This is something that I first tried on a trip to Budapest (I love Budapest!) and at the time I had no idea that they were a traditional treat. We were served them during a really fun wine tasting and, whilst the wine was good, I would have been happy just to have been given a plate of these.
I got this recipe from the Hungarian embassy during this years EU open house event in D.C. If you live in the area you should totally go to this by the way, it’s great fun. Their recipe used quite big quantities though so I’ve scaled it back quite bit and it still works fine.
I’ve baked these in the U.K (with my mum) and here in the U.S, where quark is a bit harder to find (Wholefoods stock it) and also a bit more runny in texture. This made the dough a bit more sticky to work with but both versions tasted as good as the ones I originally tried in Budapest. They’re very buttery and flaky and have a faintly tangy cheesy flavour from the quark.
These need quite a bit of resting time so they take a while I’m afraid, but the results are totally worth it.
makes 18 small scones
170g plain flour
170g butter (not too cold, cut into small cubes)
pinch of salt and black pepper
Combine the flour, yeast, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and quark. Lightly beat the egg and add most of that to the bowl, you want to keep back a little for glazing the scones before they bake.
Now get stuck in with your hands and knead everything together so that you have a nice smooth dough. Depending on your quark, this might be a bit sticky, but you don’t need to worry about it too much. Cover the bowl and put it in the fridge for an hour.
After the dough has rested, roll it out onto a well floured surface, it needs to be about 1cm thick. Fold the dough in half and then in half again, so that it is four layers thick. Pat it down a little and then put it back in the mixing bowl and return it to the fridge for another 45 mins-1 hour. Repeat this rolling, folding and resting process again.
Pre-heat the oven to 210°c.
After the final resting period roll and fold the dough a final time and then roll it out so that it’s about 1cm thick. Score the surface of the dough with a hatched pattern, so that it looks like diamonds. Stamp out rounds with a 5cm cutter (don’t twist the cutter) and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush the tops of them with the reserved beaten egg and sprinkle them with a little pinch of paprika.
Bake the pogacsa for 25 minutes, by which time they should have puffed up into lots of flaky layers and be wonderfully golden brown.
You can let them cool on a rack for a bit but these are at their most delicious when they’re eaten warm.