Is it possible a homemade mpougatsa (creamy custard pie) not to be posted from a greek blogger living in Thessaloniki? Absolutely NOT!
Creamy custrad pie or else bougatsa is traditionally made in Northern Greece with very large handmade phyllo sheets that are folded over multiple times before being folded over the filling. It comes with different fillings creme, cheese, meat, spinach.
Bougatsa is said to originate in the city of Serres, an art of pastry brought with the immigrants from Constantinople and is most popular in Thessaloniki (where I live), in the Central Macedonia region of Northern Greece.
In the process of making the bougatsa, the most important thing is for the “phyllo” to be perfect. Phyllo is a very thin unleavened dough used for making pastries.To succeed in this, you will need flour, oil, and soft veggie butter of the best quality. Homemade phyllo takes time and skills, requiring progressive rolling and stretching to a single thin and very large sheet. A very big table and a long roller are used, with continual flouring between layers to prevent tearing.
Since I didn’t have the necessary skills, time and room (my kitchen is quite small) I decided not to try a traditional recipe for making phyllo, instead I made a very easy homemade phyllo dough that didn’t require so much rolling and stretching.
So, this version of bougatsa calls for homemade phyllo dough and it has a creamy custard filling. You must serve it at room temperature (if you serve it warm you will end up with a burnt tongue since the cream will be very hot), sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and cinnamon.
Creamy Custard Pie Rolls with Home Made Phyllo Dough
Creamy custard pie rolls with homemade phyllo
For the filling
- 750 ml milk 3,5% fat
- 120 gr granulated sugar
- 60 gr cornstarch
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 egg yolks
- 60 gr butter
For the dough
- 300 gr all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 100-150 ml lukewarm water
- 50 gr granulated sugar
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 1/4 tsp salt
STEP 1: Making the filling
On a saucepan over medium heat add the milk and the sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. As soon as it comes to a boil add the corn starch and whisk continuously until the mixture starts to thicken, lower the heat.
When the mixture thickens enough add the vanilla extract and the egg yolks, whisk continuously. Remove from heat.
Add the butter and stir until the custard is smooth, creamy and shiny.
Pass through a sieve and transfer to a small baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap touches the surface of the custard directly, so that it doesn’t form a film on top. Set aside and let it cool.
STEP 2: Prepare your dough
In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the dough. Stir the ingredients by using one hand while with the other hand add the water in small batches. Since each flour is different you have to decide if you will use 150 ml of the lukewarm water, my dough needed around 130 ml of water. You want to end up with a dough that won't stick to your lightly dusted with flour hands.
When the mixture comes together to form a dough, lightly dust your hands with flour and start to knead the dough until it stops sticking to your hands.
Divide the dough into 4 equal parts and place them on a pan, cover the pan with a towel and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes.
When ready, preheat your oven to 170*C and start rolling! Roll out each piece of dough into a 50x15 cm rectangle.
Add ¼ of the cream to the center of each piece of dough and by using a spatula spread the cream acrooss by leaving a 2 cm border all around.
Roll the dough into a cylinder and brush the edges with some milk so it can seal and the filling won’t run out. Shape cylinder into a snail. Repeat process with all of the pieces of dough.
Brush them with milk and bake for around 40 minutes until golden. When ready, remove from oven and set aside to cool. You have to let them cool since the cream inside your roll is extremely hot.
Dust with icing sugar and cinnamon. Enjoy!
I hope to like my post and to make some bougatsa for yourself!