Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making Yufka

For the longest time I have wanted to try learning and making yufka (English: Phyllo). It's my 5 o'clock tea time weakness with some salty cheese, minced meat, spinach, potatoes or other veggies inside a yufka. I really wanted to know if it would be that much more difficult like making bread? Speaking myself, I'm pretty good at making pancakes and crépes without burning them but I always dreamed of to make our turkish yufka...

Although our weather is still going perfect, I know it will end before too long. While it is really coming flour weather here soon, why not I said myself.

So I spe
nt my Sunday late evening taking a class from my mother. Personally I do not really eat whites too much but this way I'd like to please the gatherings for our Sunday dinner and my tea+coffee times:)

Before starting the process I'm required to make ready a few items by her:

Needed for...

1/2 glass water
2 eggs
2 glasses flour -above photo-
6 and 1/2 spoons butter or margarine

After making a dough by mixing well and kneading these ingredients, sprinkle the dough with flour. Let it stand for 15-min as covered with a clean cloth.

Finished the waiting period? Good. Now the most hard, quick and talent required second part starts:

with a rolling pin roll the dough to a thickness of 2cm. Spread 3-spoons of softened butter. Cut the dough into 3 or 5 pieces, placing one on top of the other. Roll the 3 pieces again. Spread on the remaining butter. Cut again into 3 pieces and place one on the other. Knead well for a few minutes. Shape into a ball. Divide the dough into pieces, shall be a little bigger than the size of my tennis ball:)

ready to roll out each of these balls to obtain a "yufka" as seen above -very thin sheets of dough. Using the rolling pin.

wrap up, wrap it up drizzling some flour on...

widen it until reach a 60cm in diameter...

repeat the steps above...

main duty is to have real thin layers as my mother did! Question is what I could make using this phyllo?

Once I am able to make successfully thin sheets, then the funny part of the process begins: they are layered, folded in various shapes as you like before being filled with cheese or meat, and baked or fried.

Giving examples:

Think about börek (boureko) and baklav
a! Both are syrup soaked pastries made with phyllo dough are very well-known turkish favorites. They are popular throughout the former Ottoman Empire.

Let me share my opinion here that there's nothing quite like a phyllo dough! We know how to shop for a commercially sold phyllo but making a homemade dough, roll it out with a rolling pin and finally to fond it to create the delicious sweet and savory creations for our Turkish cuisine is so famous!

I know it requires great skill and patience unless you have thin sheets of
dough. My mother who accomplishes this delicate task using her rolling pin became the most sought-out person in her circle of friends as well as the family. One day me too..

In the end, I'm so pleased that I took some of my time and learned how to make it under her guidance. I will certainly be making this again and again because I'm still not so good at making it thin. As said, practice makes the perfect:)

If you are interested in healthy home cooking, please see Jane's to reach a series of worldwide recipes and funny stories. Remember today we happily share one more new Corner View theme that's about "favorite dish"


  1. I'm impressed! I buy and use phylo dough in various recipes but the idea of making my own in daunting. Good for you!


  2. Your mom is a real artist! Practice, Nihal. I'm sure you're a real Yufka artist. You may have it in the genes! it must be real tasty!

  3. A recipe like a report !!! In french I could say "j'en ai l'eau à la bouche"... Nice post ! really !!! And... I'm hungry now !!!

    And for noodles and chocolate, it's a joke... but, I tried ;) and I tried french fries and "chantilly" !!! Not so bad ;)

  4. I love family recipe ... thanks for sharing !!

  5. This is wonderful! Learning something such as a traditional dish is very important, especially when it is given to us by our mothers, or aunts... My mother taught me how to make biscotti that she was taught by her aunts (Italian).

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment!

  6. how beautiful! please thank your mom. i wish that we lived a little closer so that i could beg her to give me a class as well. congrats on being able to make a classic. yummy.

  7. how cool is it that you made your own, very impressive.

    thanks for stopping by my blog~

  8. I share your opinion: there's nothing like phyllo dough. Your photos are amazing, they really give a sense of cooking in action - and I've never seen a rolling pin like that! Hope you'll be able to make it again soon.

  9. Good for you for learning from your mother. Practice makes perfect! I am certain one day you will be the star, too.

  10. What an art! This kind of knowledge is so precious. Good luck in your future Yufka adventures. I am so glad you stopped by my blog to see some of my passion for Turkish food.

  11. Ciao Nicole, bella ricettina, me la copio, ti arrivi un sorriso da Torino ed un caloroso saluto.

  12. Oh ... really impressive. Thanks for sharing and also for stopping by my blog!

  13. Beautiful!
    Thanks for passing and saying hello.
    I will come more often.
    I am engineer too, but of instalations.

  14. WOW, that looks extraordinary! And tasty by the way, I'm in love with everything made out of flour.
    Nice to meet you!

  15. ooooh, you ARE patient! :)
    looks and reads delish.

  16. I'm very impresed . I love so much turkish food. Don't stop training , so when I will be in Istanbul I will love to taste some. Your present has a special place in my home

  17. Nihal, thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! The nice pictures describe it so well!
    Happy Sunday :-)

  18. Ciao Nicole è bello entrare nel tuo spazio così ricco di calore e dolcezza, stamane a Torino il cielo è grigio...cadono le ultime foglie più resistenti...forse :-)
    Un caro saluto e mi raccomando a presto :-)

  19. Practice, practice, practice, Nihal! There is no other way to be an expert making homemade dough. Looking at your pics, it was just like looking at my late grandma making dough!
    I tried hard to learn how to knead bread dough and made my own bread for years. But I gave up long ago to make real thin dough layers for baklava and prefer buying phyllo dough instead at our Mid-east market, or in Wal-Mart. :)

    On top of that, I gave up making dough with my own hands recently and I bought a bread machine! This is one nice invention indeed! :)

    But get this, there is nothing like homemade Turkish pastry!! This is one thing I really miss here. For example, poaca + Turkish tea! And I had to learn how to make real 'pastane poacasi' on my own. Yes, with real mahlab!

    Living abroad, you are on your own in your kitchen and have to figure out how to cook all things Turkish. But I miss my bakkal and pastane!!

  20. Thank you, Djiakujiu, Gracias for showing us how to make yufka. I suppose one can make it as thin or thick depends what uses one may have I have in mind boregi,cheboregi and Georgian stuffed breads to make.
    Though one question is it possible to make water pastry or su boregi the same way?
    Thank you

  21. @ Richard: So glad you're stopped by my little corner:) Thanks a lot for your nice comment. Yes, exactly. It depends on the thickness of yufka, we make cigborek, stuffed breads, baklava, eriste (like italian tagliatelle, a kind of turkish noodle), sigara boregi (bad name but named its shape looks like cigarette stick, those delicious cheese pastries we like to have at our famous 5 o'clock tea-time, extremely simple and delicious). And, suboregi as you said, many more kinds of. That typically even changes region to region.

    Oh sure, very possible to make su boregi the same way. But yufka for suboregi has to be made a little bit thicker. Then yufkas are boiled in a hot water one by one. My mom makes it everytime from homemade yufka, why it becomes the most delicious suboregi ever made! Lazy ones can prefer to make it from ready-use yufka but there is really important difference between both of taste:)

    By the way, your turkish is so fluent, borek names are correct and perfectly written:) Hope may you come to Istanbul or anypart of the country to taste traditionally varieties of boreks at home:) Does it worth.