Cretan Bougatsa Recipe

  • COOKING TIME: 50 minutes
  • SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS

250ml milk

1.5 tablespoons cornflour

100 g butter

150g goats cheese

150g smooth ricotta

50g feta

8 sheets filo pastry

Cinnamon to taste

Granulated sugar to taste

PREPARATION METHOD

Cretan Bougatsa is a delightful Greek breakfast dish featuring filo pastry with various fillings, such as semolina, custard, or cheese, varying by Greek region.

The version from Crete stands out, as it is filled with Mizithra, a soft cheese akin to ricotta but with a slightly sour tang and a robust flavour derived from goat or sheep’s milk. This gives the Cretan bougatsa a distinctive taste that sets it apart from the traditional bougatsa enjoyed throughout Greece. The unique flavour profile of Cretan Mizithra is challenging to find elsewhere in the world, the alternative is to combine three cheeses (ricotta, goat cheese and feta) to create a similar eating experience to that of the traditional Cretan Bougatsa.

Mizithra is the main filling ingredient in the Chania Bougatsa and while it is soft and creamy, it is also low in fat and rich in healthy nutrients that are paramount in your breakfast.

Preparing the bougatsa filling:

  1. Blend the cornflour with a quarter cup of milk to a lump-free, smooth consistency. Slightly heat the milk, incorporate the cornflour mixture, and stir continuously until it starts to thicken. When it bubbles, add 20g of butter, stirring until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
  2. Thoroughly mix the three varieties of cheese, using your hands if necessary to ensure they are well blended.
  3. Fold the cheese mixture into the milk mixture until evenly distributed and set it aside.

Making the bougatsa:

  1. Gently melt the remaining butter in a small pot, this is going to be used for brushing the pastry, alternatively, substitute with extra virgin olive oil.
  2. Brush the first filo sheet with butter. Layer a second sheet on top, brush with butter, and then add a third sheet, brushing it as well.
  3. For the fourth sheet, butter only one half, fold it over, apply butter again, and fold once more to quarter size. Place this in the middle of the layered sheets, creating a sturdy base for the cheese mixture.
  4. Fold the pastry’s bottom half up and the top half down, butter the surface, and then fold in the sides, enclosing the filling.
  5. Gently transfer the parcel, seam side down, to a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pastry turns golden brown and puffs up.

Serving the bougatsa

  1. Post-baking, let it sit for five minutes.
  2. Cretan bougasta are traditionally cut into 8 pieces – slicing once lengthways and three times width ways.
  3. Dust amply with sugar and cinnamon and serve warm.

Do not cut the parcels that you do not intend on serving immediately. To re-warm them, they must be in one whole piece.

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Bougatsa Cretan Breakfast

Cretan Bougatsa Recipe

  • Posted 4 months ago

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