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Armenian Sou Boereg Recipe/tips needed

I have a few recipes for this, and have yet to replicate my grandmother's version successfully. There seem to be a million boereg/burek/boreg recipes out there. This is the one where you roll out paper-thin large (9 x 12) sheets of lasagne-like dough made from flour, egg, and water. The sheets are then boiled, quickly cooled, then half are placed on a sheet pan with butter sprinkled between, a parsley-egg-muenster cheese mixture is spread in the middle, and the the other 4 or so sheets are placed on top. Then it's slathered with butter on top, and baked until crackly and golden. some recipes call for the top and bottom sheets to not be boiled. This is sort of like a missing link between bread and pasta.

My main challenge has been with getting the dough thin enough, and not having the sheets tear when getting them out of the boiling water. Anyone out there pay more attention to what his or her grandmother was doing in the kitchen, as opposed to just sitting there waiting to devour it when it came out?

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  1. My wife's family always uses filo (or phyllo) dough from the supermarket.

    1. My grandmother used a broom stick to roll out her dough. My husband cut a long dowel for me to use. We've been able to get the dough much thinner than with a rolling pin. We use jack cheese and boil all layers. It's now a family tradition to make this every Thanksgiving (and several other times when the kids insist!).

      1 Reply
      1. re: armeniancook

        Thanks! I only now re-checked the responses on this, and found out that sure enough, she had a special dowel for rolling it. By the way, do you soak the cheese? I have interrogated some relatives in the meantime, and they seem to think the cheese (muenster) may have been soaked in cold water prior to shredding. I'm also curious as to what cheese was actually used in to make this in Anatolia.

      2. If you don't want to make your own dough, I use a package of flat egg noodles and sometimes add cottage cheese in the mix. It works really well and comes close to how my mom made it.

        1. I am not sure how different Sou Boereg is from Turkish Su Boregi. Assuming they are somewhat similar, you might want to take a look at this version using egg roll wrappers:

            1. re: Antilope

              That is definately a recipe for Beoreg.

              Sou Beoreg is a little different though, it's a mock (Sou meaning lie or mock). Most dishes I've seen of Sou Beoreg use a flat wide egg type noodle and not the phyllo.

              If I hade my choice, I'd go for the Beoreg.

              1. re: Infomaniac

                The previous link on AOL Hometown is now dead because AOL has shutdown Hometown. The same web author has created another Armenian recipe site.

                Here's a new link to their Beoreg recipe:

            2. My ex-wife's Armenian grandma made hers quite differently, rolling out a dough made with a mixture of flour and cornstarch super-thin. She did not boil the dough at all, nor sandwich the pieces, but filled and folded them like pierogi (please note the similar name!) with a mixture of shredded jack cheese and parsley. Then she would either butter and bake them, or fry them.

              Judy learned this recipe from her and made them a few times, and a year or two after we'd split up I got hungry for them and tried making them myself. This dough is incredibly difficult to roll out, developing a very rubbery character, but after a long struggle I managed a credible batch. So the next time I saw Judy I told her about this, and she just laughed - "You actually made that dough? You must be crazy - don't you know about phyllo sheets?"

              1. Just like building a house, Foundation... Dough: 6 eggs, 1 Teaspoon of Salt, 2 Tablespoon Olive oil, Flour (Gold Medal) just enough to make dough of medium thickness. Filling: 1 lb. Wisconsin Brick Cheese and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Roll out dough after you have divide them into 13 portions.. roll to 1/10" thick....using small rolling pin... 1/2 inch thick... rolling pin... after you have dropped each sheet into boiling water with salt.. for 30 seconds only.. you place them in cold water and lay sheet on dry towels... every 4th sheet should be covered with butter.. after 6th sheet spread sherdded cheese and parsley.. bake in your oven for 400 degrees about 1/2 hour.. let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.. keep it covered with wax paper just before serving.. simple way contact Nina's Bakery in Fresno, Ca she has website... she makes very good Armenian Sou-beoreg... she sells it by the pan... $20 estimate... Nina's Bakery on shaw ave...

                God bless

                5 Replies
                1. re: Ailanjian Amos k.

                  Just throwing something in here: if I were doing this I'd get out my old Atlas pasta machine and run the dough through that, making sheets more or less the full width of the rollers. That's about 6" wide...

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Thought about doing that - I think my grandma would say that's cheating. Also, the real challenge is not tearing the dough getting it out of the boiling water.

                  2. re: Ailanjian Amos k.

                    That's very similar to the way I make it, except I butter between every sheet.

                    1. re: Ailanjian Amos k.

                      Sorry for the unconsolidated replies - $20 is a great price, considering labor. What part of Armenia is her family from originally? My grandmother was from Papert near Erzurum.

                      1. re: Ailanjian Amos k.

                        HI Amos I used to live in Fresno and before that I grew up in Cutler not far from Yettem which Historicaly is an Armenian Settlement of sorts. So there was a large Armenian community around as I was growing up. I now I live in Long Beach CA., I'm a Latino, but grew up with so many Armenian Friends that I always get home sick for that Armenian Food around the holidays especialy "Sou Boereg" There is no place out here where I can get Armenian food except maybe Pasadena, which is way on the other side of LA. But now when ever I go home for a visit I will be sure to stop by at Nina's to bring home a tray of some freash baked Sou Boereg . Thanks for the information. PS I used to work at Gottschalks for 10 years so if you have been a long time fresno resident you might remember "10 great days" at the Down town store. that and my middle name is Amos. so Hi again and thanks for the great info and Happy Holidays

                      2. Nina's Bakery Fresno, CA Ph. 559-449-9999 http://www.bing.com/local/Details.asp...

                        Website.... God bless

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Ailanjian Amos k.

                          When we visit Fresno, Nina's Bakery is always on our must visit list.