Homemade Israeli Style Bourekas
These are easy bourekas to make, and they are equally as indulgent as they are delicious.
With only a few ingredients, you can whip up a tasty treat for yourself or your guests in no time at all.
Wait until you see these pictures because your mouth will be drooling.
I made these with my Savta (Grandmother in Hebrew) when I was back in Vegas, and wow, were they good. These are not your typical cheese-filled puff pastry bourekas.
These are highly addictive, flaky, tasty, perfectly baked pastry bites. They are cakier than your traditional phyllo dough bourekas.
This article includes the following:
- What are bourekas?
- Facts about Bourekas
- How to make Bourekas dough
- How to make the bourekas filling
What are Bourekas?
Alternative names for these are bourekas, borek, bourekasim, bureka, bourekitas, or bourekas.
These are famous pastries in Israeli cuisine and are found in almost every bakery around Israel. Most families eat bourekas for breakfast or lunch on the weekends.
Traditionally, Bourekas are eaten with a hard-boiled egg, hot sauce, tahini, pickles, olives, or an Israeli salad.
If you’ve never had bourekas, it is very similar to the Greek savory spinach pie called Spanakopita. Essentially, it’s made with phyllo dough or a puff pastry and filled with various ingredients.
Shapes and sizes also vary as some make their bourekas round and square, while others prefer a triangular or spiral shape.
Facts about Bourekas
- Bourekas are a traditional Israeli pastry of the Sephardic Jewish origin
- Typically eaten together with a hard-boiled egg, olives, tahini, and shredded tomatoes
- Almost every pastry in Israel serves bourekas
- Shapes, sizes, and fillings vary
- Back in the day, distinctive shapes specified the fillings. For example, non-dairy bourekas were shaped into squares and circles.
- Just one is still called bourekas
How to make Bourekas dough
Instead of buying store-bought phyllo or pastry dough, why not make it yourself? This recipe is super simple, with very few ingredients.
Trust me; you got this.
Get out your mixer and some happy energy because you are so much closer to indulging in the best pastry.
My dough used around 4 cups, but depending on how dry or humid your climate is, the amount might differ.
Add the flour slowly until a dough starts to form.
You are on the right path as you see the flour start to absorb the oil and water. It’s easiest with a mixer, but if you don’t have one, then your hands will work great, too.
Remember that this is an oily dough, so don’t be alarmed and think you may need to add more flour. Trust the process.
This Bourekas recipe is truly foolproof – keep going!
Let’s get to baking.
Spinach & Cheese Bourekas
For the dough…
For the filling…
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Package of fresh spinach (more or less depending on how green you like yours)
- Cheese (I love using a mix of Kashkaval, Feta, and Ricotta)
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta
- 1/2 cup kashkaval
- 1/3 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
Great, now that we have all of the ingredients, let’s get to baking.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In a mixing bowl, add in your oil, water, and salt. Stir to combine. Slowly add in your flour until it starts to form into a ball. Don’t be surprised if your dough is too oily. It’s an oil-based dough, so it is meant to look like that.
- Cover the dough and let rest on the side.
- In a food processor, blitz your spinach until it is nicely shredded. Do not over mix as this will create water. If your spinach is looking watery, squeeze out the water in a towel by simply placing the spinach inside the towel and squeezing the spinach until it feels dry.
- To your spinach, add your shredded or crumbled cheeses and eggs and mix until combined. Do not over mix.
- In a clean pan, place a little less than half of your dough mixture on the bottom of the pan and spread the dough out evenly. It should look and feel as even as possible.
- Begin adding the filling to the top of the dough that has been evenly placed in your pan. Spread the filling out nicely so that there is no dough visible. Add as much or as little of your spinach and cheese mixture as you like.
- Once the filling has been placed, it’s time to set the rest of your dough on the top.
- I prefer taking pieces of the dough and laying them on top of the filling. Once all my leftover dough is down, I gently press the pieces of dough together to make an even layer. *You can also roll your dough out with a rolling pin and lay it over the filling.
Now comes the fun part
- Sprinkle sesame seeds over the entire pastry, and don’t be shy. Pat down the sesame seeds into the dough so that no sesame seed is left behind.
- With a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts along with the pastry. Or, cut pastry pieces to your liking.
- Now it’s time to say a little prayer and plop these bad boys in the oven for around 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.
- Since not all ovens are created equally, keep an eye on these bourekas.
- Look out for a deep golden brown color – they might need more or less time.
- Remove from oven and let cool then enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed making these as much as I did. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear what you think about this recipe.
Remember to pin this recipe for the future.