of spring break, sadly, I was feeling particularly lazy, so even though we had bacon, which would be close enough to cracklings, in the house, I decided to give my arteries a rest (whatever you say, Matt) and make cheese pogácsa. Next time, bacon lovers, I'll give it a go. Promise.
So bring on the cheese! I decided to use some shredded white and yellow cheddar, extra sharp to complement the buttery dough. The dough, which turned out excellent-- I always worry the first time I try a yeasted dough--was from a pork crackling (tepertős) pogácsa recipe on The Hungarian Girl, a blog that my dad actually found. He now hints ever-so-subtly by sending me links to her recipes saying I should give them a try. Once I'm home, of course.
When I was home for break this last time, I finally decided to give them a go. I actually had a recipe book--a gift from Dad-- I could have used, but, like I said, I was feeling lazy, so I didn't want to convert metric measurements or figure out what to substitute for "quark" (the cheese, not the elementary particle).
That said, I don't want these pics to be misleading. I just thought the text would be fun, 'cause my pics have been getting kinda flat. So enjoy!
Hey! I'm Matt, a college student from New Jersey going to school at Brown University up in lovely Rhode Island. But what's not always so lovely is dealing with the stresses of college life away from the comforts of home. To survive all the turmoil, I've decided to turn to the practice of baking. No, really. Here's my take on things: After two (omg) more semesters of craziness, maybe I'll get a degree, but right now all I've got is the sweet tooth I get from my dad, the love of baking I get from my mom and grandmas, and some kitchens in frat houses and the other ends of campus. That said... I have no idea if these shenanigans will end up being therapeutic or just a pain in the tush, but finding out should be delicious.