Tomorrow is the last day of Ramadan month and many Turkish ladies will start baking large trays of baklava and boreks – Turkish savory pastries with different kind of fillings. Even though younger ladies use store-bought yufka, traditional ones still buy a few bags of flour, sit on a floor with a special round table and a long thin rolling pin and start making boreks.
I have always wanted to make home-made phyllo dough myself so eventually I felt I was ready and started kneading hamur – dough. Greek and Turkish food, especially Aegean sea region, have so much in common that is why it’s so close to my taste buds and of course my family and our guests always enjoy something new but at the same time traditional on our table. Here’s my try on spinach borek with Greek and Turkish twist.
What you need:
Makes 2 large pies
- 3 1/2 cup flour;
- 1 tsp salt;
- 1 cup water;
- 1/2 cup olive oil for dough and 100ml to brush each layer of dough;
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar;
- 1 cup of starch for rolling the dough.
- 2 onions;
- 2 cloves of garlic;
- 1 sweet red pepper;
- 400g fresh spinach;
- salt and black pepper to taste;
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil.
What you have to do:
- Make dough by combining flour and salt in a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add water and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Start mixing the dough with a spoon then start kneading. You should keep kneading for about 12 minutes until it’s elastic and smooth. Divide the dough into half (each half will be for each pie), then divide each piece into six smaller pieces. Cover the dough with a clean cloth or a cling film and leave it to rest for 1 hour.
- Make the filling. Peel and finely chop onions, garlic, red pepper. Wash spinach thoroughly. Preheat the oil in a pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute them for 5 minutes, then add red pepper and continue cooking until soft. Add spinach and stir it until wilted for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool.
- Preheat the oven up to 180C.
- Start rolling the dough. For one pie you will need 6 pieces of dough that you had left aside. Use starch (wheat or corn starch) to dust the counter for rolling. Each time sprinkle with a little to avoid sticking. Brush a 30cm in diameter baking tray with some olive oil. Roll the first piece of dough into a thin circle (about 40 cm in diameter) and transfer it onto a baking dish. Leave the sides lie over the sides of the dish. Brush the dough with olive oil. Roll out the other two pieces of dough and brush with olive oil. Spread half of your filling ( reserve the other for another pie) and top it with the other three layers of thinly rolled dough brushed with olive oil. The very last layer can be smaller, about 30 cm in diameter. Roll the sides of the pie and pinch them a bit. Brush with olive oil one more time and bake it in the oven for about 40 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Make another pie.
Serve your pies warm with some salad or snacks. Enjoy!