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Banitza - Baked Cheese Pastry (Bulgarian Recipes)
Banitza is one of the most popular and typical Bulgarian dishes, more of a breakfast or snack thing than a main course. There are many shapes and varieties of Banitza - with cheese, spinach or butternut squash, but the cheese one is the most common and famous one.
10-12 sheets Filo pastry (it is difficult to roll the sheets in the correct thickness, so I suggest you buy the ready made ones from your supermarket)
500 gr white cheese (you can use Feta although it is not quite the same as the Bulgarian White Brined Cheese - see below for info on how to purchase on the Internet)
1/2 pack butter (melted)
250 ml soda water
pinch of salt
Oil a medium size deep oven dish, cover bottom with a sheet of Filo pastry, sprinkle melted butter, sprinkle crumbled white cheese, and continue layering Filo pastry with butter and cheese. Finish with a layer of Filo pastry and butter. In a separate dish beat the eggs, add salt, and soda water. Pour slowly over the dish with the Banitza and let it soak in. Cook in a preheated oven (180-200 C) for about 40 minutes or until the Banitza has risen slightly and has nicely browned on top. Leave to cool for about 30 minutes and serve. I like it with Bulgarian yoghurt on the side.
Add sautéed spinach when layering the Banitza for a change.
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