Prep 15 mins
Cook 45 mins
Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian meal and has very special place on the table on all traditional holidays. It can be done with different fillings like spinach, leaks, minced meat and other fillings; one thing is always the same – the phyllo pastry. Bantisa with white cheese is the most popular. It is served best with an extra bowl of plain yoghurt. It is my favorite breakfast. This recipe is my mom’s recipe and there are some small variances of the preparation in the different areas of the country. Some people use oil instead of butter (or margarine), some people do not use yoghurt but milk, some do not use milk and yoghurt at all, only eggs and white cheese. When we use only eggs and milk we call it milk banitsa.
- 10 -12 sheets phyllo pastry (1 box 500g phyllo pastry)
- 125 g butter (or margarine)
- 4 eggs
- 500 g yoghurt (Bulgarian yogurt)
- 250 g white cheese (feta cheese)
- 200 g milk
- 1 pinch baking soda
- 1. Cheese filling preparation: Beat the eggs and the pinch of baking soda, than add crumbed (or crushed) white cheese and then the yoghurt.
- 2. Spiral Banitsa (Vita Banitsa)/ Traditional preparation.
- 3. Use a round pan +-40cm diameter (the bigger the better).
- 4. Take 12 pastry sheets (phyllo pastry).Grease bottom of a pan with butter.
- 5. Spread a sheet, put a 2-3 small cubes of butter (or margarine), and spread the filling. Roll the sheet and place it in the middle of the pan (as a beginning of the spiral).
- 6. Do all the sheets the same way and join it with the end of the first sheet, making your spiral bigger and bigger.
- 7. When you out the last sheet and finish the spiral and fill the pan pore a tea cup of milk over the spiral.
- 8. Bake in moderate oven (180 ºC) for 45-50 minute
- 9. When it is ready take it out of the oven and brush with water the surface and cover with a cloth until it cools down.
- 10. Serve with an extra small bowl of plain yoghurt.
- Or (lazy way of preparation).
- 1. Take 12 pastry sheets (phyllo).Grease bottom of a pan with butter, no need of a round pan.
- 2. Place the first 3 sheets, spread the top sheet with butter, and spread first 1/3rd of the filling.
- 3. Place 2 more sheets and brush with butter spread 2nd third of the filling.
- 4. Top with 2 more sheets and brush with butter and spread last third of the filling.
- 5. The top last layer of filling cover with last sheets.
- 6. Cut in 9 or 12 squares and pore 1 cup of milk.
- 7. Bake in moderate oven (180 ºC) for 45-50 minute
- 8. When it is ready take it out of the oven and brush with water the surface and cover with a cloth until it cools down.
- 9. Serve with an extra small bowl of plain yoghurt.
I made this last night and it turned out so good I surprised myself! I used a little less butter and milk only because the phyllo sheets seemed very thin. I later found out that they come in different thickness sizes and that size 7 works the best. I used size 4 and the banitsa was very authentic, but I think next time I will use size 7 just because it will be easier to work with it.