Bourekas are a Turkish treat coming from the word borek, which means pie. In Turkey they are formed into circles, while in Israel they are more often formed into small, hand-held pies akin to empanadas.
Kashkaval is a hard Balkan cheese made from sheep or cow’s milk, and sometimes a mix of both. It is very popular in Israel.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 cup olive oil, divided
- 2/3 cup water + 2 Tbsp
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup sesame seeds
- 2 cups shredded kashkaval or sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 loose cups of fresh chopped spinach or kale
- Make Ahead: Mix the flour, salt, and water with 2 Tbsp oil and knead for around 7 minutes or until dough has come together and is stretchy. Cover dough ball with plastic wrap and allow to rest at room temperature for around 1 hour. While dough is resting, mix spinach with cheese.
- After 1 hour, break the dough into 4 separate dough balls. Drizzle 2 Tbsp oil on the tops of the balls, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rest for 10 more minutes.
- On a clean tabletop, drizzle oil on surface and gently wipe around to create a non-stick surface. Roll out 1 dough ball to the size of a pizza. Using gentle hands, stretch dough outwards until dough is twice the width and paper thin. Work slowly and take your time, so the dough does not tear.
- When fully stretched, sprinkle spinach-cheese mixture in one, thin layer on the outside ring of dough. Drizzle 2 more Tbsp oil on the center of circle and spread all over the surface of dough. Roll dough over filling and continue to roll inward until there is no space between sides. Using a butter knife, cut down the center of the ring to create a giant rope. Coil the rope in the center of a large, oiled sauté pan. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls and wrap the completed dough “ropes” around the center so the pan has giant spiral borekas.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat with two Tbsp water. Brush the top of borekas with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake for 30- 40 minutes or until top is golden brown. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before slicing and serving.