Turkish Borek From Scratch

So excited to share this crunchy layered, buttery, feta cheese filled borek recipe from scratch! Don’t worry there is an easy way to make all these thin phyllo dough layers together.

This borek recipe is called “baklava borek” because of the look, taste, and similar method of making it. We will use starch to make the layers and in a short time, it will be ready to put in the oven.

Filling Options For Borek Recipe:

You can make any filling with the borek such as cooked onion and ground beef filling seasoned with salt and black pepper. Or again stir-fried onion and mashed potatoes seasoned with red pepper flake and salt (i might do another video for the fillings) or even spinach filling would be lovely and traditional also to go with this borek recipe…

Ingredients For Turkish Borek With Cheese:

  • For the dough
  • 1/2 cup each lukewarm water, milk, and vegetable oil (olive or sunflower or any kind)
  • 1 large egg about
  • 4+1/2 cups all-purpose flour (first put 3+1/2 cup) and use more to make a soft unsticky playable dough
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • about 200gr. wheat or corn starch
  • For pouring over the borek dough: 150gr. butter or mix of 1/3 of it with vegetable or olive oil
  • For the feta cheese filling:
  • about 250gr. feta cheese or mixed with some mozzarella or kashar or any kind of melting cheese
  • 1/3 bunch of finely chopped parsley

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl add egg, lukewarm water, milk and vegetable oil, about 4 cups flour, salt, baking powder and begin to mix. Continue to knead to form a soft playable, unsticky dough adding more flour if needed.
  2. Take out the dough into a starch sprinkled board and cut it in half. Cut each half into 5 pieces and shape them into a ball. After this point use only starch to shape.
  3. Roll out each piece with a rolling pin in a salad plate sifting plentiful of starch over each layer. You will end up with two batches with 5 layers. Make sure you add enough starch between the layers because it will create a thin layer later.
  4. Beginning from the first batch roll out the 5 layers together with a rolling pin again as much as you can. It should be bigger than the pan you are going to use. Your pan can be round or rectangular, it doesn’t matter. You can cut the dough to fit inside the pan and use the sides to fill the borek. (See the video for more details.)
  5. After you cut a shape place it in a pan and place the sides over it separating some of the layers if possible and add the cheese filling over the dough. I used feta cheese and chopped parsley mixture. But you can also use a mix of different cheeses or make a spinach filling or minced meat filling with onions and simple seasonings.
  6. You can roll out the second batch and repeat the steps but this time keeping the fitting shape for the top layer. Cut the borek in squares. Melt the butter and olive oil and pour over the borek.
  7. Bake the borek in a preheated 180C degree oven for about 40 minutes until golden color on top and bottom. Serve warm after 101-5 minutes out from the oven. Keep the leftover borek in an airtight container and reheat both sides in a pan, lid closed to regain its crunchiness again, and enjoy with a Turkish tea:)

Here are other similar recipes you can try

Turkish Borek With White Cheese

20 minutes Turkish Bulgur Salad Kısır

Chrunchy borek layers
Borek for tea time

Turkish Katmer Pogaca / White Cheese Filled Savory Pastry

This Turkish pogaca (pogacha) is a famous savory pastry made with fresh or dried yeast. They are puffy but flaky at the same time with butter layes. Filling it with feta cheese makes it irresistible! It goes well with a glass of Turkish tea. It looks similar to a croissant but easier to make with my technique

Ingredients for Turkish Pogaca

  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 30gr. fresh yeast or 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 2 eggs (separated, keep one and a half egg yolk for topping)
  • about 7-8 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1+1/2 tsp salt 1 tbsp mahaleb (optional)
  • for the filling: about 1+1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • half bunch finely chopped parsley (optional but recommended:)

Instructions:

  1. To a mixing bowl add 1 cup lukewarm milk, 3/4 vegetable oil, and 1 cup lukewarm water.
  2. Crumble the fresh yeast or sprinkle dry yeast and 1 tbsp sugar and mix everything. Wait about 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy.
  3. Add the whites to the dough, keeping the 1 yolk for egg wash along with about 7 cups all-purpose flour, 1+1/2 to 2 tsp salt, mahalep (if you are using), and begin to mix everything, adding more flour if needed until you have a smooth, unsticky dough.
  4. Turn the dough into a ball, cover it with a tray, plate, or a damp kitchen towel and let it rest until doubled in size.
  5. Cut the dough in half and to 8-10 pieces and make them in ball shapes
  6. Roll out the pieces with a rolling pin and spread the top with some butter at room temperature (about a tbsp)
  7. Continue to roll out the other pieces and layer them on top of each other. Don’t butter the last piece.
  8. Get the layered dough batch, first press it with your fingers, and roll out as much as you can with a rolling pin. You can sprinkle flour if needed.

How To Shape The Katmer Layered Pogaca

  1. Cut the big round shape of dough you had first to half and half again. And cut the quarters into small triangles. (You can watch the video)
  2. To a wider side of the triangles add a mix of cheese and chopped parsley and roll the dough. While you are rolling you can stretch out a bit to make more layers.
  3. Transfer the poachas into the tray and let them rise for a second time until it is almost doubled. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C degree. Brush the pot of the doughs with egg yolk and cook until in golden color in on top and bottom for about 25 minutes. (check after 20 or there are nice smell coming from the oven 🙂

These pogacas are very popular among ladies tea parties. Here you can see an example menu for it and add this pogaca recipe to the menu too: 20 minutes Turkish Bulgur Salad Kısır

About Mahleb

Mahleb or Mahalepi is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a species of cherry, Prunus mahaleb (the Mahaleb or St Lucie cherry). The cherry stones are cracked to extract the seed kernel, which is about 5 mm diameter, soft and chewy on extraction. The seed kernel is ground to a powder before use. Its flavor is similar to a combination of bitter almond and cherry and similar also to marzipan

Mahleb is used in small quantities to sharpen sweet foods and cakes and is used in the production of cheese. It has been used for centuries in the Middle East and the surrounding areas as a flavoring for baked goods.