The Mediterranean Lifestyle - English
Cheese Burek Spirals
This burek recipe is authentic but practical. No special equipment, professional skills or Balkan Grandmothers required, and can be made in even the most compact kitchen. All you need is a bit of patience. SERVES 9 INGREDIENTS 350-450 g flour (bread flour or all-purpose), plus additional for dusting 300 ml lukewarm water 1 tsp salt 200 ml neutral oil 400 g sheep's milk feta cheese 300 g ricotta cheese
EQUIPMENT Clean cotton tea towel 52 cm x 38 cm Pizza cutter or sharp knife Piping bag or small spoon METHOD
1. Combine flour, water and salt until dough pulls away from the bowl. Knead into a smooth soft dough. Dust hands lightly with flour if dough is sticky and continue kneading until smooth – about two minutes. Protein and gluten content of flour may vary, requiring a bit more or less flour than listed above. If needed, add gradually to avoid tough dough.
2. Separate dough into nine equal parts. Place dough pieces onto a well oiled tray. Generously coat each with oil. Cover with cling film and allow to rest undisturbed at room temperature for one hour. Resting the dough is essential, don't rush this step.
3. Prepare cheese filling. Mash feta, add ricotta cheese, mix to combine.
4. Lay the tea towel horizontally onto the work surface. Lightly dust with flour.
5. Flatten one rested dough piece slightly while on the tray. Dough will be soft and elastic, do not knead. Place it in the center of the tea towel. It's alright if the shape isn't a perfect circle.
6. Begin to stretch dough by gently pulling edges outward. Going all the way around repetitively until the dough matches the dimensions of the tea towel. Drizzle with oil as needed to keep dough pliable, it should not look dry during the stretching process.
7. The outermost edges of dough will be slightly thicker. Pull edges 1 cm over edges of the tea towel onto the work surface. Using a pizza cutter or small sharp knife, trim the thicker pieces and discard.
8. Using a piping bag or small spoon, add filling to the long edge of dough closest to you in a straight line.
9. Grip the corners of the tea towel closest to you without touching the dough. Slowly lift the cloth away from you to roll the dough onto itself.
10.Roll into a spiral shape approximately 13 cm in diameter. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet.
11. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
12. Bake at 260 °C for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Best enjoyed warm.