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)
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.