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Making Bourekas

Biting into a boureka, you have to shake your head in wonder. How can a little bit of filling inside a little bit of dough be so hugely satisfying? No wonder they’re such a successful street food. I think I could eat half a dozen of these on any sunny afternoon.

As mentioned earlier, you can technically make a boureka out of just about any dough. However flakes really are the essence of a boureka, and nothing delivers flakes like puff pastry. I’m going to sound like the worst sort of dough-rolling snob when I suggest that you use home made, but it’s the kind of touch that really puts a preparation like this over the top. Make a large batch, keep it in 16-ounce pieces in the freezer, and you’ll always be ready when the boureka urge strikes. But if that sounds like too much, and no doubt it does, you can’t go wrong with a little store-bought. I promise not to tell.

Start by assembling your ingredients and preheating your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. The process for these is super-simple as you’d expect. You want to roll our your sheet to at least 12 inches by 12 inches. A little bigger would have been better for me since mine puffed up maybe a little too much. Next time I’ll go 14″ x 14″. The dough won’t be as thick, and I’ll have more room for filling!

Now just cut it, tic-tac-toe, don’t worry if the pieces aren’t perfectly even. These are rustic pies.

Grab a square and stretch it a bit corner to corner. (Other hand not pictured).

Plop a tablespoon or so of filling in the middle…

This was a little too much, but can you blame me for being greedy? Dip your finger in egg wash and paint some along the edges.

Now just fold the dough over.

Squeeze the edges closed and you’re done. Oh, except for some egg wash. I don’t have a brush where I am right now. A corner of a folded paper towel does nicely though.

Parchment would have been ideal here, but then I was lucky to find a sheet pan. And anyway this is buttery dough, so sticking is minimal. Bake for about 25 minutes to about this level of brownness.

Boom! Eat warm with a hard boiled egg. Which I’m told is how the Israelis do it. Who am I to argue?

Thanks to Debbie Fund for the inspiration!

2 thoughts on “Making Bourekas”

  1. Those are beautiful. What was your filling? Just an FYI – sprinkling sesame seeds on top is a big plus. Then when you bite into them not only does the dough flake all over, but the sesame seeds do as well. Makes a lovely mess. But P.S. – I have never ever eaten borekas with a hard boiled egg. Why would anyone do such a thing? Free advice (and worth every penny): just have another boreka, skip the egg.

    Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy Christmas holiday. And happy New Year! Oh my, I cannot wait to see the back of 2020, that’s for sure.

    1. Hey Chana!

      I did the meat filling that’s in the recipe. And dang! I knew I forgot something: sesame seeds. Meant to do that. Next time!

      Your egg comment reminds me of a time when I was tending bar at one of my parents parties. I was a teenager (that was the kind of party they threw). A neighbor walked up and asked me to pour her a martini. I went to add a lemon twist and she stopped my hand. “Don’t do that, it takes up space!”

      And thanks very much Chana! I think we’re all looking forward to a better year in ’21!

      – Joe

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