Börek made with Fresh Pasta and Feta (Su Böreği)

SuBoregi.jpg


This is the king of all boreks in Turkey. "Su" means water in Turkish and the name implies that the fresh pasta leaves used in making the börek are boiled in water. The distinction is necessary because there are many Turkish böreks made using dry fılo leaves, some of which are included in this site. In principal, this börek is very similar to the Italian lasagna made with fresh pasta but it is drier since the borek does not have any sauce between the layers. The main difference is in the filling used (feta cheese and parsley). 

Probably because it requires experience and time to make this recipe, it is gradually leaving the home kitchens in Turkey. Nevertheless, su böreği continues to enjoy the highest popularity thanks to the bakeries specializing in making this börek.

Please note that this recipe uses four cooked filo leaves that you can buy at your grocery store in addition to the fresh pasta leaves. If you can find it, use thicker fillo leaves - such as #10 or equivalent.

If you are experienced in making fresh pasta using the manual pasta machines (shown below) or using the pasta attachment available for Kitchen Aid Mixers, you should try this recipe!


INGREDIENTS:

  • Fresh pasta leaves made with 2 cups flour, 3 eggs and 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 fillo leaves (#7 or #10)
  • 1 lb feta cheese
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup butter or butter/olive oil mixture
  • Aluminum Baking Tray (15# Diameter or equivalent)
  • Flat Backed Colander


DIRECTIONS:

  1. To prepare the filling, crumble the feta cheese using a fork, mix in the chopped parsley, set aside.
  2. For the fresh pasta, mix the flour, eggs and salt in a food processor. You should not need to add water if you are using extra large eggs. Pinch the dough with your fingers, if it is not coming together, add a few drops of water.
  3. Empty the contents onto a flat surface and knead the dough into a ball. Continue kneading until the dough reaches a uniform consistency. The dough should not stick to your hands or the surface. If it is sticking, add a little more flour to bring it  to the right consistency. Cut the dough into 8-10 pieces and use your pasta machine to turn them into 5 - 6" wide leaves.  Use the setting below the thinnest on your pasta machine as your last setting.
  4. Let the leaves dry on a rack for 1/2 hr.
  5. Melt the (clarified) butter and the olive oil in a small pan, set aside.
  6. Boil water in a large pot.
  7. Fill another pot with cold water.
  8. Brush the baking tray with the oil/butter mixture evenly. Spread two filo  leaves on the tray. Brush lightly with the oil/butter mixture. You should not brush any oil/butter mixture between the two filo leaves, we want them to stick together.
  9. Place 2-3 fresh pasta leaves in boiling water and cook for 4 - 5 minutes or until its surface area nearly doubles and its color becomes a bright, uniform yellow.
  10. Take the pasta leaves out of the boling water and immediately put them in cold water to stop their cooking.
  11. Use a paper towel to absorb the excess water. 
  12. Spread the pasta leaves on the tray allowing them to overlap no more than 1/4". 
  13. Brush the leaves with the oil/butter mixture and spread a small portion of the cheese mixture.
  14. Continue this sequence until you run out of the pasta leaves.
  15. Finish the top with two layers of thin filo leaves.
  16. Brush the top liberally with the butter/oil mixture.
  17. Preheat the oven to 450 F. 
  18. Cook for 30-35 minutes on the middle rack or until the top is golden brown.
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