This step-by-step cooking tutorial will teach you how to make bourekas using filo (phyllo) dough. Filo can be purchased in most grocery stores in the freezer section. You can use any boureka filling you like– you will need about 1 cup of filling for every 9 bourekas.
Here are the boureka filling recipes that I’ve posted on my blog so far, I will update this blog with more fillings as I post them:
If you would prefer to make your bourekas with puff pastry, click here for a tutorial.
To learn more about the history of bourekas, click here.
What is your favorite type of boureka? Leave me a comment and let me know!
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How to Make Bourekas with Filo Dough
- 9-12 sheets filo dough
- 1 cup boureka filling (any flavor you like)
- 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter or canola oil (use butter for dairy bourekas, oil for meat bourekas)
- 1 large egg yolk
- 2 tsp water
- Sesame seeds or poppy seeds for topping
- Nonstick cooking oil spray
- 2 hours before you begin, take your filo dough out of the freezer and let it defrost. You can also let it defrost overnight in the refrigerator, if you prefer.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly dampen a kitchen towel (don’t soak it!), and keep it with you as you work with the filo dough.
- Unroll your dough. Filo sheets come in different sizes, so you may need to cut your sheets to size get the size you need. For each boureka, you want to create a double layer of filo dough that is about 4 inches wide and 14 inches long. Folding a smaller filo sheet (8×14) in half lengthwise is the easiest way to form this double layer. If your filo sheets are larger, use scissors to cut the sheet in half lengthwise to make two rectangular pieces. Then, fold each piece in half lengthwise to create the double layer of filo you need.
- Keep the unused filo sheets under the damp towel as you work to keep them from drying out. Filo is very delicate and prone to ripping, so if you’ve never worked with it before, be patient… rips will happen. It takes some time to get a feel for it.
- Use a pastry brush to paint a thin layer of melted butter or oil onto the surface of the double layer filo rectangle.
- Place 1 1/2-2 tbsp of filling in the lower left corner of the filo rectangle, following the left edge of the filo and fanning downward in a triangular shape.
- Fold the lower left corner of the rectangle up and over the filling to form a triangle of dough.
- Continue folding the filo in the same way you would fold a flag.
- Fold the dough until till the entire strip is used up and a neat triangle pastry is formed.
- Place the folded boureka on a lightly greased baking sheet. Repeat process until all the filling is used up. You should end up with about 9 bourekas.
- Brush each boureka with another thin layer of melted butter or oil. Don’t brush it on too heavy, or the bourekas will become very greasy. Just a light layer will do it.
- Whisk together the egg yolk and water together till very smooth. Brush a very light layer of egg wash over the top of each boureka. Don't let the egg wash puddle or pool on the surface-- a light layer works best. Sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, if desired.
- Place the bourekas on the middle rack of your preheated oven. Let them bake for 20-25 minutes till filo turns golden brown and the bourekas are cooked through. Serve warm.
- Store in a sealed in an airtight Tupperware or plastic zipper bag.
- To freeze bourekas: prepare, fill, and seal the pastries. Do not coat with egg wash or bake. Place the unbaked pastries in a Tupperware or plastic bag in single layers, separating each layer of bourekas with a piece of parchment paper or wax paper to keep them from freezing together. Freeze. When ready to bake, take the bourekas out of the freezer (no need to defrost) and arrange them on a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick oil. Coat with thin layer of egg wash and sesame or poppy seeds, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes till golden brown.