Pogácsa is a great alternative to the sweet stuff served around Christmas and New Years. I made two kinds, one half is plain and the other half is with cheese. Planning ahead of time as well as using two types of fat is important. Most pogácsa contains yeast, and yet they should not rise except when baking in the oven. Like most biscuits, pogácsa is best hot out of the oven, but they also freeze well. I like to make a batch and freeze it. Jim goes down to the freezer every so often and brings up a couple. This is a great answer to “ na van valami harapnivaló?”

When I immigrated to Canada, I brought my grandmother’s pogácsa with me. Aun’t Lizi was waiting for me with a fancy dinner in Vancouver. I stopped over in Vienna for three days so the pogácsa was quite hard by then. I was just about to discard my week old pogácsa when my aunt grabbed the bag away from me and ignoring the lovely meal she was about to put on the table sat down and devoured my pogácsa. Then at the meal, which was incidentally quite lovely, it hit me that henceforth nothing will ever taste like home again.

4 cups flour
1 Tbsp quick rise yeast
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup lard
salt to taste
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream [not light]
1-1/2 Tbsp butter, soft
1 cup hard cheese, grated
1 egg for egg wash

Place the flour in a large mixing bowl.
• Add the yeast.
• Add the butter and the lard.
• Crumble the fats into the flour.
• Add the salt. Taste it, the dough should be mildly salty.
• Add the eggs and the sour cream.
• Combine to form elastic dough.
• Divide dough into two parts.
• Roll out the first dough very thin. It can be a rectangle or a circle or something in between. What shape it is does not matter.]
• Lightly butter half of the rolled out dough. You now have 2 layers of dough.
• Fold the empty side over the buttered side.
• Again, lightly butter half of the folded dough.
• Again, fold the empty side over the buttered side. You now have four layers of dough.
• Wrap it up with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
• Roll out the remaining dough.
• Sprinkle half of the rectangle with the 2/3 cup of the grated cheese.
• Fold the empty side over the cheese.
• Again, sprinkle half of the dough with the remaining cheese.
• Again, fold the empty side over the cheese.
• Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
• The next day, preheat the oven to 375F.
• On a lightly floured board, roll out the dough 3/4 inch thick.
• With a sharp knife cut slightly into the dough in a diamond pattern.
• Cut into rounds with the smallest biscuit cutter [1-1/4 inch diameter].
• Place on parchment lined baking tray.
• Brush the tops with egg wash and bake in preheated 375F oven until light golden brown.
• Cheese pogácsa is ready first. Remove these and place them on a cookie rack to cool.
• Return plain pogácsa to the oven until they are golden brown.
• Makes 36

Using Up the Leftover Dough:

• Shape leftover dough into thin strands, cut with a pizza cutter, brush with egg wash and lightly sprinkle with sea salt and/or with leftover grated cheese.
• Bake these too at 375F until golden brown. This is the version of horse devoirs that we called “sós teasütemény”.

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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!