BUREK (Instructions per Greg G. Bezat)

The Dough

14 cups sifted white flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
4 teaspoons salt
3-3/4 cups water
1 cup bacon drippings or crisco

Use a large bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in the grease by hand or use a pastry blender. Make a well in the mixture and add 3-1/2 cups water. Knead until homogenous and elastic. If the mixture is somewhat crumbly add the balance of the water and knead as needed. Dough must be  elastic to allow rolling into thin sheets. This mixture makes 7 pounds of burek dough.

Adding the Cheese

1 pound butter
3-1/2 pounds cheddar cheese
7 pounds burek dough

Divide the dough into seven individual pieces of equal weight. Divide each of the seven pieces of dough into five pieces. Roll each of the five pieces into batches of five pieces each and position each batch in order of completion.

Start with the first batch of dough balls and roll each ball into a 6″ disc. Layer the 5 discs spreading crisco between each layer. Do not grease the top layer. Cover the pile of 5 discs with plastic and set aside. Repeat the rolling procedure for each of the 7 batches in the same sequence as the 7 batches were formed into balls. On completion of the rolling into 6″ diameter discs set the plastic covered pile of discs aside until the dough again becomes resilient and elastic. While the dough rests clarify the butter in a tall saucepan. Grate the cheese and place in container and keep refrigerated until used. Grease three large cake pans about 12″ by 18″ with crisco.

Cover a large table with a cotton sheet in preparation for rolling the dough into large sheets. Check the dough for elasticity.

Start with the first batch of 5 discs and thereafter in order of completion do the following: Place the stack of five discs on the cloth, dust with flour if needed and roll out the stack into a disc of about double the beginning diameter, about 12 to 15″ in diameter and cover each disc with plastic. Using a 1 to 2″ diameter by 30″ long rolling pin, rollout each of the 7 flat discs in order of their completion, to a sheet of dough or more inches in diameter.

The final sizing begins in order of their completion. Stretch the 24″ discs to about 54″, this final size is governed by the thickness of the dough. The large sheets must be as thin as possible. Wherever possible avoid tearing the sheets. Upon completion of stretching the first of the seven 24″ disc while the sheet is on the tabletop drizzle 1/7th of the clarified butter over the surface of the dough. Sprinkle lightly with salt and then spread 1/7th of the grated cheese over the surface of the sheet. Start at one side and roll the loaded dough to the center. Then from the other side roll the dough to the center where both rolls meet. Lift the dough from one end and twist it 2 or 3 turns and repeat from the other end. Working quickly to prevent dryout lay the twisted rope of dough in continuous close loops until the pan is full. Normally 2 will fill a 12 by 18 pan if each loop of dough is placed against the other.

When the pan is full, drizzle melted butter over the dough and place in a preheated 450° oven for ten minutes on the bottom rack. Reset the oven to 375°, place the pan on the top rack and bake for 40 minutes. Check for browning, do not allow the top to darken. Adjust the oven temperature to get a golden brown top of the dough. Remove from the oven and invert on brown paper (paper bags are fine). Cover with cloth towel until cool. Repeat procedure with the balance of the dough. If you are still standing and sane when the burek is cool, serve for breakfast with cocoa or milk, burek is well designed for dunking.

2-1/2 Ibs. burek dough
12 eggs  2 cups milk
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup thin egg noodles
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup clarified butter
Use a 12″ diameter pan about 2″ deep.

Roll out 1 pound of burek dough to about 16″ in diameter. Form the rolled out dough against the base and side of the pan. Allow the excess to fold over the sides. Divide 3/4 lb. of dough into 3 pieces of equal weight. Roll out each piece to a sheet of approximately 12″ in diameter. Toast each rolled out sheet in a 350° oven until brown and crisp. Do not darken. Allow the sheets to cool.

Put the eggs, milk and condiments in a bowl. Break the egg noodles into 1/2″ pieces and add to the mixture. Mix thoroughly. Place one sheet of toasted dough on the dough lining the bottom of the pan and sprinkle with butter. Pour in one-third of the egg mixture and spread it evenly over the dough. Repeat this procedure with the two remaining sheets of toasted dough. With the balance of the dough, roll out a cover about 14″ in diameter. Fold this in waves over the filling. Fit the cover into the confines of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining butter over the top and edges of the dough cover. Fold the base dough over top pinching the edges to seal tightly. Bake in a preheated 400° oven for ten minutes, reset the oven temperature to 325° and bake for 1 hour. Do not allow the top to darken. Adjust the oven temperature if required.

BREAD (Todora Bezat)
10 cups flour
1 cup milk
1cup water
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup sugar (for rolls)
2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
3 packages dry yeast, 1/2 cup warm water & 1 tsp. sugar
Add water and sugar to yeast and let bubble up.
Bring to boil water and milk combined. Add shortening, sugar and salt and cool. Add mixture and yeast to flour. Also eggs.  Mix together and knead until smooth and elastic. Let rise to about double the amount. Divide into loaves & let rise; brush top with egg or milk. Add sesame seed and bake in 450° oven for 15 minutes. Reduce to 350° for 30 minutes.

BREAD (Avis Bezat)
18 cups flour
4 pkg. dry yeast
1 cup sugar
4 Tbs. salt
1 cup cold water
8 eggs (beaten)
1 cup warm water
1 cup Crisco
1 quart homogenized whole milk
1 egg for top
Add 1 cup lukewarm water to yeast in small bowl and let rise. In a deep saucepan, scald milk. Add Crisco, salt, sugar, eggs. After Crisco melts, add 1 cup cold water. When above mixture is “lukewarm”, add yeast.

PANCAKES
1 egg
7 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tbs. sugar
6 tbs. shortening
1-1/2 – 2 cups milk
Mix dry ingredients. Add egg and milk and mix. Add melted shortening, and stir until smooth. Cook on griddle at 350°.

WAFFLES
1/3 cup shortening
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs separated
1-3/4 cup milk
2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Cream together shortening and sugar. Add egg yolks. Alternate addition of milk and flour mixture and stir. Whip egg whites. Fold into batter and stir. Be careful not to over-stir. Bake in regular waffle iron until done.

FRENCH TOAST
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
Mix ingredients thoroughly. Soak bread – many types work well. Fry at 350° until browned.

ZELNIK
1/2 lb. clarified butter
3-1/2 lbs. burek dough
2 lbs.lean ground round beef
6 medium size onions, chopped
1/4 cup long grain rice
2 eggs
3 cups whole milk
2-1/2 teaspoons salt

Filling
Brown the meat using a large heavy frying pan. Add the chopped onions and fry until the onions are translucent. Add salt and then cool. After the mixture is cool, add the milk and rice and set aside. Divide 1/2 lb. burek dough and form into 3 balls. Roll out each ball of dough into an 18″ diameter sheet. Toast each sheet in a 300° preheated oven until golden brown and crisp. Set aside to cool. Roll out 1-1/2 Ibs. dough into a sheet about 26″ in diameter and place in a 2″ x 18″ diameter pan. Form the dough to fit the bottom and sides of the pan allowing the excess dough to hang over the pan wall as a future seal. Drizzle part of the butter on dough. Place a toast sheet of dough on the bottom of the pan and drizzle with butter. Spread one-third of the filling on the toasted sheet. Place a toasted sheet on the filling and drizzle with butter. Repeat this procedure twice. Roll out 1-1/2 Ibs. burek dough into a 22″ diameter sheet and place it on top of the last filling layer folding it into ripples to fit the top. Sprinkle melted butter over the top, around the edges and on the excess of the bottom layer. Form and pinch the bottom layer of dough over the top forming a tight seal. Place in the middle rack of a preheated 350° oven and bake for 1 hour. Do not allow the top to darken. Adjust oven temperature if necessary. Remove from the oven and cover with cloth towel. Allow to cool and cut into serving size wedges.

SPINACH ZELNIK FILLING
6 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tsp. salt
2 large bunches spinach
Mix all ingredients and substitute for the beef filling.

BAKLAVIA (Todora Bezat and Barbara Bezat)
Using the same dough as the burek dough, go as far as the ball process, then roll out to thin sheets for the baklavia layers. Place the layers in a round pan – cut to size – and add a tiny bit of cream of wheat to each layer. Add the sugar and walnut mixture 2 every three layers. Add sugar to walnuts.

21 cups of flour makes 44 90 gm patties for baklavia

2 lb. clarified butter (use salt free, it’s much simpler)
14 cups nuts
2 cups sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
Large pan – syrup – 9 cups sugar
4 cups water
Riley says you make the syrup in the clarified butter remnants, (that’s from Uncle Jimmy’s tip – scoop out the big globs of salt.) Grandma also told Riley to add “two heaping Tbs. lemon juice”. Go figure!

Bake at 400° for 10 minutes, then at 350° for 35 minutes. We have also drawn a map for how to cut it!

EASTER SWEET BREAD
1 lb. butter
1-1/2 tsp. salt
8 eggs
2 cups milk
2-1/2 cups sugar
14 cups flour
3 cakes yeast (3 pkgs.)

WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
8 cups dark whole-wheat flour
8 cups white flour
5 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 cups water
1-1/2 cups milk
1 cup water for yeast (2 big ones)
3/4 cup shortening or oil
4 tsps. salt
1/2 cup wheat germ or cornmeal
Mix and knead the dough until elastic. Let rise only once and brush immediately as dough is put in pans. See white bread for further directions.

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