Bosnian Bureks by Laura Whitley
Time: Traditional 2 to 3 hrs total Easy 1.5 to 2 hrs total
Burek is literally translated "leafy meat pie". These meat filled pastries are commonly seen in a street vendor's cart, much like a New Yorker's hot dog cart. This pastry has its roots in the Ottoman Empire, but it is said that Bosnian's make them best. The dough is the key to this recipe. The traditional method is time consuming, but the pastry is so light and crisp it's worth the work.
Burek Dough (traditional) Prep Time: 1-1 ½ hours
½ kg flour (500 grams)
That's about 3.5 cups, but weighing it is way more accurate.
½ tsp salt
½ liter Warm water (about 2 and 1/3 cups)
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 cup Lard or unsalted butter. Melted and left at room temp. It is essential for crispness of crust.
Add salt to flour and mix well together. Mix the oil into the water, pour the water over flour and stir until you have to use your hands to mix. The dough should be soft enough to knead like you would with bread. Too soft= add flour. Too hard=add water. Knead 20 mins, then let rest oiled and covered 10 mins.
Cut your dough into 6 equal pieces. Roll them into balls then flatten out into tortilla shaped discs. About the same size as a corn tortilla. Spread a little lard on each "tortilla" and stack them. Be sure to keep them covered until you use them.
Now to make them thin:
You will need a clean work surface that is about 3ft long and 1-2 ft deep (I use my whole counter... sanitized.)
1. Spread the work surface with plenty of melted lard/butter.
2. Take one "tortilla" and flatten with OILED hands. Dough should stretch fairly easy. Shape it into 2ft by 1ft long rectangle. It should be so thin you can see through it.
3. Fold about 3" of the 2ft side towards you to give a straight edge and a slightly thicker portion.
4. Then drop small bits of the meat mixture along this edge.
5. Then fold the pastry over the meat and roll it into a long tube.
6. Pinch off edges then shape into a cinnamon roll shape only slightly elongated.
I got my 17.5oz can at an Indian International Market for $5.00 and it has lasted me a long time. I use it in soups and ground meats.
It looks like chicken boullion to me, but has a distinctly different taste.