Zelnik is a traditional pastry which originates in the Balkan countries. Macedonian people love zelnik. It is made of 2 layers of kneaded dough and filled in between with combinations of minced meat, white cheese (sirene) and eggs, sorrel, leeks, pumpkin, spinach and cheese, sour cabbage and there’s even a sweet version with apples and cinnamon. Zelnik is usually served with yogurt and its best eaten warm.
Zelnik is similar to börek (burek) and maznik. Once you master kneading of the dough and creating the layers, then you can experiment with different fillings.
This is a recipe for delicious Macedonian pie (zelnik) with leeks and of course, you can add different filling as desired.
- 600 g flour
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp dry yeast
- 250 ml lukewarm water
- 250 g butter
- 2-3 leeks
- spices, salt, mixed dry vegetables, pepper
- Mix dry ingredients, flour, salt, yeast and sugar in a deeper bowl. Add oil and lukewarm water and knead medium soft dough.
- Once the dough is nicely kneaded, divide into two parts, one bigger and other smaller. Each piece is dragged to a thickness of 0.5 mm and coated with a layer of butter, previously left at room temperature. Fold one-third of the crust and again coat with butter. Fold the other side too. This procedure is repeated at each folding until we form an envelope or a cube.
- Leave the dough in the fridge for 15-20 minutes. The same is repeated with the smaller crust.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. Put in a pan of hot oil previously cleaned and chopped leek to fry. Season to taste with salt, pepper, mixed dry vegetables and maybe a teaspoon of black pepper.
- Coat baking pan with butter. Roll out the larger crust with a rolling pin in size slightly larger than the baking pan, this crust is thicker and placed on the bottom of the tray. Evenly apply the filling. Roll out the smaller crust which should be thinner and put above the filling. Roll the ends of the crust make 4-5 holes with your finger throughout the pie, so it won’t swell during baking. Sprinkle with oil and pieces of butter and bake for 25-30 minutes at 180 C degrees.