I have a guilty pleasure and I find myself unable to resist. Its warm cinnamon & powder sugar creaminess is calling my name and I hear nothing else; I cannot help but give in.
You see my favourite meal of the day is undeniably breakfast. I cannot not have it. Even waking up at 13:00 after a heavy night out doesn’t mean skipping straight to lunch – it means having a quick breakfast even minutes before ordering lunch.
When I am in Greece my favourite breakfast hands down is Bougatsa. Bougatsa is a cream-filled fillo pastry sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. I cannot explain how happy it makes me when I sit down with a Bougatsa and a Milko (chocolate milk) in the start of the day. It calms me down, every bite making my whole body tingle with delicious satisfaction.
So, as you might not have easy access to a Bougatsa (although the Real Greek in London does a delicious one with ice cream), I thought of writing the recipe in this post as it might inspire you to try it.
Here it goes:
500g all-purpose flour
50g butter for finish
260ml soda water
1 tsp salt
Icing sugar (to sprinkle on top at the end)
1 litre milk
40g corn flour
80g fine semolina
30g butter (to spread on top)
0.6g vanilla powder
Making the Bougatsa
Make a pliable dough by mixing the flour and salt in a large bowl and adding the soda water in.
For the next 10 minutes kneed the dough well.
Divide the dough into four balls which you will need to wrap in cling film and set to rest on your kitchen counter for approximately an hour.
Then take the first of the dough balls and on a floured surface and roll it out into a circle of a 40cm diameter.
Half melt the butter and brush ¼ of it generously over the pastry.
Fold the pastry into a square while tapping it to ensure that there are no air bubbles left it with your hands to make sure there are no air bubbles.
Roll out the second ball of dough into a circle approx. 40 cm diameter and brush it with another ¼ of the half-melted butter.
Place the first square of pastry in the centre of the circle and fold the edges of the circle around it, enveloping the first square and making the second sheet into a square.
Once you are done, wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for 1 hr – this will be the bottom half of our bougatsa.
Now repeat these steps with the other 2 dough balls for the top half and let it rest for an hour.
After the hour has passed, roll out one of the squares on a floured surface, large enough to cover the bottom of your oven dish as well as the sides and to go over the edge.
Butter the dish and place the pastry on the bottom, flattening it with your hands, up the side and over the edge.
Mix the milk and the 100g butter in a pan and stir until the butter has melted.
Before the milk boils mix the corn flour, semolina, sugar, eggs and vanillas in a bowl and stir well.
When the milk comes to the boil, add the mixture from the bowl and stir very well until it thickens.
Remove from the heat and pour into the oven dish on top of the pastry.
Fold the edge of the pastry inwards on top of the edge of the filling.
Roll out the other square of pastry and place it on top.
Melt the 30g butter and brush over the top.
Score the surface into helpings.
Place in a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for 40 minutes or until it has gone golden brown.
Sprinkle icing sugar and cinnamon on top and in the fold of the bougatsa slices.
Let me know if you try making it!
The recipe was adapted from the Authentic Greek Recipes blog.