Banitsa is a Bulgarian breakfast tradition, for my first attempt I've made a plain one.
Introduced to me by Yavor Atanasov on his birthday, Banitsa is usually eaten on special occasions such as Christmas and New Year's Eve. Not only did I guess the ingredients wrong, but my pronunciation was appalling. I pronounced it as "Ban-eat-sar" however it should be "Bar-knit-sa".
- Place the oven on to preheat at 190c and prepare the mixture in the mean time:
- In a large bowl whisk the eggs well with the olive oil.
- Taste a piece of the feta for saltiness. If it is not overly salty, add a pinch of salt to the eggs.
- Crumble the feta into the eggs, leaving some good marble sized lumbs.
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat.
- Brush a circular dish (21cm diameter) liberally with melted butter.
- Repeat the following to create 4 rolls and assemble the dish to match the images shown:
- Take 2 sheets of filo at a time, lay flat on a large surface and brush with melted butter.
- Spread roughly a quarter of the mix across the filo sheets, it doesn't need to be perfect. See the images in the recipe for an example.
- Roll the sheet up with the mix to form like a savoury swiss roll.
- Very carefully curve the roll and flush it to the inside rim of the dish. It'll likely only go halfway around.
- Continue this to fill the dish up as shown in the images.
- Brush the rest of the melted butter over the top of the dish.
- Put into the oven for roughly half an hour. Do this partly by eye, you're looking for a golden crispy top. I let mine go to about 95c in the centre.
- When done, leave to cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- There are loads of different fillings for Banitsa. So I knew what the base tastes like, this recipe is for a plain egg and cheese filling. Variations are:
- Sweet varieties with apple and cinnamon or pumpkin and sugar.
- Other meat-free varieties such as sauteed spinach within the egg mix or cooked onions within the egg mix.
- Carnivore variety with minced beef and onions.
- Fresh Filo Pastry
- 8 sheets (200 g)
- Feta Cheese
- 250 g
- 4 medium
- Olive Oil
- 3 tbsp
- 60 g, melted