Borek is traditionally cooked in a round borek tray, however, an oven tray or 30 cm cake pan will work just as well.
- 500 g plain flour, plus extra, to dust
- 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
- 400 g (2 cups) Greek feta, crumbled
- 2 cups flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tsp poppy seeds
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
To make pastry, combine flour, 2 tsp salt and 375 ml lukewarm water in a bowl until a soft dough that isn’t sticky; add extra flour or water if necessary. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth. Divide into 2 balls.
Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll out dough with a floured rolling pin on a well-floured work surface to a 2 mm-thick (72 cm x 50 cm) oval.
Line a long rectangular table with a clean cotton tablecloth or bed sheet. Roll dough around rolling pin, then unroll onto the centre of the tablecloth. Coat the top with 1½ tbsp oil. Set aside for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease 2 large oven trays.
Meanwhile, to make filling, combine feta and parsley in a bowl. Season with pepper.
To stretch the dough, place your hands under the dough, palms facing down, and working your way around the table, gently shake the dough towards you to stretch out the centre until it is even and transparent; the dough will eventually cover the tablecloth.
Leaving a 10 cm border, scatter half the cheese mixture along the long edge of the dough. Starting from the long edge, lift up the tablecloth to start rolling up the pastry, then continue rolling to form a long, thin log. Fold the ends of the log to seal. Snake filled pastry into a coil on one of the greased trays. Repeat rolling, oiling, stretching, filling and coiling pastry with remaining dough, another 1½ tbsp oil and the remaining cheese mixture.
Brush börek with remaining 65 ml oil, scatter with poppy seeds and bake, swapping the trays halfway through cooking, for 1 hour or until golden on top and at the bottom.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 13, pg53.
Photography by Christopher Ireland