Bulgarian Phyllo and Feta Cheese Pastry (Banitsa)


Hey guys today I’m going to show you how to make Bulgarian Banitsa Which is a kind of savory feta cheese pastry made with phyllo dough and I’ve shown a recipe for banitsa a bit earlier, maybe about a couple months ago, but that one was a less traditional one that was made into a bread pudding. This is a really traditional way to make it. So to start you’re first going to combine your filling and the filling is just some plain yogurt and you can also use Greek yogurt, but it becomes a little bit too heavy with Greek, so plain yogurt is just fine. And to that you’re gonna add your eggs. You’ll also need an additional egg afterwards to do egg wash, but these are five eggs, in total you’ll need six. And to that also add some baking powder, this makes your end result really nice and fluffy. Then just give that a whisk until it’s nice and smooth. So once that’s nice and smooth you can add in your feta cheese. So I bought a block of feta cheese and I just crumbled it with my hands I find that the already crumbled one usually doesn’t taste as good When you buy a block you can buy from any brand you like and you have more choices when you do that. So just crumble it as finely as you can and then add that to your yogurt mixture. And just fold that in with your spatula, you just want the feta cheese to be evenly distributed within the yogurt mixture. So once you have that your filling mixture ready, set that aside and you’re gonna need a large baking tray that’s at least two inches in height and I’ve buttered this really, well you want to make sure it’s buttered really well, so your pastry in the end can come out easily. And I find that butter is the best nonstick agent, I’ve tried olive oil and regular vegetable oil, but butter seems to turn out the best. We’re gonna put our filling in some phyllo dough, and this is just regular thin phyllo dough. So have your station ready, you’re gonna put your tray on one side. And I usually use a half a cup measurement to fill up my dough so I don’t end up not having enough of the filling or Having too much at the end. I forgot to mention you need to add olive oil to your filling. This usually goes when you mix the eggs with the yogurt, but if you add it towards the end it’s not a big deal. So just make sure you get that all mixed in. And this is traditionally done with a just regular vegetable oil, but olive oil gives it a really nice flavor. You can also use melted butter too. Alright, so we have now all the filling ingredients mixed. All right, so have your pastry out flat and then you’re gonna start filling up your pastry. So take your mixture and pour along just one end. Spread it out just a bit and then gently roll up your dough now. Phyllo dough is quite delicate, so if you end up ripping it, don’t worry just keep rolling and in the end when you put it in the pan it’ll stick together. You can even do it in sections if you’re worried. All right, so once you’ve done one layer of your dough you’re gonna put on a little bit of your mixture on top of that layer. It’s important to get it mostly on the edges because that’s where the dough tends to dry out the most and you’re gonna do one more layer again with six rolls of dough. Once you’ve done your second layer of dough, all that’s left to do is egg wash it and then and then drizzle some olive oil on top. So this is just one beaten egg, there’s nothing else in it. All right, so now this is gonna go into the oven and the others have been preheating to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with the ventilator turned on. This will help it rise much better and it’ll give it a nice golden color on top. I’m gonna keep the ventilator on for the first ten minutes and then I’m gonna turn it off and let it continue at the same temperature, you don’t want it to be on during the entire time because it’ll burn the top before the bottom has had the chance to cook. And I have my oven rack located in the bottom third of the oven, this will help cook the bottom as well, so you don’t end up with a soggy bottom. Okay, so my Banitsa has baked for about 35 minutes and now it’s puffed up and nice and golden-brown and all I’m gonna do now is just sprinkle it with some water and then covered with a towel and leave it to sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. This will help make it much easier to cut and also it gives a nice texture on top as well. Alright, so my Banita has cooled for 20 minutes covered now, and I’m gonna flip it out and show you how to do that. So you take your rag off and then you place a wire rack you can even use a thin piece of cardboard or a cutting board and have another cutting board ready, so you can flip it back onto that to cut into it. And then you take your cutting board and you put it on top of that and you flip that and that’s how you do it. Usually I cut it into about 32 pieces, this makes them a nice couple-bite-sized piece. So once you’re done cutting this up you can store it inside the pan you had it and you just cover it with Some foil or the same towel and it can stay at room temperature for up to two days. After that it doesn’t taste quite as good but what you can do is you can keep Some of it in the fridge and then just reheat it in the oven for about ten to fifteen minutes, just get it warm through again, and it should be just fine. So you can find the recipe on my website andreamaronyan.com, I’ll leave a link to that in the description box below. Like and subscribe for more and I’ll see you next time:)

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