Cookbook:Börek (Turkish Filled Pastries)

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Börek is a general term in Turkish cuisine that applies to a family of pastries with about fifty different members. They have in common the fact that they are all pastry layers of some type enclosing a filling. There are two basic methods; one consists of rolling out very thin sheets of dough, called yufka in Turkish and phyllo in Greek. The other main type of börek, called nemse börek in Turkish, uses a dough very similar to pâte feuilletée, in which the dough is layered with butter, folded, and rolled out several times.[1]

The following recipe describes the procedure required to prepare triangle-shaped börek from commercially produced phyllo. Links to recipes for fillings are listed at the end of the recipe.


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  • Peynirli börek (white cheese filling)
  • Kıymalı börek (minced meat filling)
  • Tavuklu börek (chicken filling)
  • Ispanaklı börek (spinach filling)


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Assembling börek triangles


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  1. Remove the phyllo sheets from the container. Unfold carefully so as not to break them. Lay them flat and cover with a clean, damp tea towel to prevent them from drying out—this is important.
  2. Working quickly, cut the phyllo into lengthwise thirds (step 1 in the diagram). Lay one of these out and cover the other two with the damp tea towel.
  3. Brush the strip of phyllo with the melted butter. Place a heaped teaspoonful of filling on one end of the strip (step 2 in the diagram).
  4. Fold the right lower corner upward over the filling to form a triangle (step 3 in the diagram).
  5. Now fold the right upper corner over to the left (step 4 in the diagram).
  6. Continue folding in this manner until you reach the end of the strip.
  7. Trim of any excess dough and seal the edges by rubbing a damp finger over the dough and pressing the edge of the triangle where the strip ends.
  8. Fry in oil at 340°F until golden brown or bake at 350°F for 15 minutes.[4]


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  1. Algar, Ayla Esen (1985) The Complete Book of Turkish Cooking ISBN 0-710-30334-3
  2. Available from Turkish, Greek, Armenian and Middle-Eastern grocers, among others, as well as some supermarkets.
  3. e.g. peanut, hazelnut, walnut, almond, grapeseed. Avoid anything with a greasy taste such as corn oil.
  4. Prewrapped, uncooked börek freezes well. To cook, bake at 325ºF for 30 minutes. Do not deep-fry frozen foods. Splattering oil can cause burns and fires. You may sautée them in a covered pan 2 or 3 at a time. Hold the cover in front of your face as you place each börek in the pan.