Introduction: Greek Bougatsa

About: I'm an American ex-pat living in Greece, I enjoy cooking, sewing and all crafts.

Did you get a chance to make my Greek Baklava Bites? I am excited to say that I was a second prize winner in the Sweet Treats Competition. You can make both this recipe and the Baklava bites with just 1 package of Phyllo dough.

Bougatsa (Boo-ga-sa) is generally eaten by Greeks in the morning, it is a hand pita (pie) with a custard filling and covered in powdered sugar and cinnamon. Very delicious warm and straight out of the oven, just don't burn your tongue on the gooey custard filling.

Step 1: Tools and Ingredients

This Recipe makes 8 Bougatsa's, using 1/2 a package of Phyllo Dough. If you want to use the whole package of Phyllo then double the Custard recipe.

Tools :

  • Medium Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Glass Bowl's
  • Cutting Board
  • Knife
  • Pastry Brush
  • Small Pan for melted butter
  • Ice Cream Scoop *optional
  • Baking Sheet
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 package of Phyllo Dough
  • 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup fine Semolina
  • 2 Tbs. cold butter
  • 1 tsp Lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Egg Yolk (save the egg white to make a egg wash with a dash of water)
  • Melted Butter (if doing the Baklava recipe you will have enough to make these) otherwise melt 1/4 cup of butter to brush the phyllo.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cinnamon

Step 2: Custard

You can make the Custard the day before, since it needs time to cool.

  1. In the medium saucepan whisk together the sugar and milk, slowly heat over medium heat until the milk comes to a boil, whisking frequently so the milk does not burn on the bottom.
  2. Add the fine Semolina and whisk until the mixture thickens, about 5 minutes, you will see the mixture lift off of the bottom of the pan as you whisk, see picture above.
  3. Remove from the heat and add the butter, lemon zest and Vanilla extract.
  4. In a small bowl separate the egg, (keep the egg white in a plastic container with a lid and refrigerate) whisk the egg yolk and add a large spoonful of the custard mixture to the egg yolk in the small bowl and whisk together, then return the egg yolk mixture to the custard filling in the saucepan.
  5. Transfer the custard to a heat proof bowl and cover well with plastic wrap, be sure the plastic touches the top of the custard so it will not crust, refrigerate for at least 2 hours to cool completely, or even better overnight, to quickly make the bougatsa's in the morning :)

Step 3: Assembly

Preheat the oven to 350 F

We are going to roll these into little triangles, take one piece of phyllo* and brush with butter, place a second piece of phyllo on top and again brush with butter, take a third piece and place on top.

Cut the phyllo into 4 long strips, take one strip and place a scoop of the cooled custard at the end of one strip, brush the edges with butter and fold the end over the custard to form a triangle. Continue to fold up the strip of pastry, maintaining the triangle shape. Repeat with the other 3 strips.

If using half of your phyllo dough box, then do another set of 4, if using all of the phyllo pastry, then you should have doubled the custard recipe and continue making the triangles until you finish. If making the baklava as well, then be sure to cover your phyllo pastry the way I describe in that recipe.

*(Prepare the Phyllo Dough by dampening 2 clean kitchen towels, place one towel on your work surface, place a sheet of parchment paper on top this helps keep the dough from sticking to the towel. Unroll your phyllo dough on top of the the parchment, add another piece of parchment and the other damp kitchen towel on top. (Keep any phyllo covered with the towels when you are not working with them, this is a pretty quick process and after you do this the first time the next time you make them, you might not even need the kitchen towels ;) wink wink.)

Place the triangles on a parchment covered baking sheet.

If you desire a more even browning on top of your pastry, brush with an egg wash, otherwise the phyllo will come out a little on the white side.

Step 4: Bake

Bake your Bougatsa at 350 F for 20 - 25 minutes, you can also bake the Baklava at the same time.

Take the Bougatsa's out of the oven and allow to cool a little then transfer to plates and sprinkle with powdered sugar and cinnamon and serve warm.