Traditional Bulgarian bread– a classic recipe

Pogacha - Traditional Bulgarian bread, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche


This traditional round bread is very popular in Bulgaria. It is prepared for important family occasions such as wedding celebrations, birthdays, religious holidays or special guests. In the past, the Bulgarian population was rather poor. Therefore, this bread wasn’t made every day because it requires time and money. Thus, it gives it that special character in the eyes of Bulgarians.

This bread is enjoyed both plain and filled with Bulgarian cheese, “sirenе” (cирене), jam but also with powdered preparation, called “charena salt” (шарена сол ). This colored salt is composed of paprika, salt, pepper, and dried flower reduced to powder, called fenugreek.

A variant of this pogacha is also prepared for Christmas and the New Year. It’s a lean bread; that is without milk and eggs. It is prepared with salt, water, baking soda, and flour.

This bread is a perfect illustration of Bulgarian hospitality and sharing.


  • a big baking tin

For the dough:

  • 1kg 30 of flour
  • hot water
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • a leaven block
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • yogurt jar
  • 8 tablespoons sunflower oil
  • an egg yolk

For the garnish:

  • 3 eggs
  • “sirenе” (сирене- Bulgarian cheese, a bit like feta cheese)
  • butter
Preparation of Pogacha in a Bulgarian family, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche
Ingredients for the preparation of Pogacha, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche




  1. In a bowl, crumble the leaven block and add the sugar, a mug of hot water, and a mug of flour. Cover the bowl with a cloth so that the leaven rises.
  2. Into the baking tin, pour the sifted flour, and dig a well. Once the leaven is beaten, add it to the flour.
  3. Add the 5 eggs to this preparation then the sunflower oil, salt, and yogurt jar. Mix everything with your hands (more convenient).
  4. Once the dough is well mixed, flour your table and place your preparation.
  5. Knead the dough well, make a big sausage then cut it into 5 balls with a knife and put it in a dish. Let it stand for 30-45 min so that the balls grow bigger.
  6. For the garnish, mix together eggs and cheese
  7. Knead the redone balls again on a floured and oiled table. Spread these new balls and butter one by one as well as the filling, except for the last one.
  8. Then spread the buttered layers one on top of the other. The non-buttered layer is placed last.
  9. Roll this layer paste and cut it into slices. Butter the mold and place these pieces on the edge that gives the shape of a flower.
  10. Finally, once all the pieces are arranged, butter the top again and cover the cake with an egg yolk.
  11. All you have to do is put the bread in the oven!

And Enjoy!

Preparation of Pogacha in a Bulgarian family, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche
Preparation of Pogacha in a Bulgarian family, Preslav / ©Alice de Villeblanche