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Crunchy Pastry With Spinach

Apr 14, 2010

, originally Turkish, has innumerable derivatives. Rolled or flat, fried or baked, filled with stuffings ranging from minced meat to different types of cheese and varieties of vegetables and herbs... In traditional kitchens where "practical" haven't replaced "authentic" yet, borek is made from scratch; its dough is prepared, kneaded, flattened and cooked on a hot rolled plate, into thin pastries we call "yufka"s, which are eventually assembled into borek, in various different methods. Yufka can be bought readily anywhere (here in Turkey at least), making it easy for lazy gourmets like me to prepare semi-homemade boreks at home.

Yufka should not be too hard to find if you are living in a major city in Europe or in US, as there is a big chance there will be a Turkish market near you. I had no difficulty buying them in Vienna or in Paris, though they are not nearly as fresh and delicate as they are here. Maybe one day I will stop being lazy and learn from my grandmother how to make yufka and share it hereso you can make %100 authentic Turkish borek.  

This borek here, is unusually dry and crunchy, because neither eggs, nor butter or milk are used in its making; ingredients that make borek soft and spongy. Lower in calorie, it is an inviting alternative to more common type of boreks we eat everyday. When filled with spinach, borek is best accompanied by ayran, our traditional buttermilk drink, as shown below. How to make ayran? Just whisk half a cup of plain yoghurt with half a cup of water and salt, and you are done!

Buttermilk and daisies 

Crunchy Pastry (Borek) With Spinach

Kitchenware Required:

  • 35x40 cm oven tray


  • 3 yufkas
  • 500 g spinach
  • 1 onion
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 egg yolk
  • salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (360 F) degrees.
  2. With a tablespoon of olive oil, sauté the chopped onion, in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped spinach and sauté until all liquid is absorbed.
  3. Oil the oven tray with a tbsp of olive oil and spread one of the yufkas on it, let the remaining parts hang loosely out of the tray, without tearing them off. Drip 2 tbsp of olive oil on the yufka. You don't need to oil every inch.
  4. Split the second yufka in half. Spread the first half, forming crinckles here and there if needed, so it fits just inside the tray. Drip 2 tbsp olive oil on this layer too.
  5. Lay the second half of yufka and spread the spinach filling homogeneously.
  6. Repeat step 4 with the last piece of yufka.
  7. Fold the pieces of the bottom yufka hanging outside the tray, to envelope the borek. Whisk the egg yolk, 1/2 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp water. Brush the surface with the mixture.
  8. Cut the raw borek into slices, than cook in a preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, until the surface is golden. Bon apetit!

*If your oven tray is bigger, use 4 yufkas instead of three, and repeat the process in step 4.

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