I must have been eight or nine when I made my own pitka for the first time. We had recently moved to Bulgaria, and I had just started to speak the language; I could therefore learn about the many interesting holiday traditions – such as making a special pitka with a small coin for Christmas Eve. At dinner time, the oldest person in the family would break the bread with his/her hands and give a piece to everyone at the table. Whoever would get the coin would be well off during the coming year.
Of course, my Bulgarian grandmother was the one making the “official” pitka for the evening, but I had insisted on making my own too. That’s how I learned to knead dough and also how to make “pitki” (the plural of pitka in Bulgarian): this so delicious bread, so soft when out of the oven and whose warm and welcoming smell spreads around your house like no other bread does.
To this day, I still love pitki and make them often – whether there is an occasion or not. (In fact, a pitka can be eaten at any time of the year. No need for a special holiday!) It goes well with any dish or by itself… Oh, and it’s irresistible with a bit of butter while still hot. Today, I’m going to show you to make
Quick & Easy Pitki with (Bulgarian) Feta Cheese.
If by any chance you can get your hands on Bulgarian feta (which, believe me, is quite different from the Greek feta), that will be fabulous. But if you can’t – just use whatever feta you can find (obviously the fresher it is, the better the result), and it will still be absolutely delicious.
(For 4 pitki)
2 cups flour
1-2 cups (Bulgarian) feta crumbs (Note: I used 1, but I would really advise you to use at least 1 ½ , preferably even 2 to get a cheesier result, as the taste of feta with just 1 cup was really subtle)
1 cup yogurt (I used nonfat, but you can use any %)
1 tsp baking soda
A tiny bit of butter + a bit of extra flour for the baking sheet
Optional: some kind of shredded yellow cheese to “decorate.” (I skipped this.)
0. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
1. Combine well all the products together (without the optional shredded cheese).
2. Form four equal balls. (If you find the dough difficult to handle, make sure to cover your hands with a good amount of flour)
3. Grease the baking sheet and then spread the extra flour evenly to prevent the pitki from sticking to it.
4. Place the pitki on the baking sheet far from each other.
5. If desired, spread a bit of shredded cheese on top of each ball.
6. Bake till golden (about 20-25 min depending on your oven). Make sure not to overbake – the interior of the bread should stay soft.
7. Enjoy! 🙂