Homemade, flaky pogácsa is the quintessential Hungarian snack. It’s a baked staple that shows up at family lunches, weddings, wine tastings, and just about any food-related gathering. For the most part, it is a bite-sized treat which is usually best when made by someone’s grandmother. Unfortunately there’s not always a grandmother around to labor over the homemade version when you’re craving a taste forpogácsa. So where to turn in Budapest for serious pastry lovers seeking buttery, eat-it-anytime pogácsa that is as good (or better) than the homemade version? It’s a question that sparks much debate. Pogácsa is available everywhere around town, but for the best of the best, many swear by Daubner Cukrászda.
Tradition and a fine-tuned recipe have a lot to do with creating legend-worthy pogácsa, and the Daubner family has been making these yeast-raised snacks (which are often translated as “Hungarian scones”) for more than 110 years. Originally set up by pastry chef Béla Daubner in the small town of Orosháza, the confectionary grew in size and popularity for a few decades but due to political circumstances, it was nationalized and effectively closed. The family later relocated to Budapest and opened up a small slither of a bakery in a quiet Buda neighborhood in the second district, where they have been proudly creating some of the city’s best pastries and award-winning versions of Hungarian cakes ever since. The premises was expanded in 2014 to include a large, glass-covered shop area and an upstairs garden where guest can while away hours nursing a cappuccino or nibbling on wedges of traditional and modern confections, seasonal pastries, macarons, and a whole range of exceptional ice cream come summertime.
But it’s the pogácsa at Daubner that truly warrants a visit. Daubner’s pogácsa is formed from layers of flaky dough, and are crafted in traditional flavors (potato, pork crackling, pumpkinseed, and more) as well as more tantalizing flavors such as gouda, goat cheese, and ramps. Some are tiny, golf ball-sized bites, others the size of baseballs, with the pastry always being crisp and fresh. Rain or shine, there’s never a shortage of people standing in line waiting to valiantly nibble on these super-flaky biscuits, so bring along some patience until it’s your turn to order a large bag.
Learn how to bake your own pogácsa at Taste Hungary’s Baking Class!