Curd Cheese Biscuits (Túrós Pogácsa)


These clumsy, innocent-looking biscuits have long been the biggest culinary nightmare of my life. In short, every single attempt to reproduce these Hungarian delights called pogácsa (pronounced “pogatcho”) ended up in a complete failure. Thus, throughout the years and numerous experiments, I have never managed to make anything palatable. Until yesterday, when, encouraged by Zsuzsa’s (Zsuzsa is in the kitchen) kind advice, I could present a highly satisfactory batch of túrós pogácsa (or curd cheese biscuits).

According to Wikipediapogácsa” derives from the Latin “panis focacius”, a name given in acient Rome to bread baked in the ashes. “Pogača” or “pogacha” is a like – sounding bread from Bosnia and HerzegovinaBulgariaCroatia,MacedoniaSerbiaMontenegro and ”poğaça” from  Turkey . The same Latin name gave also birth to “fougasse” and “focaccia”, French and Italian flat breads. In Hungary pogacsa are eaten as snacks or appetizers and can be bought practically at every baker’s. They have different sizes, textures and varieties. They can be made with pork cracklings, sour cream, potatoes, hard cheese, curd cheese (sometimes called “farmers cheese”)… The latter is my favourite version, somehow lighter and more complex. When leavened and layered, they have are light, delicate, situated somewhere between the crumbly puff pastry and soft, moist rolls’ texture.

Following Zsuzsa’a advice I looked for a new Hungarian recipe and finally have ended up with a mixture of what I found on this Hungarian website and the Zsuzsa’s advice. The curd cheese (available in Polish or Russian shops, I have written here a bit about the curd cheese) can be substituted here with drained cottage cheese. Thank you, Zsuzsa, for your encouragement and advice.

Special equipment: a small biscuit cutter (or a very small sharp-rimmed glass to cut out the biscuits)

Preparation: 1h30

Ingredients (about 40 x 4 cm diameter biscuits):

250 grams flour

250 grams curd cheese (or cottage cheese with whey removed)

250 grams softened butter

7 g dried yeast

2 flat teaspoons salt

1-2 yolks

1 egg

(grated hard cheese or/and coarse salt)

Combine the flour, the butter (cut into small pieces if cold), the curd cheese, the yeast and the salt. Knead it for about 10 minutes (I have put it my food processor, kneading function). Form a big ball, put into a plastic bag and let in the fridge for 20 minutes. Heat the oven to 200°C. Roll the dough very thinly, brush with egg yolk. Fold in two pieces, brush it once more. Repeat this operation twice more. The pastry should be 1-1,5 cm thick. Cut out the biscuits, put them on a baking sheet, brush with a slightly bitten egg and sprinkle either with coarse salt or with grated cheese. Put them aside for 10 minutes. Put them into the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden.

15 Replies to “Curd Cheese Biscuits (Túrós Pogácsa)”

  1. Very nice description, great picture. This is indeed how the “standard” turos pogacsa should look like. However, I had once a chance to eat from the earlier “failure”, the “culinary nightmare”. It tastet excellent…..The only “problem” it had, that it was a bit more flat than this one. It did not come up so nicely, so it did not look like the “standard”… To be honest I did not care too much about it 😉

    1. Thank you, Istvan, for this kind comment. I am happy my failures weren’t for you as awful as for me… I hope you’ll be able to judge very soon my next attempt with turos pogacsa! (And I hope yesterday wasn’t the only and last time I was lucky with them!)

  2. Correct, I can now herewith confirm that not only it looks good, but it tastes good. Congratulations!

  3. How beautiful – IF it was so trickly to make, then I will have to stay away…as patience is certianly not one of my strengths 🙂 I really want to give these a try… Is curd cheese the one that is yoghurt drained over 3 days or so? have bookmarked this and will give it a go soon…hope mine end up something similar to yours…

    1. Thank you, Shilpa, I am so happy you would like to try them! They are a bit tricky, but for such an experienced baker as you, it shouldn’t be difficult! They are so delicious… Only answering your comment makes me want to bake them. To make these biscuits you need fresh cheese which is made not with yogurt, but with milk. I am 100% sure you find it in Polish shops (I think Britain is full of those!). If you buy the cheese (the best here would be the “light” one, since it’s drier), drain it a bit or squeeze it; this is a Hungarian recipe and the Hungarian fresh cheese is drier… You can make it on your own, but raw milk would be the best here… This might be difficult to get (I think in whole Europe). Although I have already made it with something called “microfiltered” milk, a bit better than pasteurised milk. If you decide to make this cheese on your own, let me know, I will explain you the details.
      If you have any questions about the biscuits, I will be very happy to help too!

  4. I recently read a post/comment on Kitcheninspirations which led me to make Töpörtyus Pogácsa today. The cheese version is not far behind. 🙂

    1. Curd cheese pogàcsa are by far my favourite. They were not easy to make though (or rather it was very difficult to find a good recipe).

      1. I have collected a number of recipes and am trying to figure out the chemistry behind the ingredients in them. I do like yours as it seems fairly simple proportion wise. And I can pick up excellent ricotta to use. Or I could use actually cheese curds since I can buy both white and yellow cheddar curds at my local city market. In fact, my concern would be that it was TOO dry. Maybe a combination of the two.

        By the way, if you have a minute, could you take a look at the pictures of my pork crackling biscuits? Perhaps you could make some suggestions as to improving the results. 🙂

        They didn’t rise very much and I definitely want to work on that, but then my mom’s were fairly flat too, and these were very tasty.

        1. I’m hopping to see your biscuits in a minute!
          As for Curd Cheese Pogacsa, ricotta is not a good substitute unfortunately. Different texture, different taste and different production technique. I would strongly advise against ricotta because what is wonderful in turos pogacsa is the slight acidity the curd cheese gives. Ricotta is also much too watery.
          I have no idea about the Romanian cuisine, but in Serbia (I have just looked up) it is called “bieli sir”. I have found this link: This is the texture and dryness you need for these biscuits. It’s made by draining whey out of the acid milk,so if you find anything like this, it’s good for these pogacsa.
          If you cannot find it I would advise you making other pogacsa, for example with grated hard cheese (unfortunately I don’t have the recipe, but Zsuzsa has : look up on These really require the rather dry curd cheese and nothing can substitute it. (I have no idea what cheddar curds mean…). Good luck and let me know if you have any problems!

  5. I attempted making turos pogacsa tonight and, unfortunately, didn’t have the greatest results. The scones tasted alright but the tops and bottoms browned while the middle was still moist and translucent. And, unlike your beautiful multilayered scones, mine were pretty dense. 🙁

    I tried lowering the temperature by 25 degrees and baking the 2nd batch a bit longer. Lowered it again by another 25 degrees for the 3rd batch but it didn’t help much.

    Maybe next time I’ll do better.

    1. I’m so sorry for your experience. The only explanation I can have is that the cheese was too moist (this is what happened to me once when it wasn’t dry enough, they were raw inside). Try draining it more next time. Of course lowering the oven temperature may help too. Pogacsa are the easiest pastry… I hope you have more luck next time! Don’t give up!

        1. You are welcome! I cross my fingers and am very happy you liked at least the taste of your first batch. I remember I have fallen in love with the first pogacsa I tasted, this is why I kept on trying and trying until I managed to make something I was more or less satisfied with.

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