Marija Pejkovic – Owner, Balkan Bakery
Bojan Aleksic – Chef, Balkan Bakery
Balkan Bakery – 541 S. La Grange Rd., La Grange, IL
Balkan Bakery Spinach & Feta Cheese Burek
4 Cups Water
1 Teaspoon Salt
9 Cups Flour
Add water, salt and flour to an electric mixing bowl that has a dough hook attached to it. Set the mixer speed first at a low setting, then medium, and finally at the highest setting for the mixer to knead out the dough. Let the mixer run until all the ingredients have been combined.
Sprinkle out 1 cup of flour on the table where you are going to stretch out your filo dough. Take the dough from the mixing bowl, place it on the table and hand knead it until it no longer sticks to your hands.
You will then need to get a small sheet pan and grease it with oil. Place it to the side nearby. Take your dough and separate it into 9 even pieces. Knead each dough piece into 9 round balls. Place each ball on the sheet pan, so they are not touching each other. Next, take vegetable oil and sprinkle it over the dough balls. Either by hand or by brush, evenly distribute the oil so that each dough ball becomes moist.
While the dough is soaking up the oil, start to prepare your spinach and feta cheese filling.
Spinach & Feta Cheese Filling
4 cups of baby spinach
4 cups of crumbled feta cheese
Cut the baby spinach into small strands and place it into a large mixing bowl. Next, add the feta cheese crumbs. Take two mixing spoons and lightly mix together the ingredients so you do not bruise the spinach.
Separate your spinach and feta cheese filling into 3 separate bowls. Each bowl will need to have approximately 2.5 cups of the filling. You will be making a total of 3 individual spinach & feta burek’s that contain 3 layers of filo dough.
Once the dough has softened and you have prepared your filling, sprinkle oil on your worktable. Take your first dough ball, pat it a few times on the table to flatten it out with your hand. Next, use your fingers to pinch and stretch out all sides of the dough on the table. You can even stretch the dough off the edge of the table, to get it as thin as possible. It needs to be thinner than pizza dough. Once the dough has been stretched out, take one spinach-filling bowl and evenly distribute 1/3 of the filling on the dough. Close the dough into a circle, covering the spinach filing and place it to the side.
Take the next dough ball, stretch it out as thin as possible. Evenly distribute the second third of the spinach filling in the middle of the filo you have stretched out. Take the completed filo and spinach layer that is sitting to your side and place it on top of the opened one you just stretched out. Close these two layers together. Place them to the side.
Now you are ready to stretch out the 3rdlayer of filo. Take another dough ball, stretch it out as thin as possible, adding the last third of the spinach filling left in your ingredient bowl. Before closing up this last layer, place the completed 2 layers on top of the 3rd. Now, close up this last layer. Place it in a greased round pan for baking.
For the 6 balls of filo that you have left, distribute them to make two more burek’s. Follow the steps on how to alternate the layers of your spinach & feta filling and 3 layers of dough.
Once all 3 of your individual bureks have been made and placed into their own round pans, you will want to set your oven to 375 degrees. Let the oven reach the proper temperature, then place your burek in the oven to bake for 35-40 minutes. Before you remove the burek from the oven, make sure that it is golden brown on the bottom, just as it is on the top.
Let the burek cool down for a good 10 minutes before cutting. You can cut your burek for serving in squares, 4ths or 8ths. Now you can induldge, Prijatno (good eats/ enjoy)!