Water Borek is one of the common boreks around Turkey. When you prepare it from scratch it is one of the most difficult boreks to prepare. In villages a good bride candidate is supposed to make a good water borek so her mother in law is pleased and willing to give her son.
I don’t have so much courage or patient and I don’t have that much time to prepare a water borek from scratch. However I do have a recipe using ready sold phyllo sheets (“yufka” in Turkish) which makes delicious water borek each time I make them. One of the nice things about this borek is you can prepare it the night before, keep it in the fridge and cook the next day. Like I did today. I offered it at British International School event, in Istanbul.
Generally you are free about the fillings of boreks. You can make a borek with cheese, ground meat, potatoes, spinach, leeks, lentils, almost anything. However this borek is always prepared with cheese and parsley.
You need to soak up the yufka sheets in a mixture of eggs, water, olive oil and milk completely. This makes the borek soft and juicy. No butter or margarine involved. I prefer to use olive oil, but any liquid oil of your choice will do.
I suggest you cut the borek to pieces you plan to serve before cooking to make sure all the mixture is well absorbed. It cooks in about 45 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees. Rest for 5-10 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
Break the eggs in a large mixing bowl and whisk shortly.
Then into the same bowl add; water, milk and olive oil. Whisk all together so they are well combined.
Oil a large serving dish or an oven tray with olive oil using an egg brush. Make sure you oil the sides too.
Take a whole yufka and spread it onto the tray. Leave the corners laying out.
Spread some of the milky mixture on top of the first yufka.
Take the second yufka, rip it into half with your hand.
Soak each piece one by one into the milky mixture and spread it gently on the first yufka.
Take the third yufka and repeat what you have done with the second one.
Spread evenly the cheese mixture.
Take the fourth yufka and repeat what you have done with the second one.
Now pack the corners of the first yufka on top as if closing the lids of an envelope.
Take the fifth yufka, don’t rip it into half this time; but again soak it to the milky mixture. Spread it carefully as it is the last layer. Tuck the corners under the whole yufka pack as if you are making a bed.
Cut the borek – now we call it – to rectangular pieces to serve.
Pour all the remaining milky mixture evenly – especially on the cut lines.
Cover the tray with aluminum folio and keep it in the fridge so the yufka absorbs the milky mixture for about half an hour. You can do all this the day before, to make it even better.
When you are ready to cook, remove the aluminum folio.
Cook in preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes until both sides are well brownish. If the bottom is not ready lower the tray and do the vise versa if the top isn’t ready.
Serve after it cools for a while.
Chrush or grate the cheese and mix with chopped parsley. Spread it all after the third layer.