Bring a taste of Turkey into your kitchen!

This Su Böreği recipe is a traditional Turkish dish, beloved for its layers of flaky pastry, delicious fillings, and comforting, homey flavor.

Su Böreği Recipe
Main dish or side dish?

As a Main Dish: In Turkey and in many Turkish meals, Su Böreği is often enjoyed as a hearty main course. Its layers of filo pastry, filled with cheese, spinach, or meat, make it substantial enough to be the centerpiece of a meal. It’s typically accompanied by lighter sides such as a salad, yogurt, or pickled vegetables. This is especially common in home cooking or in more traditional settings.

As a Side Dish: Su Böreği can also be served as a side dish or appetizer, especially in larger feasts or when there are multiple courses. In this case, it’s usually cut into smaller pieces and enjoyed alongside other dishes. This is a common way to serve it in more formal or elaborate meals.

Or even for… Breakfast!

The versatility of Su Böreği is part of its charm, allowing it to adapt to various meal settings and preferences. (See recipe variations.) Whether as a satisfying main or a delightful side, it brings a taste of Turkish cuisine to the table.

Skill Level: Intermediate

While the process requires some patience, particularly with layering the dough, the steps are straightforward. Precision and attention to detail will lead to a delightful result.

Time and Servings

Prep Time: 45 minutes Cook Time: 40 minutes Total: 1 hour 25 minutes Servings: 8

Su Böreği Recipe

Ingredients

  • Filo dough: 1 lb (450 grams)
  • Feta cheese: 7 oz (200 grams)
  • Whole milk: 1 cup (240 ml)
  • Olive oil: 2 tablespoons (30 ml)
  • Large eggs: 2
  • Unsalted butter: 4 oz (113 grams), melted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.
  3. Crumble the feta cheese.
  4. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, and a pinch of salt.
  5. Lay a sheet of filo dough in the baking dish, letting the edges overhang. Brush with melted butter. (Filo Tips)
  6. Repeat with half of the filo, buttering each sheet.
  7. Spread the feta mixture evenly over the dough.
  8. Slowly pour the milk and egg mixture over the top layer of the filo sheets. Make sure to distribute it evenly across the entire dish. (See more)
  9. Cover with the remaining filo sheets, buttering each one as before.
  10. Fold overhanging dough over the top and brush with remaining butter.
  11. Bake for 40 minutes until golden brown.
  12. Let it cool slightly before serving.

More on step 8:

The idea is for the milk and egg mixture is to let it to seep down through the layers, helping to bind the filo sheets and filling together. It also adds moisture, richness, and a slight fluffiness to the finished dish.

As you pour, you might gently lift some of the filo layers with a fork or the edge of a spoon to help the liquid penetrate evenly throughout the börek.

This step is crucial for achieving the characteristic texture of Su Böreği, where the layers are both crispy and slightly custardy.

After adding the milk and egg mixture, proceed with the baking as per step 10, until the top is golden brown and the layers are set. The baking process will cook the egg, solidifying the mixture and giving your börek its delicious layers.

Tips for Perfection

  • Keep the filo dough covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying.
  • Brush each layer gently with butter for the best texture.
  • Let the börek rest for 10 minutes before cutting to settle the layers.

Optional Ingredients

  • Spinach add a nice touch.
  • Pine nuts or walnuts for a crunchy texture.
  • A dash of nutmeg for enhanced flavor.

Variations

  • Pesto and Feta: Add pesto for a flavorful twist. (My favorite!)
  • Meat: Layer cooked minced meat (beef or lamb) for a heartier version.

Serving Suggestions

Serve with a side of cucumber and tomato salad or yogurt for a refreshing balance.

Nutrient Information Per Serving (approximate)

  • Calories: 330
  • Protein: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fat: 18g

Storage and Reheating

Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) until warm.

Origin and History

Su Böreği is a centerpiece in Turkish cuisine with roots tracing back to the Ottoman Empire. It symbolizes hospitality and is often served at gatherings and special occasions.

Su Böreği for Breakfast

Su Böreği is also a popular choice for breakfast in Turkish cuisine.

In Turkey, breakfast is typically a lavish affair with a variety of dishes, and Su Böreği fits perfectly into this spread. Its savory, pastry-like qualities make it a satisfying and enjoyable morning meal.

In a breakfast setting, Su Böreği might be served alongside other typical Turkish breakfast items such as olives, cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, jams, honey, and bread. Tea is a common accompaniment. This combination of flavors and textures provides a balanced and fulfilling start to the day.

The convenience of Su Böreği also plays a role in its breakfast popularity. It can be prepared in advance and simply reheated in the morning, making it a practical choice for busy mornings or for entertaining guests. It’s a versatile dish that transcends meal categories, making it a beloved choice at any time of day.

The Versatility of this Su Böreği Recipe Continues…

Su Böreği is a versatile dish with numerous variations, allowing for creativity and adaptation to personal tastes.

Here are some additional versions you might consider:

  1. Cheese and Parsley: This is a classic variation, where feta cheese is combined with finely chopped fresh parsley for a simple yet flavorful filling.
  2. Potato Filling: Mashed potatoes mixed with sautéed onions, salt, and pepper make a hearty and comforting version. This is particularly popular in vegetarian diets.
  3. Mixed Vegetables: A mix of sautéed vegetables such as bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, and zucchinis can be used. This variant is great for a nutrient-rich meal.
  4. Spinach and Ricotta: A twist on the classic spinach version, where ricotta is used instead of feta, offering a creamier texture and milder flavor.
  5. Ground Beef or Lamb: A meaty version made with cooked, seasoned ground beef or lamb, often combined with onions and sometimes pine nuts for extra flavor and texture.
  6. Mushroom and Herbs: Sautéed mushrooms with garlic, thyme, or dill make a delicious and aromatic filling.
  7. Squash and Goat Cheese: Roasted butternut squash with crumbled goat cheese offers a sweet and tangy profile, perfect for autumnal meals.
  8. Seafood: A less traditional but delightful option with ingredients like shrimp or smoked salmon, often paired with creamy cheeses and herbs.

Each of these variations follows the basic method of preparing Su Böreği, with the filling being the primary variable. Experimenting with different fillings and combinations can lead to delightful discoveries and personal favorites!

Have Problems Working with Filo?

Working with filo dough can indeed be a bit tricky, especially if it’s your first few times.

Here are some tips to help you handle it more effectively:

  1. Thawing: If you’re using frozen filo, ensure it’s completely thawed before use. Thaw it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight. Avoid rushing. This can cause the sheets to stick together or become too moist.
  2. Temperature: Bring the dough to room temperature before using it. Leave it in its packaging while it sits out to prevent drying.
  3. Handling: Be gentle. Filo is very delicate and tears easily.
  4. Moisture Control: While keeping the filo dough under a damp cloth is essential, be careful that the cloth is not too wet. Instead of a wet cloth, some prefer to use a piece of plastic wrap topped with a slightly damp cloth.
  5. Buttering: Brush each sheet with melted butter or oil, but don’t overdo it. The fat helps the sheets become pliable and less likely to crack, as well as adding flavor and helping them to crisp up when baked.
  6. Speed: Work relatively quickly. The longer filo is exposed to air, the more it dries out. Have everything else ready first.
  7. Cutting: If you need to cut the filo, use a sharp knife or scissors. Dull tools can pull and tear the sheets.
  8. Layering: If a sheet does tear or crack, don’t worry too much. Just place another sheet over it. When the börek bakes, it won’t be noticeable.
  9. Storage: If you have leftover sheets, roll them up, wrap them tightly in plastic, and refrigerate for short-term use or freeze.
  10. Quality of Filo: The brand or quality of filo can make a difference.

Remember, practice makes perfect with filo dough. Even if it’s not perfect, it will likely still taste delicious!

Su Böreği Recipe

Su Böreği is more than a dish; it’s a cultural experience wrapped in layers of history and flavor.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a curious food enthusiast, this recipe invites you to explore the rich culinary traditions of Turkey.

Enjoy the process and the delightful meal that awaits!

P.S. Check out our other International Recipes!
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