Börek is a general term in Turkish cuisine that applies to a family of pastries with about fifty different members. They have in common the fact that they are all pastry layers of some type enclosing a filling. There are two basic methods, one consists of rolling out very thin sheets of dough, called yufka in Turkish and phyllo in Greek. The other main type of börek uses a dough very similar to pâte feuilletée in which the dough is layered with butter, folded, and rolled out several times, called nemse börek in Turkish.
The following recipe describes the procedure required to prepare triangular shaped börek from commercially produced phyllo. Links to recipes for fillings are listed at the end of the recipe.
- Always follow all FOOD SAFETY precautions when preparing food.
- Remove the phyllo sheets from the container. Unfold carefully so as not to break them. Lay them flat and cover with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out. This is important.
- Working quickly, cut the phyllo into lengthwise thirds. (Step 1. in the diagram.) Lay one of these out and cover the other two with the damp tea towel.
- Brush the strip of phyllo with the melted butter. Place a heaped teaspoonful of filling on one end of the strip. (Step 2. in the diagram.)
- Fold the right lower corner upward over the filling to form a triangle. (Step 3. in the diagram.)
- Now fold the right upper corner over to the left (Step 4. in the diagram.)
- Continue folding in this manner until you reach the end of the strip.
- Trim of any excess dough and seal the edges by rubbing a damp finger over the dough and pressing the edge of the triangle where the strip ends.
- Fry in oil at 340ºF until golden brown or bake at 350ºF for 15 minutes.
- Peynirli Börek - White cheese filling
- Kıymalı Börek - Minced meat filling
- Tavuklu Börek - Chicken filling
- Ispanaklı Börek - Spinach filling
- Algar, Ayla Esen (1985) The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking ISBN 0-710-30334-3
- Available from Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Middle-Eastern grocers, among others, as well as some supermarkets.
- e.g. peanut, hazelnut, walnut, almond, grapeseed. Avoid anything with a greasy taste such as corn oil.
- Prewrapped, uncooked börek freezes well. To cook, bake at 325ºF for 30 minutes. Do not deep-fry frozen foods. Splattering oil can cause burns and fires. You may sautée them in a covered pan 2 or 3 at a time. Hold the cover in front of your face as you place each börek in the pan.