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Ask Tina: What is a Pogach?

Q:  I have a memory of my aunt bringing an individual serving of a dome-shaped pastry from a Bronx, New York bakery when she came to visit. It had a buttery taste and could be toasted in a toaster oven. My aunt's family is from the Ukraine, but I think the pastry may have Rumanian roots. The pastry was not overly sweet – and could be something that one eats for breakfast. I am not sure how to spell it, but I remember that my aunt called it pogach. Any idea of what I am talking about?

A: The bread is from the Croatia, Rumania area of Eastern Europe and can be lightly sweet but not cakelike. According to Lisa Cassidy of Pogacha restaurant in Bellevue, Washington, the dough is a soft, chewy flatbread made only by hand that is formed into a ball and flattened by hand (not a rolling pin). The dough is then baked in a Chiminea or on a stone slab in a wood burning oven. Originally the dough was baked over a fire pit in the ground. Lisa said that the finished product is somewhere between a bagel (slightly sweet and chewy) and pita (light, flatter and fluffy).


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