Turkish Spinach Börek using Home made Yufka(Phyllo)

The wondrous natural beauty of Turkey's peninsula ,unique historical sites and the exquisite Turkish cuisine has earned Turkey's name as one of the world's most popular tourism destinations.Visiting the place is a dream for now,nonetheless,the ladies at Walima Cooking club are very excited this month to be dishing up one of the delicacies of the Turkish cuisine.

The Walima club May challenge,of home made Yufka,the Turkish phyllo dough was presented to us by Nihal of Crossroads Istanbul.Börek is the special pastry of the exotic Turkish cuisine,made by rolling the paper thin Yufka(phyllo dough),an effortful task that requires skill at using the rolling pin.To master the art of börek making requires practice and patience,so not to worry if you can't get the pastry perfectly circular and thin,the first time.

The flaky pastry is enjoyed in myriad of varieties - cheese,meat,vegetables,nuts or dried fruits.The following Börek recipe is light and crisp,made using the delicate and mellow spinach.Smeared with pure canola oil,its also worth mentioning,the pastry's fat calories are much lower than the one made with saturated fat(butter and margarine).

Recipe : Home made Yufka(Phyllo dough) .Do check out Nihal's pictorial recipe here.

Equipment required : 80 cm long thin rolling pin

1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon canola oil

Prepare the dough,by combining the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix the water, oil and vinegar in a measuring cup. Add the water/oil mixture to the flour and make a soft dough and knead for 2 minutes. Make sure it is not too dry, add a little more water if necessary.
Shape the dough into a ball and transfer it to a plate. Oil the top of the dough ball lightly. Cover the ball tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to stand for 30 minutes.

To make the pastry sheets(yufka),roll the dough ,start by sprinkling some flour on the work surface and also on the dough.Divide the dough into smaller portions,depending on the size of sheets needed.
Shape each small portion into a ball and then flatten into a disc.Roll it paper thin and use the sheet for making pastries(borek) with sweet or savory filling.Following is one vegetable variation of the pastry.It better to use the sheets immediately after rolling.Although one can spread oil between each sheet and freeze in ziploc.Thaw and use when needed.

Recipe : Ispanakli Börek( Spinach Pastry)
Filling ingredients
1 pound fresh or frozen spinach
1 cup sweet peppers,chopped
1 teaspoon spice mix of choice
1 teaspoon canola oil

For pastry dough use 5 paper thin sheets as in the above recipe of Yufka.
2 tablespoon canola for brushing between the pastry sheets.

Heat oil in large pan,add the spinach,salt and saute on high heat, until wilted and water evaporated,about 4-5 minutes.Turn off the heat.Cool few minutes.Mix in the spices and chopped peppers.Mixture should be completely cooled before filling in the pastry.

Preheat Oven to 350F.
Brush 2 teaspoon of oil over the first sheet of yufka(the pastry sheets).Sprinkle evenly the spinach mixture on the pastry sheet .Now brush 2 teaspoon of oil over the second sheet of yufka,and cover this ,oil side down,over the first sheet,press lightly to glue the sheets together.Do the same with third and fourth sheet.And finally spread the remaining mixture on the fourth sheet and cover with the final sheet.Be sure to oil each sheet with oil.

Roll the sheets together,gently but firm enough like a strudel pastry.Place the rolled pastry on a baking sheet.Bake in middle rack of oven,for 25-30 minutes until the crust is brown and flaky.Cool for 5 minutes.Slice and serve with some yogurt sauce or roasted sweet red pepper sauce.
The method used was from this video.


Beautiful dishe with gorgeous platting.. Home made phyllo looks awesome.. and on the whole wonderful and delicious dish yasmeen.
A_and_N said…
Thanks for the phyllo recipe. I need it for something else!

But the borek has been a must try for me for a long time now! Thanks!
Indian Khana said…
Looks so yum..and this is so new to me ...I think this must be the 'n' recipe am bookmarking here....hmm this one tempts too much to try...perhaps during this long weekend..thanks for sharing such wonderful dishes Yasmeen
Kiran said…
Very nice spinach borek with home made phyllo.Looks delicious.
Splendid! That Yufka is so thin and delicate looking, and the fillings looks really scrumptious!


Nitha said…
Looks delicious.
Cool Lassi(e) said…
Believe it or not..i have just one recipe waiting to posted..unlike you, i bought the Yufka pastry leaves from turkish store. Great looking dish and i net it tasted awesome.
Hamaree Rasoi said…
Beautiful dish with spinach.Looks simply great.

Hamaree Rasoi
Asha said…
I could pop in few of those around 4pm, send them over here! :D
Joanne said…
I'm so impressed that you made your own phyllo dough! How awesome.

And that filling sounds delicious. I would love to bite into it.
Nihal said…
Hi Yasmeen,

GREAT post with your photos delicious more than "börek" itself! Our preferred fillings are cheese, minced meat, spinach and potatoes. But spinach always takes place at first. At home, we often make spinach börek using hand-made yufka. I am still in learning process to be able to make it thin, very thin yukfas.. Oh it wants a seriously patience and practice. I know one day I'll be a yufka master like my Chief (=my mom)

I hereby recommend every women to try this very traditional and very delicious börek!

In the meantime, chopped sweet red pepper could be an alternative. But I haven't heard if it's being used. We don't use (I mean locals), but of course it could be a good challenge. Red and green together makes a great view when serving. What we use is to add some some red pepper (paprika) when wilting the spinach. Next time I'll try it w/red pepper cubes, thinking of you:)

But for an unforgettable Börek Party, you are always welcome to Turkey, or Istanbul! Together with Walima Cooking Club members. After that, hot cup of turkish tea in tulip-designed glasses will be served:) Börek and tea are the best traditional combine for us.

Warm greetings & All the best~
Nitha said…
I have an award waiting for you at my space. Please do stop by to collect it.
Namitha said…
wow, you made phyllo sheets at home..such a wonderful platter there
Unknown said…
Wow, that sounds lovely !!! I mean looks so tempting.
Rahin said…
looks delicious Yasmeen, thanks for sharing the phyllo recipe, the red pepper sauce looks gorgeous
Unknown said…
they look so good and yumm..
Priya Suresh said…
Wat a fabulous borek, looks super tempting and delicious..
Shabs.. said…
That looks like an amazing dish!you always come up with wonderful creations!....It looks like spinakopita, is it the same?....And homemade phillo?....never in 100 years i would give a hand on that one!....Or may be when iam stuck in india where phillo cannot be found!thanks..
Umm Mymoonah said…
Home made phyllo pastry looks awesome with the healthy spinach filling. I tried this borek with meat and cheese.
Sarah said…
oh my goodness...the pastry indeed is a work of great skill and patience =)
VineelaSiva said…
Wow yasmeen this dish is new to me.Never heard of it also.The looks very tempting with the stuffing.Thanx for sharing the rcipe.
tasteofbeirut said…
I am so impressed Yasmeen; your yufka looks so fine and delicate, professional and with that filling of spinach and peppers it is irresistible!
Rachana said…
You made phyllo sheets at home...Wow!!! Hats off!!!
Börek looks so delicious!
Erica said…
This looks delicious!!! Love the presentation...I love phyllo!
Anonymous said…
So delicious! And sounds incredible with homemade phyllo!
sharada said…
the spinach borek is a must try but using ready made phyllo...loved the recipe ..new to me never heard
Sushma Mallya said…
Home made phyllo looks so perfect and very nicely done...beautiful clicks yasmeen...
Sharmila said…
Looks the perfect combination of crispy and softness. Looks delicious. :-)
Unknown said…
Very well done,the borek looks perfect.I've been to turkey ...its a wonderful destination.
Homemade phyllo? You are my hero! :)
Jamie said…
Lady, you must have lot of patience making the pastry from scratch :)
Jamie said…
btw...I like the new header :)
Cherine said…
Wow ur dough looks perfect!! Great recipe!
Muneeba said…
Looks delicious and satisfying ... the presentation is pretty cool!
Arlette said…
Thanks so much for participating in the challenge... Your Yufka looks amazing with the yummy stuffing... Love the presentation....
Thanks so much.
Spice said…
Bookmarked.......very nicely done...always love spinach specially with phyllo
Richard said…
Thank you Yasmeen
I love yufka and will make some boregi soon too for my son pack lunches.
In regard to healthy eating it is important but more important is what you believe in. My wife is a fourth time cancer survivor last was pelvic cancer and still very much alive A miracle? yes!She always been very moderate however this disease just does not descriminate anyone.
Good luck with your blog I'll be coming around to see your new suggestions.