Byrek Recipe - Flakey, Delicious and Simple to Make at Home ⋆ (2024)

Albanian Byrek

Byrek is one of our greatest discoveries in Albania! So much so that we had to find and amazing byrek recipe to make at home.

One of the best things about travel and exploring new places is the food. However, you don’t have to be a knowledgeable foodie to appreciate great flavors and to try new things. Sampling the traditional dishes for each new region is certainly a personal highlight. It also provides a good insight into the history and culture of an area.

The Balkan area has a very diverse society and therefore many different types of food and drink are immersed into the culture. One food that cannot be avoided, and shouldn’t be missed, is the humble byrek. Byrek is also known as Borek, Burek or Pite – if made as a whole pie instead of small portions. Like many foods in the region, byrek was a popular part of Ottoman cuisine. However, it also seems to make an earlier appearance in the Classical era of the eastern Mediterranean region.

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How we Learned About Byrek

Last spring we visited Tirana, our first trip to Albania. Among many other things, we learned that Albanian food is diverse and delicious. Knowing very little about Albanian cuisine it was great fun trying all the new and exotic dishes. So, on our first evening in the city, we tried a traditional restaurant called Oda as it had been highly recommended.

Oda Restaurant

The evenings are getting warm by April so the short walk to the restaurant from the centre was pleasant. Turning down the small, leafy alley the air is already filled with the smell of delicious, wholesome cooking. Walking closer, the lane seems to grow narrow as the ivy takes over the buildings façade. There is a glow coming from the window and traditional music can already be heard from inside. On entering, we are warmly greeted and shown to the last available seats in the corner of the busy restaurant.

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Fortunately, the menu has an English translation so we read through it, several times, and select a mixture of dishes to make sure we have a wide selection. The food is brought out as it is prepared and the traditional music and dancing is ramping up in the adjoining room. The plate that really stands out (so much so that we order another one) is the Lakror – a form of Albanian byrek.

We are told that this pie is made in the traditional way with several layers of pastry which resemble the layers of a cabbage, which is why its name in Albania is lakror. The most common fillings are cheese, ground meat and onions, spinach, or a combination.

Now that the byrek addiction has been established, we sample them from Byrektores all across the city. However, one search almost results in us missing our bus to Montenegro. Time to rein it in, at least until we arrive in Podgorica.

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Byrek Recipe

If you’re craving a taste of something new and exciting (or even just a delicious and filling snack) here is a simple spinach and cheese byrek recipe for you to make at home.

Before you begin, your Byrek Recipe will require –

  • 400g (12 Sheets) Filo Pastry
  • 200g Spinach
  • 2 Eggs
  • 180g Cheddar Cheese
  • 25g Cream Cheese
  • 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 220ml Water
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Basil (optional)

The first step is to create the filling

  • Remove all stalks from the spinach and place into a large bowl. Add the eggs and cheeses. Mix together ensuring the egg covers all the spinach.

Next, fill the pastry

  • With two sheets of pastry, add some of the filling along the long edge leaving about 2cm (1 inch) underneath. Fold in both sides about 3-4cm (2 inches), then from the bottom, fold the 2cm (1 inch) left over the mixture then roll upwards to make a long sausage shape.
  • Roll loosely into spirals or fold into U-shapes.
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 creating 6 byrek. Oil the base of a baking dish and place the byrek inside against each other.

Finally, to cook

  • Brush olive oil all over the byrek and sprinkle with basil. Bake in the oven at 180°C (350°F) for 30 minutes or until golden brown

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Looking for More Recipes?

Inspired by this byrek recipe? Looking to discover more about Balkan food and drink? Take a look at our other postsHEREand try a few of the delicious recipes.

Maybe you’re thinking of a trip to the Balkans to try the real thing? Check out ourBalkan FAQspage for loads of information on the area.

Have you tried this recipe at home or in the Balkans? Let us know by dropping a comment in the box. We would love to hear from you!

Byrek Recipe

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Byrek Recipe - Flakey, Delicious and Simple to Make at Home ⋆ (2024)

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