Traditional Turkish Yufka (Filo Pastry) Products
Volkan Arif YILMAZ
Ondokuz Mayıs University, Faculty of Engineering, Food Engineering Department SAMSUN/TURKEY
Yufka (Filo pastry) is a flat, thin, traditional half baked product that produced from wheat flour, water, edible salt and some additives if needed. Flour type and the thickness of the yufka depends on the type of products to be produced. Yufka is produced in homes frequently but industrial production of the yufka has been increasing rapidly over the last twenty years. Yufka is known by various names in Balkans, Middle East and Caucasus and is used for many traditional products this regions also. Especially in Turkey yufka is an important raw material for many traditional foods like baklava, börek and gözleme. Almost all of the baklava, börek and gözleme types are produced from yufka. The yufka for the baklavas are commonly produced from soft wheat flours which makes them thin and crunchy but the yufkas for the börek and gözleme types are commonly produced from bread wheats. There is a lot of production techniques, shapes and ingredients for this products. Baklava
with pistachio, walnut and nut is commonly produced in Turkey. Su böreği, paçanga böreği, kol böreği, talaş böreği, sigara böreği are some traditional börek types in Turkey. Gözleme is generally baked on traditional hot copper sheets. Ground meat, potato and cheese are the ingredients that can be used in gözleme.
Keywords: Traditional, Yufka, baklava, börek, gözleme
Yufka, phyllo, filo, or fillo dough are paper-thin sheets of unleavened flour dough used for making pastries in Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisine.
The practice of stretching raw dough into paper-thin sheets probably evolved in the kitchens of the Topkapı Palace, based on Central Asian prototypes. Yufka may have been “an early form of filo” since the Dīwānu l-Luġat al-Turk, a dictionary of Turkic dialects by Mahmud Kashgari recorded pleated/folded bread as one meaning of the word yuvgha, which is related to yufka, meaning ‘thin’, the modern Turkish name for phyllo as well as a Turkish flatbread also called yufka.
A large number of traditional yufka based pastries, desserts and meals are produced in Turkey. Today, industrial scale corporations are also produced these products generally ready to cooked frozen versions.
2. Yufka Based Products
Baklava is the most famous and consumed dessert in Turkey. Although the history of baklava is not well documented, there is evidence that its current form was developed in the imperial kitchens of the Topkapı Palace in Istanbul based on a Central Asian Turkic tradition of layered breads. Baklava is normally prepared in large pans. Many layers of yufka, separated with melted butter, are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts—typically walnuts or pistachios, but hazelnuts are also sometimes used—is placed on top, then more layers of yufka. Most recipes have multiple layers of yufka and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry. Before baking, the dough is cut into regular pieces, often parallelograms (lozenge-shaped), triangles, or rectangles. A syrup, which may include generally sugar or honey is poured over the cooked baklava and allowed to soak in. Baklava is usually served at room temperature, often garnished with ground nuts. Yufka is also used for güllaç, a Turkish dessert mostly eaten in the holy month of Ramadan, where
layers of walnuts and rose water are placed one by one in warm milk.
Su böreği ‘water börek‘ is one of the most common types. In Turkish cuisine
consisting of boiled dough layers in large pans then a mixture of feta cheese, parsley and oil is scattered between the layers. The whole thing is brushed with butter and laid in a masonry oven to cook. It can be described as a salty version of baklava. Some recipes also use an egg yolk glaze on top when baked, to enhance color and crispness.
Sigara böreği ‘cigarette börek’ or kalem böreği ‘pen börek’, a smaller, cylindrical variety is often filled with feta cheese, potato, parsley and sometimes with minced meat or sausage. A variety of vegetables, herbs and spices are used in böreks, such as spinach, nettle, leek, and courgette, and usually ground black pepper. After rolling of the böreks, they fried in hot (180ºC) sunflower oil until they cooked.
It is a traditional specialty of Turkey filled with pastırma (traditional turkish cow bacon), kaşar cheese and julienned green peppers, (sometimes with tomato and parsley) that is rolled bigger than sigara böreği and fried in olive oil and eaten as a meze. It can be glazed with galeta flour and egg yolk before frying.
‘Arm börek’ is prepared in long rolls, either rounded or lined, and filled with either minced meat, feta cheese, spinach or potato and baked at a low temperature.
Gözleme is a savoury traditional Turkish pastry dish, made of hand-rolled dough that is lightly brushed with butter and eggs, filled with various toppings, sealed, and cooked over a hot copper sheet (sac). The name derives from the Turkish word göz meaning “compartment”, in reference to the pocket of dough in which the various toppings are sealed. Toppings for gözleme are numerous and vary by region and personal preference, and include a variety of meats (minced beef, chopped lamb, fresh or smoked seafood, sucuk, pastırma), vegetables (spinach, zucchini, eggplant, leek, chard, various peppers, onion, scallion, shallot, garlic), mushrooms, tubers (potatoes, yams, cassava, radish), cheeses (Turkish white cheese, kaşar, feta), as well as eggs, and seasonal herbs and spices.