Easy Bougatsa Recipe: Flaky Pastry With Creamy Filling

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Bougatsa Recipe: A Delicious Flaky Pastry Treat (1000+ Words)

Bougatsa (pronounced boh-gah-TSA) is a beloved Greek pastry that’s both simple and incredibly satisfying. It features layers of flaky phyllo dough filled with a savory mixture of semolina custard and crumbled feta cheese. Bougatsa can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a light lunch, or even as a decadent afternoon snack.

Bougatsa - Greek Custard Pie
Bougatsa – Greek Custard Pie

This recipe will guide you through creating this delicious pastry at home, complete with detailed instructions, a breakdown of the ingredients, and a glimpse into the nutritional value of this delightful treat.


For the Phyllo Dough:

  • 1 pound (454 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (237 ml) warm water (about 105°F/40°C)
  • 1/2 cup (118 ml) olive oil, plus extra for brushing

  • For the Semolina Custard:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) semolina flour
  • 4 cups (946 ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50 g) unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • For the Filling:

  • 1 pound (454 g) feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

  • Directions:

    Making the Phyllo Dough (Optional):

    While store-bought phyllo dough works perfectly fine, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can create your own fresh phyllo dough at home. Here’s how:

    1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Gradually add the warm water, mixing until a shaggy dough forms.
    2. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Add a little more flour if the dough feels too sticky.
    3. Form the dough into a ball, place it in a lightly oiled bowl, and cover it with plastic wrap. Let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
    4. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Cover each piece with a damp cloth to prevent drying.
    5. On a lightly floured surface, roll out one piece of dough as thinly as possible. The dough should be almost translucent. Brush the entire surface with olive oil.
    6. Repeat steps 5 and with the remaining dough pieces, stacking them carefully on top of each other as you go. Brush the top layer with olive oil as well.
    7. Starting from a long end, gently roll up the phyllo dough into a tight log. Coil the log into a snail shape and place it back in the oiled bowl, seam side down. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest for another 30 minutes.
    8. Uncoil the dough and begin stretching it out again. This time, instead of rolling, use your fingertips to gently stretch the dough from the center outwards, working your way around the entire circle. The dough should become very thin and translucent.

    Making the Semolina Custard:

    1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the semolina flour, milk, sugar, and butter over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a simmer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps from forming.
    2. Reduce the heat to low and continue simmering for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and becomes porridge-like. Remove from heat.
    3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Slowly whisk the hot semolina mixture into the egg mixture, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Set the custard aside to cool slightly.

    Assembling the Bougatsa:

    1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.