BURICCHE Italian turnovers With spinach filling

Buricche are turnovers made with puff pastry and filled with vegetables (or meat).

Origin: Italy

Other names: burchita, burriche.

Pasta sfoglia (puff pastry) originated in Florence, Italy, during the Renaissance, as ingenious bakers, using techniques from Iberia, found a way to produce layered pastry as with phyllo dough but without the necessity of the time-consuming and skilled art of rolling each piece paper-thin. The water and butter embedded in the dough steam and puff up during baking, resulting in numerous flaky layers. Sephardic exiles introduced Italian Jews to Iberian turnovers, such as empanadas, and their various fillings, especially seasonal vegetables - spinach, aubergine / eggplant, and pumpkin. Eventually, the concept of the boreka (filled pastries) arrived from Turkey, giving rise to the Italian buricche, utilizing the Italian Jewish version of puff pastry and distinctively Italian fillings to make small turnovers. You can use store-bought puff pastry or standard flaky pie pastry. Buricche are among the favourite Italian Purim foods.

Gil Marks, Encyclopedia of Jewish food

ITALIAN TURNOVERS (BURICCHE)

About 20 pastries

[pareve]

Pastry:

  • 1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • About 2 1/2 cups (12.5 ounces) pastry or wholewheat flour, sifted
  • About 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted (vegan) butter, softened.
  • Additional flour for sprinkling
  • Glaze; almond / soy milk mixed with agave nectar or alternatively vegan butter

Spinach filling:

  • 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion or 6 scallions, chopped
  • 2 cups ( 1 pound fresh or 10 ounces frozen ) cooked, squeezed, and chopped spinach
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grated or soft vegan cheese
  • About 1/2 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • Dash of ground nutmeg or cayenne (optional)

RECIPE:

  1. To make the pastry: In a medium bowl, combine the oil, water, and salt. Stir in 1 cup flour. Gradually stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 30 mins.

2. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 1/3-inch-thick rectangle, about 9 by 6 inches.

Spread with 2 tablespoons butter and lightly sprinkle with flour.

With the narrow end facing you, fold over the top third of the dough, then fold over the uncovered bottom third, forming about a 6-by-3-inch rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 mins.

3. Place the dough, seam side up, on a lightly floured surface and roll into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle.

Spread with 2 tablespoons butter, lightly sprinkle with flour, and fold in thirds as in the previous step.

Repeat rolling, spreading, and folding 3 more times. Refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours or overnight. Let stand at room temperature for about 15 mins before rolling.

4. Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F.

5. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, 5 to 10 mins. Stir in the spinach. Let cool. Add the remaing ingredients.

6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds or squares.

Spoon 1 tablespoon filling in the center

Fold over to form a half-moon or triangle, and press the edges to seal.

Place on an ungreased baking sheet, 1 inch apart, and brush with a glaze.

Bake until golden brown, 15-20 mins. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

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