Savory Bulgarian Pastry Recipe

Story by Maximilian Mihaylov

My parents are immigrants from Bulgaria, and my sister and I are first-generation Bulgarian Americans. Banitsa- a traditional Bulgarian pastry dish- is one of my favorite recipes and has always been a regular staple in our house. It’s easy to make (if you’re using pre-made dough!) and always delicious.

Recipe Translation (with pre-made dough)

1 Baking pan with 2 inch high walls
1 Phyllo Dough roll
2-3 Tablespoons avocado oil (or on small stick of butter melted)
3/4 of a pound of Bulgarian Sheep’s Cheese (or feta cheese)
2 eggs
1/4 cup of sparkling water

Step 1: Take phyllo dough out of the package to defrost, must be at room temperature or the sheets will tear.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 200 C or 400 F

Step 3: Mix sheep’s cheese with one egg using a fork in a bowl

Step 4: Use oil/butter to coat the bottom of your baking pan. Then begin to lay the phyllo dough sheets one by one while placing small amounts of oil/butter in between each sheet.

Step 5: Once a little more than half of the sheets have been used spread the cheese egg mix onto the phyllo dough.

Step 6: Continue placing the rest of the phyllo dough sheets with oil in between as before until there are none left.

Step 7: Mix the other egg with the sparking water in the same bowl as before.

Step 8: Poke the top layer of phyllo dough with a fork a few times to make small holes then pour the sparkling water egg mix on top of the banitsa making sure to cover all four corners.

Step 9: Place in the oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the tops are significantly golden brown. 

Step 10: Remove and allow to cool for 30-40 minutes before serving.

Feel free to reheat the following morning in the microwave or eat it at room temperature.

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