Laz Böreği Recipe
Laz böreği is one of the most famous desserts of the Black Sea cuisine. The name may confuse those who have not tasted this delicious dessert before. Frankly, in my opinion, laz baklava is a better name for laz böreği. Börek is a savory pastry in Turkish cuisine which is also flaky as baklava. But this is not the most interesting feature of the dessert.
While I was making research for the Laz böreği recipe, I saw that there were also those who made it with puff pastry dough, and I found it quite strange as it's not common in Turkish cuisine. But when I thought about it and combined my different knowledge piece by piece, the pieces fell into place. In the 1800s, a group of people from Rize Hemşin immigrated to Russia and learned pastry making there, during the period when the relationship between the Ottoman Empire and Russian Tsardom had good relations. One source of development of pastry making in Turkey is the minorities living in the western provinces, and another source is those Hemşin people who learned pastry in Russia and opened patisseries after returning to Turkey.
While Laz böreği is similar to baklava in one aspect, it is also similar to kremna rezina (I will share the recipe in the future) made in Ukraine, Russia and many Eastern European countries. Kremna rezina is prepared by placing pastry cream and whipped cream between two layers of baked puff pastry dough. It can be said that Laz böreği is prepared with puff pastry dough and without syrup. Puff pastry dessert with kiwi is also a dessert similar to krema rezina. When I saw that laz böreği is also made with puff pastry dough, the first thing that came to my mind was that laz böreği could be an adapted version of the kremna rezina to Turkish cuisine.
Why is Black Pepper Used in Laz Pastry?
Another thing I questioned within the framework of this information was the black pepper used in the cream of the laz böreği. My guess about it is that the vanilla grains in the cream of the kremna rezina was misinterpreted. Many people, who do not know that real vanilla appears as tiny black particles in cream and pudding, interpret vanilla grains as black pepper. This mistake may have determined the fate of a dessert.
So, how does black pepper contribute to laz böreği? Since the amount is not enough to dominate the taste of the dessert, it does not taste like black pepper, and it may not be easy to understand that there is black pepper in it if someone does not tell. But it cannot be denied that it gives a refreshing aroma underneath.
After this series of guesses I shared, it would be useful to talk about our recipe a little bit. Laz böreği can be summarized as baklava with pudding in the middle with little syrup. It can be prepared with hand rolled or store bought phyllo dough. As I mentioned above, there are also those who make it with puff pastry dough. But the version made with puff pastry dough is not syrupy.
If you don't like to eat baklava because you find it heavy, I'm sure you will love laz böreği. It is very light compared to baklava. I once offered it to a foreign friend of mine. Months later, in a conversation, she said that her favorite food among the ones I had done until that day was laz böreği. Of course, she didn't say laz böreği, she described it as there was pudding in the middle of the layered dough, etc.
If you have not rolled baklava dough before, do not be afraid. The dough is very soft and rolls out very easily. You do not need to know how to use an oklava, you can also roll it with a rolling pin.
Enjoy the recipe...
For the dough;
- 1 egg,
- 1/4 tea cup (22,5 ml) of water,
- 1/4 tea cup (22,5 ml) of yogurt,
- 1/4 tea cup (22,5 ml) of of oil,
- 1 teaspoon of vinegar,
- A pinch of salt,
- 2.5-3 cups of flour.
For greasing the dough;
- 1/2 tea cup (45 ml) of oil,
- 2 spoonful butter,
For the pastry cream;
- 2.5 cups of milk,
- 1 egg yolk,
- 2 tablespoons of flour,
- 2 tablespoons of corn starch,
- 1/2 cup of sugar,
- 2 tablespoons of heavy cream,
- Pepper with the tip of a teaspoon.
- 1.5 cups of sugar,
- 1.5 cups of water,
- A tiny slice of lemon.
- For syrup, take water, sugar and lemon in a saucepan,
- Boil on high heat until sugar dissolves,
- After the sugar melts, turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes,
- Remove it from heat, take the lemon slice out of it and set aside to cool,
- For the pastry cream, take 2 cups of milk, sugar and black pepper in a saucepan, take it on the stove and heat it (remove from the heat without boiling),
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolk, 1/2 cup of milk, flour and corn starch in a separate bowl until it you reach a consistency,
- Add the warmed milk little by little to the egg yolk mixture and whisk it quickly,
- Strain the mixture with a fine strainer and return it to the sauce pot,
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickens,
- Turn off the heat, add the heavy cream and mix,
- Allow to cool completely, stirring frequently to prevent crusting.
- For the dough, mix eggs, water, yogurt, oil, vinegar and salt in a deep bowl,
- Add the flour little by little and knead until you get a soft dough that does not stick to the hand,
- Cover it and rest for 15 mins.,
- Take the butter and oil into a sauce pan, melt the butter and remove it from the heat,
- Strain it with a fine strainer,
- Knead the dough again and divide it into twenty pieces,
- Take one of the pieces, dip it in corn starch and roll it out as thin as possible with a rolling pin or oklava,
- Cut the dough in the size of 20*26 cm baking dish and place it into it,,
- Place the edges you cut on it too,
- Drizzle oil mixture on it,
- Roll and cut eight more pieces in the same way and place them in the baking dish,
- Place the tenth piece into the dish by hanging the edges out the dish without cutting them,
- Spread the pastry cream on it,
- Fold the hanging edges on the sides of the dish to the middle.
- Roll and cut the remaining ten pieces of dough in the same way and place them into the dish,
- Drizzle the remaining oil mixture over,
- Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees until golden brown,
- Take it out of the oven, wait a few minutes for the first heat to come out and pour the cooled syrup on top,
- You can serve after it absorbs the syrup.