I made these the other night and froze them. Since Passover I have been in a baking frenzy. I was craving all of the old favorites, Sephardic Desayuno, that is. Boyus/Bulemas, Borekas and along the way my sister asked me about Chocolate Babka and I had a craving for a biscotti or two. Keep in mind that Shavuot is Saturday night May 23 until the evening of Monday May 25th this year 2015. It is traditional among many to eat dairy on this holiday. Father’s Day and Mother’s day are coming and if you want to do brunch instead of barbecue these are perfect. While I have posted this recipe before I always tweak them as I go and make some minor changes.
The hardest part of baking a Boyu is getting the dough right. I prefer yeast dough with that special aroma and olive oil taste, crispy with just enough chew, it is the perfect pocket for salty cheesy spinach filling. The trick for getting the dough to stretch effortlessly is to make a soft dough, don’t handle it too much, and let it rest by giving a double rise and a double stretch.
1 and 1/ 2 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 and 1/2 cups better for bread flour (high gluten), plus extra for kneading
2 teaspoons sea salt
Flour for dusting
1/ 2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 bags prewashed baby spinach
8 ounces mild feta cheese (Bulgarian style from Israel), crumbled
4 ounces sharp cheddar (I used Tillamook Kosher), grated on large holes of box grater
1 cup Parmesano Reggiano, finely grated
1/3 cup Kasseri Cheese, grated medium
1/3 cup Parmesano Reggiano, finely grated
In a two cup glass measure, combine yeast and sugar. Add warm water and stir. Add oil and set aside to begin to bubble. Place flour in a large mixing bowl, add salt and stir. After yeast and water mixture begins to foam (about 8 minutes), add yeast water to flour and mix by hand. Gather dough into a ball, working with your hands to incorporate all flour. Turn dough out onto a floured surface (marble, granite, silpat, or wood) and knead for five minutes by hand. Dough should be very soft and easy to knead.
Place dough in a large clean bowl coated with oil. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and then a tea towel. and let it rise for two hours in a warm draft free place. After first rise, gently press dough down to deflate and divide dough into quarters. Form quarters into flat balls without working dough. Set four balls of dough onto a silpat lined baking sheet greased with a bit of olive oil. Loosely cover dough and let it rise for one more hour.
In the meantime, prepare spinach filling. Chop spinach into thin ribbons first and then cut crosswise. Place chopped spinach in a large bowl and combine with grated and crumbled cheeses.
Divide each ball of dough into 4 pieces, you will have a total of 16. Stretch out each piece with hands to about 5 x 7 inches. Dough should stretch easily. Set stretched pieces on work surface. Let pieces rest 5 to 10 minutes while you do the initial stretch to all pieces of dough.
Heat oven to 400°F. For this next step, I prefer a wood board or you could use the back of a large baking sheet. Place a few drops of oil on the surface of your choice. Oil your hands and stretch dough out to a larger rectangle around 18 x 10 inches using the back of your hands. Dough will be very thin and transparent. Dough stretches easily. Don’t worry if you get a hole, it will get covered when you roll up the Boyu.
Take a handful of filling about 1/ 2 cup or more and spread it in a narrow line along the long side of dough about 2 inches from edge. Roll up Boyu into a long cylinder and then, coil into a circle. Place boyu on silpat lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesano. Repeat until all spinach is used up.
Bake Boyus for about 20 minutes or until crisp and golden all the way around. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack so bottoms stay crisp. Eat them like this, or reheated. You can freeze and reheat them in a 300°F oven for about 10 minutes. Boyus are great for Shabbat Lunch, Shavuot, and brunches like Fathers’ Day or graduation parties. I always make about two or three batches.