Cook a Bulgarian Banitsa

Edited by Zornitsa Bukovska, Robbi, Eng, Graeme and 3 others

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Situated in the eastern part of Europe, Bulgaria is a small country with rich culture and exotic cuisine. This time we'll introduce you to one of the most popular Bulgarian dishes - the amazing Banitsa. It's a dish that is typically preferred for breakfast, but it's often eaten for lunch and dinner, as well.

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Bulgarians have a tradition of eating Banitsa when they have special occasions such as Christmas, New Year's Eve, baptisms, weddings, and so on.

The interesting part is that on Christmas they put a coin in the cake. According to the legend, the one who finds it will gain enormous wealth the next year.

On New Year's Eve, Banitsa is the most important dish on the table. The magic here comes from the little fortunes hidden in each piece of the pie - a piece for every guest!

The eldest person whirls the Banitsa and depending on the way it stops, that is the piece of Banitsa that you get. You have to take the piece in front of you. There are small fortunes inside that say things like, "You'll have mountains of money next year", "You'll get married", "You'll have a baby", "You'll get a new flat or house", "You'll be the laziest man on the earth", "You work all day and night", "You'll meet the love of your life", etc.

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The New Year's Eve Banitsa contains a coin, too.

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What You Need to Prepare a Banitsa

Although Banitsa is made of simple ingredients such as dough sheets, eggs, and feta cheese, the Bulgarian tradition allows many interesting versions. For example, you can have milk Banitsa, which is prepared with a mix of fresh milk, eggs, and sugar, or a green Banitsa made of spinach. Bulgarians also cook a different type of "washed" Banitsa, where the sheets are previously boiled in water. That's why it's a delicious dish which each family can afford. You don't need to be a chef to prepare a Banitsa. What you have to do is just follow our instructions.

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  1. 1
    1 package of dough sheets (or sheets prepared on your own)
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  2. 2
    1 pound package of butter
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  3. 3
    Not less than 5 eggs
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  4. 4
    300 grams of feta cheese
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  5. 5
    ½ 8-ounce container of plain yogurt
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  6. 6
    3 tbsp, of olive oil
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  7. 7
    ½ tsp, of baking soda
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  8. 8
    1 cup of water
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How to Prepare a Banitsa

Here we'll consider the two main types of Banitsa and after reading this you may call yourself a master! What you'll see is that the first few steps are the same in the both ways of preparing the Banitsa. The difference is in the way of rolling the sheets for the baking tray.

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First way

  1. 1
    Stir the cheese in a wide bowl.
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  2. 2
    Add the eggs and baking soda and stir until you get a nice mix.
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  3. 3
    Add the yogurt and butter and continue to stir for five more minutes.
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  4. 4
    Then take a round large baking tin and coat it with oil.
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  5. 5
    Put in the first two sheets so that they cover the entire tin.
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  6. 6
    Smear with oil again and put in a little of the prepared mix.
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  7. 7
    Then put in another two sheets and oil them again.
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  8. 8
    Repeat this procedure until you reach the end of the baking tin.
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  9. 9
    Rub with oil again and make a slit through the middle of the pie.
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  10. 10
    At the end, pour on the Banitsa filling with the soda.
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  11. 11
    Put the tin in a preheated oven at 375 degrees
    .
    The Banitsa will be ready after about 40 minutes.
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Second way

  1. 1
    Stir the cheese in a wide vessel.
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  2. 2
    Add the eggs and baking soda and stir until you get a nice mix.
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  3. 3
    Add the yogurt and butter and continue to stir five more minutes.
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  4. 4
    Then take a round large baking tin and smear it with oil.
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  5. 5
    Spread a piece of the filling evenly on the entire sheet
    .
    Banitsa5.jpg
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  6. 6
    Roll the sheet.
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  7. 7
    Prepare the other rolls in the same way.
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  8. 8
    Arrange the ready roll in the tray in a shape of a spiral.
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  9. 9
    Put the Banitsa in the oven and bake it about 30-40 minutes until it achieves a golden color.
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  10. 10
    As you see, it's very simple to cook a Banitsa.
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Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1MHJp9t5js

Home Prepare Dough Sheets

The secret of making the Banitsa is hidden in the way of preparing the dough sheets. Of course, you can buy them frozen from any supermarket or grocery-store but if you want to impress your guests or family you'll have to prepare them on your own.

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Ingredients:

  1. 1
    1 egg
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  2. 2
    3 tablespoons of oil
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  3. 3
    1 cup of water
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  4. 4
    ½ package of flour (8 cups)
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  5. 5
    1 package of butter
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  6. 6
    Salt
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Procedure

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  1. 1
    Put all the ingredients in a big baking tray
    .
    Start to add the flour until you get a dense dough which you can knead with your own hands. It may get hard to do, but don't quit.
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  2. 2
    The next step is to separate the dough into three balls
    .
    Melt the butter in an oven or microwave. Then roll the bowls depending on your skills. The sheets must become thin.
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  3. 3
    After that, you'll have to smear each bowl and fold it as you would fold a towel four times
    .
    Smear the tray and arrange the first dough ball on the tray. Then smear the sheet again.
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  4. 4
    Put a part of the mix from letters A and B and cover with the next bowl
    .
    Do this until the balls have risen. Put the Banitsa in the oven and bake it until it turns golden!
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Warnings

  • Actually Banitsa is a very easy dish for making. The difficulties start when you try to make the sheets of dough on your own. Be careful! When you prepare the dough, it doesn't have to stick on your fingers too much. The biggest mistake you may make is to make the sheets too fat. Then the dish will not look and taste like a Banitsa. Instead, it will be more like a regular cake - one thing you should definitely avoid! The Banitsa has a specific fragrance which your guests or family have to mark.
  • Also, be sure that you bake the Banitsa no more than 30 minutes because you will risk burning it!
  • The amazing aroma from the ready Banitsa in the early morning is what will make your children wake up and get up quickly. They'll be overwhelmed by the incredible taste it has. You can serve the Banitsa with cold yogurt mixed with water or fruit-juice. If you serve Banitsa for dinner, it can be used in place of dessert!
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If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Cooking

Recent edits by: Maria, Lynn, Graeme

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