The traditional Banitsa cheese pie recipe can be layered or rolled. It is made from thin crusts of dough topped with a mixture of eggs, yogurt, and, most importantly, white brine cheese. After baking, the Banitsa is a fluffy, golden brown, and soft pie with a crispy crust on top.
The white brine cheese (Sirene in Bulgarian or Fete in Greece) plays an essential role in the recipe, which is an indispensable part of the table of the Balkan nations. Another key element of Banitsa is the traditional Bulgarian yogurt that provides a unique tartness to the treat.
There are many approaches to Banitsa, the filling can be both sweet or savory by altering the fillings (Turkish sweets, leeks, or spinach). Either way, people enjoy Banitsa in Bulgaria as a breakfast or as a treat for guests.
Making Banitsa is simple, but what makes the recipe more appealing lies in the few tools you need. Here are a couple of utensils to pull off this delectable Bulgarian treat at home.
- Baking tray – medium size: for baking the Banitsa.
- Bowl – medium size: for mixing and containing the filling mixture.
- Basting brush: for distributing the filling over the pastry.
- Fork: for breaking up the cheese and whisking the necessary elements into the filling
You will need the bowl to crumble the cheese with the fork and then mix in the remaining ingredients for the filling. With the basting brush, you will grease the pie crusts and the baking tray. And you will need the baking tray to bake your Banitsa in the oven.
Before jumping into the kitchen, here are a couple of ingredients you need to have to pull off this Banitsa recipe right at home. These elements are easy to find at any grocery store.
- Filo pastry: To make this recipe, you need thin crust pastry, which is used to make the crispy layer of this baklava dessert.
- Cheese: For an authentic taste of the Banitsa, use white brine cheese from cow’s or sheep’s milk, but you can replace it with Feta cheese.
- Bulgarian yogurt: For an authentic taste of the pie, use Bulgarian yogurt, which has a mild tartness, because of the fermentation from the unique bacteria available at this latitude. In addition, the dairy product provides a thick and creamy texture to the filling.
- If you can’t find such a product, the closest in taste is Greek yogurt or using plain yogurt.
- Egg: You will need 3 eggs (large size) for this recipe.
- Baking soda: To make the Banitsa fluffier, half a teaspoon of baking soda should be the filling.
- Oil: You can use melted butter and sunflower oil for this recipe. If you like the taste of butter, you can use just butter, but the banitsa will be firmer after cooling down. I use equal amounts of melted butter and sunflower oil to fix this.
It’s time to nail your Banitsa with this simple instruction. All you have to do is follow these simple guides to experience a Bulgarian treat right at home.
First, place the drained cheese in the bowl and crumble it with a fork (or with fingers). Then mix well with the eggs, yogurt, and baking soda using a fork. Set the mixture aside.
Preheat the oven to 356°F (180°C). Meanwhile, grease a medium-sized baking tray with oil.
Take a sheet of Filo dough and spread it out on a clean work surface with the wider side facing you. Brush the sheet with some of the oil using the basting brush.
Spread the filling mixture around the sheet evenly. Then, lift the edge of the sheet closest to you and roll/fold it. Roll the sheet into a snail and place it in the middle of your baking tray.
Repeat steps 3 and 4 with other sheets (without rolling it into a snail), wrapping it around the rolled first sheet in the baking tray. Repeat with the rest of the sheets until you fill up your baking tray.
Brush the Banitsa with the remaining oil. Transfer the tray to the oven and bake at 356°F (180°C) for 25 minutes or until puffed and golden brown.
Once baked, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes before slicing.
The recipe also works with frozen pastry sheets, but you must thoroughly thaw them. You may do this ahead by moving the frozen sheets to the refrigerator or simply leaving them at room temperature.
Another thing to note while working with the pastry sheet is they become dry relatively quickly. For that, you want to cover the dough with a damp towel to maintain the moisture content while preparing other steps.
While applying the filling to the pastry sheet, make sure you do it gently to avoid ripping the dough.
A lovely breakfast or dessert is irresistible for an impeccable meal. For that, Banitsa delivers a mesmerizing soft texture and a crisp outer layer. Better yet, Banitsa doesn’t require any sophisticated utensils to whip up.
Feel free to create this iconic Bulgarian treat whenever you want. Don’t forget to leave your opinion on what it’s like to create the Banitsa. Share this article with your close ones so they can materialize this easy recipe at home.
10 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories258
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 5.5g 25%
- Sodium 571mg 24%
- Potassium 89mg 3%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 0.8g 0%
- Sugars 5.1g
- Protein 10g 20%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Table of Contents
- Tips For Making Banitsa.
- Bring A Breeze Of Bulgarian Culture Into Your House By Making Banitsa
- Banitsa – Cheese Pie Recipe
- Nutrition Facts