When I was a kid, whenever I wanted, my mother would make this pastry for me. “Puf Böreği!” I’d say and she would not make me say twice. We call this pastry (börek) “puf” because it puffs like a little balloon when it is fried!
You may actually think of this as Turkish empanada, although I am only making the connection when a friend suggested it on an instagram photo. Actually, I’ve never eaten empanada so I can’t really say if the taste is similar or not.
The recipe is quite easy to make, it just takes a bit of kneading (that’s why I will mark the difficulty level as “medium”, considering the kneading skills..). You can knead by hand or partially use a hand mixer with dough attach. I personally love kneading, it is like a therapy for me, so I rather knead by hand.
You can try this pastry with different fillings as well. I just used feta & parsley combination because it is my favourite one, for this pastry. But you can always try different fillings, like potatoes, ground meat, vegetables etc..
The pastry is a great addition to a sunday breakfast / brunch, so next time you want to have a long sunday morning around a table, you might want to try this recipe!
Difficulty: ★★☆ (Medium)
(makes 12 pastries)
For the dough:
2 cups / 4.8 dl white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt (if the cheese you use is very salty, you can reduce the amount of salt a bit)
2 tbsp yogurt (use this plain yogurt, if the dough feels too dry, add 1/2 to 1 tbsp more)
1 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup / 1.2 dl parsley, finely chopped
250 gr. feta cheese, mashed (just mash it with a fork)
(if you are using a cheese that is not very salty, then you might want to add just a bit of salt, but you don’t need that for feta cheese because it is salty enough)
1 lt. rapeseed oil or canola oil to fry
1. In a medium bowl, put flour. Add baking soda and whisk thoroughly.
2. Add salt, whisk again.
3. Make a well in the middle of flour. Add yogurt, vinegar, olive oil and egg.
4. With a fork, beat the wet ingredients in the middle of the flour. Then gradually add flour mixture until you have a loose overall mixture.
5. Transfer the mixture on to your counter (or you can continue kneading inside the bowl but I prefer doing kneading on table / counter. Knead the dough for about 5-8 minutes, until you have a smooth, non sticky, soft dough.
6. Prepare the filling by mixing parsley and feta.
7. Flour the surface of your counter / table (you don’t need too much flour). Take about a walnut sized pieces from dough (35 gr.). Flatten it into a circle with your fingers first, then roll out the piece (flour your rolling pin slightly) into a circle about 10-12 cm in diameter.
8. Put a generous tablespoon of filling in one half of each circle, leaving a little space around the edge. Fold the empty half on top of this, seal the edges with a fork.
9. In a deep pan suitable for frying, pour 1 lt. oil and heat it on medium heat.
10. Put pastries in the frying oil. Do not put too many at a time. The pastries will be puffed up fast. Fry both sides and then take out of the pan. The pastry fries really fast so do not leave it and do something else, or you will burn it! Let them cool a little before you eat (or get ready for a burned tongue). The pastry is good when it is fresh so I suggest to make just enough amount. It tastes not so bad the next day either, but it is probably only because I am in love with it! Enjoy!