Legendary Dishes | Banitsa (cheese filo spiral)

BULGARIA

Yufka, the thin pastry dough for making baklava, banitsa, börek, kadaiyf, manti and other filo confections, usually starts with a combination from flour, oil and water. Variations call for milk in place of water, the addition of egg or lemon juice or salt, the absence of oil, or the use of bicarbonate of soda (which is usually mixed with the juice).

Filo pastries are thought to be a product of the Ottomans because they refined the art and spread it across eastern Europe, northern Africa and western Asia. Filo origins are much older.

Dough

  • 300 g strong white wheat flour
  • 150 ml water, warmed 
  • 1 egg
  • 15 ml sunflower oil

Sieve the flour onto a clean work surface, make a well, add egg, oil and water, form into a soft dough, knead and leave to rest for an hour.

Filling 

  • 250 g brined white cheese
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 150 ml yoghurt
  • 50 g butter, softened
  • 1 egg yolk, for glazing
  • Bicarbonate of Soda, pinch
  • Butter, melted / Oil, for brushing

Crumble the cheese into the yoghurt, add the beaten eggs, butter and soda, fold together.

Roll the dough into thin sheets 1 mm thin, cut into 12 equal-sized sheets.

Brush 3 sheets with butter or oil. Place sheets one atop the other.

Spread one third of filling over the pastry.

Top with 3 more sheets, each brushed with butter or oil.

Spread second third of filling over the pastry.

Top with 3 more sheets, each brushed with butter or oil.

Spread remaining filling over the pastry.

Top last layer of filling with 3 oiled sheets.

Roll loosely, and shape into a spiral in a greased baking tray.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Glaze pastry with egg yolk.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.


INDIGENOUS INGREDIENTS = Bulgarian White Cheese | Bulgarian Yoghurt