Feta and Leek Banitsa

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Aleksandar Taralezhkov teaches us how to make and amazing filo pie from scratch! This recipe happens to have a vegetarian filling and vegan pastry.

You can use pre-bought filo pastry as well.

For the Filo Pastry
500g plain flour
½ tbsp salt
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
250ml water

For the Filling
2 leeks, finely chopped
250g butter
3 tbsp yoghurt
150g feta cheese, crumbled
3 eggs

For the Topping
2 eggs
1 tbsp yoghurt

– In a large bowl, mix the plain flour, salt, olive oil, and water with your hands until the dough comes together and the bowl is clean. Add more water if needed – the dough should be as soft as your earlobe.

– Place the dough on your counter and knead for 10 minutes.

– Coat the bowl and dough in oil. Place the dough back in the bowl, cover in clingfilm, and let it rest for at least 2 hours.

– Bring the dough back to your counter. Stretch and fold the dough in on itself for 5 minutes.

– Place the dough back in the bowl and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

– Add 3 tbsp butter to a hot pan and let it melt. Add the leeks and fry for 5 minutes. Then, cover and cook for 2 minutes. Once cooked, transfer to a large bowl and let it cool.

– Place the rest of the butter in a bowl and melt for 40 seconds in the microwave.

– Grease and line a 12″ cake tin.

– Add the yoghurt, crumbled feta, and eggs to the cooked leeks. Mix well.

– Preheat the oven to 200°C / 180°C with a fan.

To Hand Stretch the Dough, place a natural fabric sheet on a large table and dust with flour. If you have a round table then this would be ideal.

– Drizzle some oil on your counter, place the dough on top and roll it into a large circle with a greased rolling pin. Make sure the dough is thoroughly coated in oil.

– Use the back of your hands to transfer the dough to the round table. Then, use the back of your hands to stretch the dough over the edges of the table. Make sure to stretch sideways as well so that you don’t split the dough.

– Cut the ticker edges off.

– Drizzle most of the melted butter over the stretched dough. Fold in the edges of the dough and spread the leek mixture around the edges.

– Pull the fabric up around the edges to encourage the dough to roll in on itself. Repeat this around the whole pastry until it’s thick enough to roll with your hands.

– Split the dough down the middle and continue to roll it to form snake-like shape.

– Bring the tin to the table. Place one end of the dough in the middle and roll it into a spiral.

– Brush the remaining butter onto the spiral.

– To prepare the topping, mix the eggs and yoghurts in a bowl. Pour this over the pastry.

– Cook in the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden.

Once cooked remove from the tin and let it cool slightly before slicing to serve!