Kaytaz böreği is one of the distinguished dishes of Antakya cuisine, which unfortunately does not have enough reputation despite all its flavor. Antakya (Hatay) is a city placed in the south part of Turkey and it is one of the gastronomy centers of Turkey. Antakya has really delicious dishes, but some of them are not known widely, such as kaytaz böreği. Outside the region, it is known just by a certain group that has an interest in gastronomy or, by chance, has visited an Antakya restaurant.
Since my childhood, I have been one of the best followers of food and travel shows on tv. As a child, I used to watch cartoons and food and travel shows without blinking on TV. So I have a huge knowledge of traditional and local foods.
When I see people asking “How do you know that?” for things that seem normal to me I began to realize that not everyone was watching those shows. In short I learned most of the things I know about local recipes from the cooking and travel shows.
Nowadays, it is possible to obtain enough information to about the food culture of each region thanks to the internet. Just want and just take your time. Do wonder about Antakya cuisine? Just write Antakya / Hatay cuisine to Google. The food lists published by the Governorship, the recipes shared by Antakians, the food and travel shows taken in the region, the lists of what to eat in Hatay… You can even do this in any language using Google Translate. There is nothing you cannot find nowadays. What is surprising in these circumstances where access to information is so easy is not “knowing” but “not knowing”.
Pay attention to these while making Kaytaz Böreği !!!
With this motto, it is a great pleasure for me to introduce kaytaz böreği to those who have not yet met with it. Because it is a taste that everyone should enjoy once in their lifetime. Although it is called börek and it starts like making a börek, at the end, you enjoy a food that looks like lahmacun. But its consistency and taste is very different from lahmacun. It is crispy because it is made with a thinly rolled dough. Because of this consistency, Kaytaz böreği is like a snack, but at the same time it is very filling. Here I have to give an extra information I guess.
What is börek?
Börek is a Turkish dish prepared with yufka, dough leaves. Yufka is like phyllo dough but the taste and consistency are very different. Actually phyllo dough is a kind of yufka which is used to make baklava and it is called baklava yufka in Turkey. If you just say yufka, you mean the one that is used to make börek.
Let’s turn back to kaytaz böreği recipe. It may seem a little bit hard ro prepare but it’s not. The dough is rolled very easily. I would like to underline again that you only need to pay attention to the amount of flour while preparing the dough. The amount of flour you should use in pastries will always vary, so always add the flour little by little, controlling the consistency of the dough, until it reaches the desired consistency in the recipe.
You don’t need to roll such a large dough, you don’t need a rolling pin, you just press and extend it by hand. The filling is not cooked beforehand, only the ingredients are mixed. Regarding the ingredients, I recommend that you do not try to substitute pomegranate syrup and pepper paste. These are the two ingredients that distinguish Kaytaz böreği filling from an ordinary ground meat filling. In particular, choosing a real pomegranate syrup, not a sauce made with pomegranate syrup and glucose syrup, will give a better result.
For the dough;
- 2.5 cups flour,
- 1 glass of lukewarm water,
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast,
- 1 teaspoon of sugar,
- 1 teaspoon salt.
For the topping;
- 250 g ground beef,
- 1 large onion,
- 1 tablespoon of pepper paste,
- 1 tablespoon of pomegranate syrup,
- 1 handful of chopped parsley,
- Black pepper.
- 1 tablespoon of butter,
- 3-4 tablespoons of oil.
- For the dough, mix water, sugar and yeast in a deep bowl,
- Add the flour little by little and start mixing,
- Add salt together with the flour and mix,
- Add the remaining flour gradually, controlling its consistency, and knead it until you have a soft dough that does not stick to the hand,
- Roll up the dough, cover and set aside 30-45 mins.,
- Prepare the filling when the dough is almost ready,
- For this, chop the onion finely,
- Mix the minced meat, onion, parsley, pepper paste, pomegranate syrup, salt and pepper in a deep bowl,
- In a saucepan, melt the butter, add the vegetable oil and mix,
- Knead the dough again and divide it into 12 pieces,
- Cover the pieces and set aside for 10 minutes.,
- Take one of the pieces on the counter and grease the top with the oil+butter mixture and extend it pressing with your hands in the width of a serving plate to get a dough leaf,
- Gather the leaf from the two opposite edges n the middle and make a thick strip,
- Roll it around itself (without tightening) into a circle in the size of a tea plate and place it on a baking tray covered with wax paper,
- Prepare other pieces in the same way and place them into the tray,
- Press the middle of the pieces to make place for the filling,
- Divide the filling into 12 equal parts, place each part on the dough and flatten a little,
- Bake them in a 180 C degrees pre heated oven until the edges are browned.