Traditional Greek Bougatsa Cream

Explore how you can make your own homemade Bougatsa Cheese at home, easily and quickly!

Bougatsa Cream is a Greek traditional pastry made with thin, crispy phyllo pastry. It is filled with a mixture of semolina and custard cream to provide a full and sweet flavour. The recipe comes from the Northern part of Greece where bougatsa is a famous breakfast and brunch option. It is served with icing sugar and cinnamon, making the pastry’s overall flavour unparalleled. 

Ingredients you will need for the dough: 

  • 450g hard flour (and a little bit extra to roll the dough out)
  • 400ml of water (use it so the dough doesn’t stick)
  • 500g melted butter 
  • A pinch of salt 

Ingredients you will need for the filling: 

  • 750g of fresh milk
  • 40g of fresh butter
  • 180g of granulated sugar
  • 70g fine grained semolina
  • Lemon zest of 1 lemon
  • 3 egg yolks from medium eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt

Ingredients you will need for serving:

  • Icing sugar 
  • Cinnamon

The steps

  • In a pot, mix the milk and granulated sugar and transfer to medium heat until the milk starts boiling. Then, add the semolina and stir until the cream becomes thick. 
  • Remove the pot from the heat and add the vanilla extract, the fresh butter and the lemon zest. Stir the mix until the fresh butter melts. Add the egg yolks and the salt and mix all together.
  • Put the cream filling in a bowl and cover it with plastic filming. Put it in the fridge to cool down. Be careful to make sure that the plastic filming touches the surface of the cream, so it doesn’t create a crust on the top when it is cooling.
  • Preheat the oven to 170ο C at the fan setting. 
  • In a mixer’s bowl, mix together the flour, water, salt and 50g of melted butter. Stir the mix for 5 to 8 minutes at high speed until there is an elastic dough. If you do not have a mixer, you can stir the ingredients together in a bowl using a spoon until the dough becomes too stiff to stir by hand. Then, knead the dough until it becomes nice and fluffy. Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap it in plastic filming and put it aside to rest for around 20 minutes.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and cut the dough into 4 equivalent pieces. Shape the pieces into small balls and place them inside a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic filming and put it aside to rest for another 20 minutes.
  • Take two of the dough balls and roll them out into small circles. Spread them onto a baking pan, cover them with plastic filming, and let them rest for 20 minutes.
  • Spread your working surface with melted butter and place the first ball of dough. Roll it out softly with a rolling pin, not from the center, but from its sides. Carefully spread the sides of the dough all around with your hands, by pulling the corners of the dough. Follow the same process, until you have a very thin phyllo. 
  • Spread some of the melted butter and cut strips around the phyllo in order to form a parallelogram. Place the strips in the center of the phyllo. Add half of the filling in the center and close it carefully like a folder. Set aside this aside.
  • Roll out the second dough in the same way, and spread some of the melted butter. Place the bougatsa in the center of the phyllo, with the folded side facing down. Roll softly with the rolling pin, and fold the outer phyllo like a folder. 
  • Transfer the bougatsa, with the folded side facing down, into a baking pan lined with baking paper and leave it in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. Follow the above process for the other two doughs as well. You can bake the second bougatsa too, or you can put it in the freezer.
  • Cut the bougatsa into small pieces, dust with icing sugar, cinnamon, and serve.
  • Enjoy your delicious Bougatsa Cream!