Our gül böreği recipe is what we’re going to be making in this article.
One of life’s simple foodie pleasures; the famous Turkish pastries; börek. And arguably, the börek with the prettiest name is gül böreği (rose börek).
Well, we think so, at least.
If we’re on the move and need to grab a snack on the go, we very often buy a simit or, for a change, we’ll get a rose börek.
Simit and rose börek are very often for sale in your local market (small grocery shops). So no need to hunt out one of the dedicated pastry shops (börekçi).
I love to get a gül böreği if we’re at the Otogar in Fethiye, about to go on a longer bus journey.
Made from yufka (a type of phyllo dough) its circular, spiral shape makes it easy to hold and eat whilst on the go.
And the amount of yufka and filling used means those hunger pangs are more than adequately dealt with. And you get a tasty treat to boot!
Because, don’t be thinking gül börek – or other Turkish börek dishes, for that matter – are just simple Turkish food snacks.
Börek had a prominent position on the tables of Sultans during the Ottoman Empire!
And gül böreği also has a prominent place on the table in our house, too.
Aside from eating it at home, it’s also a popular dish for us to make for picnics. Rose börek is an ideal pastry to make for taking on long walks or drives.
Experiment With Different Savoury Fillings
And what I love about making gül böreği is that you can experiment with different fillings.
For our gül böreği recipe, we’re going to be doing a combination of two common fillings: spinach and potato.
We’ve used this combination in the past when we made a spinach and potato puff pastry roll.
Spinach börek without the potato is really tasty and a popular filling. That’s what we were originally going to do for our gül böreği recipe.
However, we’d eaten half of our spinach bounty the day before. So we needed a companion for what was left.
Lots of people love beyaz peynir (Turkish white cheese – you can use feta cheese) or lor peynir (curd cheese) with spinach.
We use this in our sigara böreği. But cheese is Barry’s least favourite choice of filling so we avoid it where possible.
How To Make Gül Böreği – Rose Börek
Turkish gül böreği really looks the part but is actually very easy to make. Our recipe makes 8 individual rose börek.
The Filling For Our Gül Böreği Recipe
Our filling is very simple.
We boil two medium-sized potatoes. Cut them into bite-sized chunks so they cook quicker.
And, in a frying pan, we sauté 250 grams of chopped fresh spinach leaves.
We add salt and freshly ground black pepper, a little bit of salça (tomato paste), water and some spices (paprika and hot red pepper flakes – pul biber). Then let it simmer until the juices have almost evaporated.
Next we roughly mash our potato with a fork. Don’t properly mash it. Just squash it and rough it up a little. Then stir it into your spinach.
For The Yoghurt Egg Wash
Now, we need to make a yoghurt egg wash. We use this in all of our börek dishes that include yufka (or phylllo pastry).
It creates a softer texture and more flavour. And helps the yufka to stick.
The measurements are all roughly equal. No need to worry about being too exact for this.
2 tablespoonfuls of yoghurt (we use Turkish süzme yoghurt but Greek yoghurt will be fine), the same of olive oil and the same of milk.
Then we add one egg and mix it all together to form an emulsion.
Creating Your Rose Börek
We always support out local yufkacı when making börek, and buy our yufka from those people rather than from the supermarket.
You need two sheets of yufka to make 8 gül böreği. If you’re using phyllo sheets (filo is the same thing), use the large ones so you can cut rough triangular shapes.
On a clean, flat work surface, carefully place a sheet of yufka and fold it in half. Slice it down the middle from the flat edge to the curved edge.
And now take one piece and open it up. Slice down the centre from the flat edge to the curved edge again to create a triangular shape.
If you are using a sheet of phyllo, you need to create a triangle that has a bottom edge roughly 30 centimetres in length.
Use a damp towel or cloth to cover the rest of your pastry sheets so that they don’t dry out.
If you’re using fresh yufka, this isn’t so important but make sure you do this if you’re using yufka or phyllo from a packet, otherwise the pastry will crack when you are trying to create your rose börek shape.
Brush your triangle with the yogurt and egg mixture first of all.
Now, the trick is not to overfill your gül böreği.
We add three heaped teaspoonfuls of spinach and potato filling and scatter it along the bottom edge, leaving a small gap at the base. And at each edge.
Then it’s just a case of rolling a loose, long sausage shape. Keep rolling until you get to the pointed end of the triangle.
Then, you take one end of the sausage shape and carefully start to spiral it around.
And when you get to end, tuck the loose bit of yufka underneath and place on a baking tray.
Repeat this process until you have made your 8 roses.
At this point, you can either use the rest of your yoghurt egg mixture to brush over the top of your gül böreği, or, for a real golden brown topping, you can brush with an egg yolk.
Now top with sesame seeds or nigella seeds (çörek otu) and place in the centre of a preheated oven at 220 degrees Celsius.
Once they’re cooked, leave them to cool to room temperature.
Then you’re ready to delve into your rose börek with potato and spinach – patatesli ısapanaklı gül böreği.
Gül Böreği Recipe – FAQs
If you are in Turkey, use fresh yufka sheets as these are much easier to work with. Phyllo (filo dough is the same) is also good to use.
If you are vegan and don’t want to use a yoghurt egg was, it’s perfectly fine to use a wash of olive oil or vegetable oil mixed with water. A 50 / 50 split.
Yes! Different types of börek suit different fillings.
Other common ingredients that lend themselves well to gül böreği are beyaz peynir (white cheese or feta cheese filling) and minced meat (ground beef) and onion filling.
Obviusly, you can combine the fillings. Potato and minced meat, spinach and cheese, etc.
If you like Turkish aubergine recipes, you could use roasted aubergine as a filling. Or leeks.
Feel free to experiment. But the important thing to remember is not to overfill the long rolls, otherwise the pastry will tear when you shape your rose.
For this rose böreği recipe, place it in the centre of the oven at 220 degrees Celsius for around 20 minutes. Check to see if it’s golden brown on top. If not, place it back in for another few minutes.
Patatesli Ispanaklı Gül Böreği – Recipe For Potato & Spinach Rose Börek
Gül Böreği – Potato & Spinach Rose Börek
- 1 small bowl for the yoghurt egg wash
- 1 Pastry brush
- 1 Sharp knife
- 1 Frying pan
- 1 Saucepan
For The Börek
- 2 sheets fresh yufka or phyllo dough
- 2 medium potatoes scrubbed & cut into bite-sized chunks
- 250 grams fresh spinach leaves washed & roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons nigella seeds or sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste salça
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes pul biber
- salt & pepper to season
For The Yoghurt Egg Wash
- 1 large egg beaten
- 2 tablespoons süzme yoghurt or Greek yoghurt
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For The Yoghurt Egg Wash
- First of all, add your yoghurt egg was ingredients to a bowl and beat together until you have a smooth emulsion.
For The Rose Börek
- Add your potatoes and a good pinch of salt to a saucepan of boiling water and boil until soft.
- Drain immediately.
- Meanwhile, heat your olive oil in a frying pan on a moderate heat and add your spinach.
- Once it has wilted, add a splash of water (around 2 tablespoons) and your tomato paste and mix into your spinach.
- Now add your spices and seasoning and stir in.
- Allow your spinach to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Remove from the heat.
- Smash your potatoes with a fork and mix into the spinach.
- Leave this to one side and allow to cool.
- Now take one sheet of yufka and fold it in half, carefully, to make a semicircle.
- Using a sharp knife, start from half way along the flat edge and cut downwards to the curved edge, to halve the semi circle.
- Now take one of those pieces and open it out.
- Again, cut down the centre from the flat edge to the curved edge so that you have two triangles.
- Place one of the yufka triangles onto a clean, flat work surface with the curved edge at the bottom and the point at the top.
- Carefully place the rest of the yufka under a damp cloth so that it doesn't dry out.
- Now, using a pastry brush, paint your yoghurt egg wash emulsion all over the yufka triangle.
- Take 3 teaspoons of the potato and spinach mix and carefully arrange it along the bottom edge of the triangle, leaving a couple of centimetres space at each edge.
- Now take the bottom edge and loosely roll the yufka until you reach the pointed edge, creating a long sausage shape.
- Now take one end of the sausage shape and carefully start to create a spiral shape.
- When you reach the opposite end, tuck the loose edge of yufka under the base of your spiral (your rose) and carefully lay it on a baking tray.
- Repeat this process until you have used all of your yufka or potato and spinach mix.
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
- Now paint the rest of your yoghurt egg wash over the top of your gül böreği rose shapes and sprinkle each one with nigella seeds.
- Place your güle böreği in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top.
- Once the pastries are golden brown, remove from the oven and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Enjoy your potato and spinach rose börek as a snack or as part of a main meal.
- Turkish yufka is served in large circular sheets that we quarter into 4 triangles. If you are a using phyllo (filo) pastry sheets, you need rough triangles with a base of approximately 25-30 centimetres.
- As with all of our recipes, the calorie count is a rough guide and is for one gül böreği. Our recipe makes 8 individual gül böreği.
- Feel free to experiment with other fillings. We have made some suggestions in the article.
- If you want an extra golden topping for your gül böreği, you can use an egg yolk rather than the yoghurt egg wash.
- If you are vegan, you can substitute the yoghurt egg wash for a 50 / 50 mix of olive oil and water.