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The Iraqi Family Cookbook

The Iraqi Family Cookbook
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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Cheese Bourek- Bourek Bil Jibin بورك بالجبن

This is my mother’s recipe that she used to make very often to serve with afternoon tea. You can use any type of cheese, but feta cheese is very close to the farmers cheese we had.
Bourek is simply a turnover that is savory or sweet filled with cheese, vegetables or meat. You can use the same dough recipe to fill them with apricot or fig jam.
Traditionally, we use the following dough recipe, but for convenience, you could use puff pastry or phyllo dough. You can fill the bourek and bake them or freeze them and bake them when needed. We usually fry the bourek, but I prefer to bake them, and serve them warm, or put them in a freezer bag, and when you need to serve them, put them in a toaster oven for 10 minutes.
2 cups all purpose flour
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup water
1 teaspoon yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, whisked

In a bowl, combine flour, sugar and salt and set aside. Measure ½ cup of warm water, and add the sugar and yeast and stir. Set aside to activate the yeast for 5 minutes
Add the oil and the yeast mixture to the flour and kneed it by hand for 5 minutes. You could use a food processor for the dough. Add a few tablespoons of water if you find the dough a little hard. (some flours absorb more water). When the dough feels smooth put it in an oiled bowl, cover it with a towel and leave it to rise for 30 minutes.
Prepare the Filling:
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon dry mint
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Roll out the dough on a floured board. Use a glass or a wide round cookie cutter to cut circles. Put one teaspoon of the filling in the center of the circle. Fold the circle to make half moon. Crimp the edges by twisting the edges, or use a fork to press down the edges to seal the dough. 
Arrange on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and brush the top with egg wash. Bake for 20 minutes.
Make 18 turnovers.

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