Börek also burek is a family of baked filled pastries made of a thin flaky dough, of Anatolian origins and also found in the cuisines of the Balkans, Levant, Mediterranean, and other countries in Eastern Europe and Western Asia. A börek may be prepared in a large pan and cut into portions after baking, or as individual pastries. The top of the börek is often sprinkled with sesame seeds. It become a popular element of Ottoman cuisine,or it may date back earlier to the Classical era of the eastern Mediterranean region.
There are a wide variety of regional variations of börek among the different cultures and ethnicities composing it, including:
- Water börek is one of the most common types. Sheets of dough are boiled briefly in large pans, then a mixture of feta cheese and parsley (or in an alternative recipe minced meat, onions, tomato sauce) and oil is scattered between the layers. The whole thing is brushed with butter and laid in a masonry oven to cook.
- Cigarette börek a smaller, cylindrical variety is often filled with feta cheese, potato, parsley and sometimes with minced meat or sausage. A variety of vegetables, herbs and spices are used in böreks, such as spinach, nettle, leek, and courgette, and usually ground black pepper.
- Arm börek is prepared in long rolls, either rounded or lined, and filled with either minced meat, feta cheese, spinach or potato and baked at a low temperature.
- Raw börek’ is a half-round shaped börek, filled with raw minced meat and fried in oil on the concave side of the sac.