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pile of cheese buns

Cheese buns

  • Author: Amélie
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • proving: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 buns 1x
  • Category: Breakfast
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: Turkish


Sakallı poğaça are small Turkish cheese buns traditionally served for breakfast. The buttery soft buns are sliced and filled with cream cheese and parsley, giving you the creamiest, most savory cheese buns ever!



For the dough:

  • 90ml whole milk (⅓ cup)
  • 70g butter, diced (5 tbsp or 2.5 oz)
  • 1 tsp caster sugar, heaped
  • 250g all-purpose flour (1 ¾ cups)
  • 1 tsp fine salt
  • 5g instant yeast (1 ½ tsp)
  • 1 egg

For the topping:

  • egg wash: whisk 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water
  • 15g melted butter (1 tbsp)

For the filling:

  • 450g labne or whipped cream cheese (2 cups or 16 oz)
  • 10 sprigs of parsley, leaves only


  1. Make the dough. Place the butter, milk and sugar into a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the butter has fully melted. It should only take a few minutes. Pour the mixture into a small bowl and wait until it cools down.  Place the flour, salt and yeast in a mixing bowl, mix to combine and then make a well in the center. Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Check the temperature of the milk mixture. When it reaches 43°C (110°F) (it should feel lukewarm to the touch) or below you can pour it over the flour. Add the beaten egg and bring the ingredients together using one of your hands. Keep mixing until a soft dough is formed.
    cheese buns dough in a bowl


  2. Knead the dough. Tip the dough over a lightly greased work surface and knead it for 5 min, until you have a smooth dough that bounces back when pressed with a finger. Shape the dough into a ball and place it into a lightly oiled mixing bowl and cover with oiled clingfilm. Leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1h, in a warm place. I usually preheat the oven to the lowest temperature for a couple of minutes, turn off the oven, and place the dough there.
    dough proving in bowl


  3. Shape the buns. Gently push the dough to deflate it and divide it into 10 equal-sized pieces. Roll each piece into a neat ball and place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, spacing them evenly (they’ll rise again and need a little bit of room). Cover the buns with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise at room temperature for 30 min. They don’t have to double in size, they only have to puff up a bit.
    buns proving on tray


  4. Bake. Preheat the oven to 180°C (355°F)*. Lightly brush the top of the buns with egg wash. Bake for 20 min, until golden brown. Remove the tray from the oven and immediately brush the buns with melted butter. Wait for 5 min then transfer them to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.


  5. Fill the cheese buns. Roughly chop the parsley and mix a third of it into the cheese. Slice the buns nearly all the way through but do not split them into 2 halves. Spread the bottom half of each bun with 1 (generous) tbsp of cheese. Lightly press the buns and roll the edges in the remaining chopped parsley to coat them.


*165°C (330°F) is using a convection oven

The cheese buns are best eaten on the day they are made.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 246

Keywords: turkish breakfast, savory brunch