Homemade Cheese Bourekas
Making cheese bourekas from made-from-scratch puff pastry is a labor of love. With Shavuot approaching, this was a good opportunity to satisfy my craving for a good bourekas and check off a baking goal: puff pastry. The result is worth the work—a savory, flaky, buttery, piping hot cheese bourekas is the ultimate comfort food. If you are short on time, use store-bought puff pastry dough instead.
- Puff Pastry
- 4 cups bread flour
- 2 cups (32 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1¼ cup cold water
- 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 cup Gouda, grated
- ½ cup Parmesan, grated
- 1½ cup Feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- To Finish
- 1 egg, beaten
- Sesame seeds
- Cube 4 tablespoons of the butter and bring to room temperature. Keep the rest of the butter in the refrigerator. With the hook attachment of a standing mixer, mix the flour and cubed butter; add salt, water and vinegar. Mix on low for 8 minutes, until the dough is smooth and separates from the sides of the bowl. If too sticky, add 1 tablespoon flour.
- Lightly dust a board with flour, place the dough on it and press with it gently with your palms into a 9x9-inch square. Wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, line the board with another sheet of parchment or plastic wrap, place remaining butter on top, tap it lightly with your rolling pin and roll it into an 8x8-inch square. Wrap and freeze for 10 minutes.
- Keep the board lightly dusted with flour. Take dough out of the fridge, unwrap and roll into a 12x12-inch square. Place the square of butter on top of the dough on the diagonal, so the corner of the butter square hits in the midpoint of each side of the dough square and the dough and the sides of the butter form four triangles. Bring each triangle of dough over the butter to its center, like an envelope flap. Make sure that all the butter is covered.
- Lift the dough, flour the board and turn the dough over so the seams face down. Flour your rolling pin and roll the dough into a 16x12-inch rectangle. Fold the dough in thirds like a letter. Then turn the dough, putting the short side parallel to you. Roll it out again into a rectangle and fold into thirds again. Each one of these steps of making a rectangle and folding it into thirds is called “a turn.” You have now done two turns.
- Wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Repeat this process twice more for a total of six turns. Now refrigerate dough for 15 minutes, or freeze at this point for up to one month.
- Mix filling ingredients in a bowl. Take dough out onto a floured board. You will have approximately 3 pounds of dough. Sprinkle flour over the dough and flour your rolling pin. Roll out the dough into an 18x12-inch rectangle and, with a sharp knife, cut it into three even rectangles, 12x6 each.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Work on one rectangle at the time, keeping the rest in the refrigerator. Keep the board, rolling pin and the top of the dough dusted with flour. Roll out the rectangle into a 15x12-inch rectangle, cut into 3x3 squares. Work fast, while the dough is chill. If the dough warms up, place squares on parchment paper and chill for 5 minutes.
- Place a square on the floured board. Place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mix in the center, fold on the diagonal into a triangle and place on a baking sheet, keeping 1 inch between triangles. Repeat with the rest of the dough. (At this point, you can freeze the bourekas on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When firm, transfer to an airtight container, with a sheet of parchment between each layer. When ready to bake transfer directly to parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with sesame seeds or black nigella seeds and bake.)
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 22 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool on a rack.