Komiška pogača – bread of Vis

Komiška pogača – bread of Vis

Ingredients for Komiška pogača on Epicurean gourmet cutting board

When someone from the other side of the world contacted me and asked if I’d be interested in taking a look at the food postcards they created, I barely hesitated when I saw some of them on her Facebook page. And the fact that these postcards feature old and traditional Croatian recipes, some gorgeous artwork and their maker lives in Vukovar – half an hours drive from my parents hometown of Osijek – I kind of wanted to get my hands on them immediately.

Komiška pogača recept

Not only does Zrinka Kukuljica Merčep have a passion for food, but this talented lady is a designer, illustrator, graphic artist and antique furniture restorer.

Zrinka’s idea is to keep some of the old Croatian recipes alive – many of which are either ignored or forgotten about – and make them more accessible to younger generations that may only be interested in everyday cooking.

Komiška pogača recipe card by Zrinka Kukuljica Merčep

It seems we’re on the same page as, I too, feel like I need to get word out about the cuisine of my heritage to those that know little or nothing about it. And I’m constantly learning and discovering more and more about it in the process.

Of the ten cards that Zrinka sent me, I’ve already made two of the recipes. The first one I’m sharing with you is a filled bread, or pogača, that comes from the island of Vis – one of over 1000 islands that are peppered along Croatia’s magnificent coastline.

Ingredients for Komiška pogača on Epicurean gourmet cutting board

I’m yet to visit Vis, but when I do I’d expect to see the two varieties of pogača they have there. At least I hope I do! The northern town of Vis (yes, same name as the island) is known for its Viška pogača – the original version of this stuffed bread that dates back over 2000 years. The focaccia-like bread is filled with onions, salted fish and oil – commodities that were available pretty much year round.

Komiška pogača

On the western side of the island is the town of Komiža, where you’re likely to find Komiška pogača – the same set-up as Viška pogača but with the addition of tomatoes, herbs and perhaps even olives and capers. The tomatoes came into the picture after the discovery of the Americas, when European explorers brought them back, so I’m guessing they were incorporated when in season – until, of course, when they were eventually tinned.

I understand the breads are also cut differently according to variety – either into wedges or squares – although something tells me the ‘rules’ may be a tad relaxed nowadays.

Either way, this is one incredibly tasty bread for those of us that like their salty anchovies. Great thing is, it freezes really well!

Big thanks to Epicurean for the Gourmet Cutting Board

Komiška pogača

 

Print Recipe
Komiška pogača - bread of Vis
Komiška pogača dates back thousands of years and is filled with delicious Mediterranean ingredients like anchovy, capers and tomato.
Komiška pogača recept
Course Starters
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Filling
Course Starters
Cuisine Croatian
Servings
servings
Ingredients
Filling
Komiška pogača recept
Instructions
Dough
  1. Put the flour, salt and yeast into a large mixing bowl and use your fingers to mix the ingredients. Make a well in the centre and pour in the oil and some of the water, gradually mixing with your hand, then adding more of the water until a dough forms.
  2. Take the dough out of the bowl and knead for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour into the mixing bowl, drop the dough into it, cover with a towel and rest in a warm place to double in size.
  3. Time to make the filling.
Filling
  1. Sauté the onions in the virgin olive oil over medium heat for 10 minutes, until opaque. Pour in the red wine and let it simmer for 1 minute, then add the chopped tomatoes, vegeta, pepper and oregano.
  2. Allow the mixture to simmer for half an hour, stir it frequently, until it's nice and thick. Set aside to cool completely before using for the pogača.
To assemble
  1. Lightly oil a 30 cm round baking tray and preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Take the risen dough and divide it into two, with one piece slightly larger than the other. Dust your work surface with a little flour and roll the larger piece of dough into a round shape that's big enough to sit in the round tray and overhang the sides by about an inch or 3 cm.
  3. Spread the cooled tomato mixture over the rolled dough. Arrange the anchovies over the tomato, then dot the olives and capers around, as well.
  4. Roll the other portion of dough into a round shape big enough to cover the filling, but without overhanging the tray. Bring the overhanging dough from the bottom piece and fold it up and over the top piece, twisting as you make your way around to enclose and seal it together.
  5. Prick the top with a fork, drizzle it with a couple of tablespoons of oil, then brush the oil around to spread it all over the top.
  6. Bake the pogača in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it's golden.
  7. Slice it into wedges or squares while it's still warm, or serve it at room temperature.
Recipe Notes

The pogača freezes well, so you can easily portion it up, wrap it in foil and freeze for another time.

Share this Recipe
  • I love that you are making these recipes John. They are quite unique and beautifully done of course. I am sure this tastes amazing,

    • I defrosted my last two slices of this for lunch today. I think I need to make some more!

  • I love this recipe – all of my favorite flavors included! I especially like that this only includes one rising for the bread. It makes it much more doable on a busy day. Now that you’ve made it, is there anything you would do differently?

    • I’m struggling to think of what I could do differently. I’d definitely put some chopped parsley over the filling before putting the top layer of dough on. Maybe even brush an egg wash on the top layer before baking, instead of the oil, to give it more colour. Other than that, I’m quite happy with it.

      • Good to know! I am planning to make it this coming weekend. I will try the egg wash for you and see how it goes?

  • Barry Ozmo

    what a great winter dish.it will be on the table over the next few weeks.;-)

  • Zerrin

    Wow! This is definitely my type of food. I love making things from scratch especially when the recipe calls for making dough. Did you know we have the word pogaca in Turkish too? But we use it for stuffed small buns. We mostly stuff it with cheese or potatoes. This one looks like the larger version of our pogaca. It sounds much easier and practical though than stuffing small buns. A must try for me! BTW your photography is amazing!

    • Thanks, Zerrin. I had no idea pogaca was a Turkish word as well. I guess Croatia was part of the Ottoman Empire at one stage!

  • Sara (Belly Rumbles)

    The postcards sound so cute, but lets cut to the chase, I want your cutting board…. Oh and loving the recipe ;P

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Thank you for sharing such a different and delicious sounding bread. I’m glad that you included a photo of it before the second layer went on so we could see all the wonderful ingredients that get hidden inside the crust.

  • AmandaChewTown

    When you explained it to me it sounded delicious, but its even better seeing it made. Love that the filling is sandwiched between the layers – it looks absolutely wonderful. Can’t wait to see more of these recipes.

  • If only Chicago had done something like this instead of having to invent deep-dish pizza.

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