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Sephardic Borekas

No self-respecting website posting a slew of Sephardic recipes in one day could omit borekas. These are, according to my mentor Katherine Scharon, the real deal. No funky random puff pastry wrapped blobs of potato here. No! These borekas have a unique dough made of flour, oil, water and salt that gently folds and stretches over the cheese laden potato filling. The borekas pictured are from last winter. Making them this week, I marvel at how different the dough can be depending on the flour, the weather. I've cut back on the flour and like the ease of handling this affords.

We make the filling with potato flakes reconstituted with water. Sometimes we've made them with added milk and butter. Milk and butter can make the potato too soft with a tendency to burst out from the crust while baking. So, I think I'm back to just potato flakes and water. There is a ton of cheese in the filling. The cheese is key so don't be skimpy.

The boreka dough may also be filled with a number of fillings. We've used eggplant tapenade with great reviews. Master the dough, master the rope edging and you can do whatever you want with the filling. My favorite in the fall and winter months is pumpkin. It is like individual pumpkin pie to go. Love, love it!

Kosher Status: Dairy
Number of servings: 36 pieces
Main Ingredient(s): Potato Flakes - Pareve
Preparation Time: 00:30
Cooking Time: 00:20
Skill Level: 2 (1 Easy - 5 Hard)
Estimated POINT value:
Average Rating: 2.5/5


The filling:

  • 3/4 pounds (12 ounces) potato flakes
  • 4 1/2 cups hot water (or, 3 cups hot water, 1 cup warm milk and 1/2 cup melted butter)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (plus some for sprinkling on tops)
  • 1 eggs (plus 1 for egg washing tops)
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 pound feta cheese
  • 1/2 pound cottage cheese

For the dough:

  • 4 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup oil
  • 1 cup hot water


To make the dough, put the flour and salt into a bowl. Heat the water in the microwave so it is very hot. Add the oil and stir. Add to the flour and salt. Stir until blended. Mix with your hand to be sure it is well blended but don't over handle.

Form dough into a ball, place on counter and invert the bowl over dough. Let rest while you make the filling.

To make the filling, put the potato flakes into a bowl. Add the water and mix to blend well.

Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

Scoop the filling into golf ball sized portions. There should be about 36 balls.

Scoop the dough into balls smaller than the filling, about the size of a walnut.

Flatten the ball of dough on the table surface. Place a ball of filling onto the flattened dough ball.

With your thumb, push the filling into the dough as you bring it over the top of the filling. Hopefully, your dough is pliable enough to do that with a gentle stretching that doesn't break the dough.

Continue to fold over until you can gently pinch the edges together. You want the edges to just barely meet and the pinch to be very narrow.

Form the rope edging by rolling dough up, over and flattening with the bottom of your thumb. You want to create a very delicate edge. Repeat until the edge is done. It usually takes about 14 motions to complete the edge.

Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Place the boreka onto a sheet pan. They can be about 1/2" apart. Bake until a light golden brown and there is color on the bottom. Serve warm or at room temperature.

And that is how you make Kosher Sephardic Borekas!

Rate this Recipe:


Ben: I remember the years of working along side the little Sephardi woman making these. They really are authentic and always a crowd pleaser!
Souzan: Excellent!
Olga: Why not use whole potato instead of potato flakes? Wouldn't that give it a richer taste?
Cynthia: Leah - I'm surprised you use hot water for your dough. I use ice water and find it comes out better - easier to work with and flakier. It's my aunt Regina Amira's recipe.
Leah: Hi Cynthia, I prefer boiling water mixed with the room temperature oil and I mix the dough just until blended. We made 900 the other day and the dough is very pliable and easy, fast to use. Some people use white wine. I just find that less mixing of the dough is best.
Barbara: I am thrilled to see a recipe for borekas that duplicates what my mother taught me...and her mother taught her. Many, many thanks for posting this, so my children will find it, if they forget.
Leah: Thanks, Barbara - we sure make a ton of these! Olga above - I guess one could use whole potatoes but when I'm doing 500 at a time, I need consistency and a break!
Dalia: Every time turn our just perfect borekas. Thank you for the recipe.
LOUIS: A friend referred me to your site just for this recipe on Boreas. My mom used to make these all the time. She wrote down her recipe before she died, but I think she forgot to put in a few of the ingredients. Anyway, I can't wait to make these ( I haven't had them for about 10 years). Thanks for giving me back a piece of my childhood

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Hi! Thank you for stopping by to watch me, Leah, cook kosher. I've been the owner operator of my boutique catering firm in Seattle, Leah's Catering, for the past 14 years.

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