Zelnik is a Macedonian traditional food, it's made anytime in the year, especially in the winter, for Christmas Eve. Zelnik is a pastry very similar to banitsa, but the difference is the filo (it's thicker) and the filling. Also the zelnik has a bunch of filling in the center, and the banitsa don't . The filling often is spinach (and white cheese), eggs and cheese, leeks (and rice), grounded potatoes with black pepper, and in the winter, brined cabbage. In the past, when the people were poor (in war time), the filing was every "green" leaves that could be eaten (nettle leaves, dandelion leaves, beetroot leaves, etc). In the early age the Macedonian girls are thought how to roll the filo.
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
For the filling you can use everything you like from things that I have mentioned above and how much you like (I can't tell exact quantity)
First in small cup dissolve the yeast with the warm water. Mix the flour with the salt and sugar, then make a hole in the center of the flour and pour the dissolved yeast. Add the water little by little and with your hands start to make a dough. The dough must be not very hard and elastic. Then leave the dough to rise. Knead the dough and take small balls (little bigger than a golf ball) and start to rolling them. The rolling is going on in several stages and in every stage the dough is sprinkled with flour until the filo is thin enough. After the filo is thin enough, it's sprinkled with the filling and sunflower oil, and then it's rolled up in thin roll. Also there are several techniques of rolling the rolls, and this is often made for better presentation. The rolls are put into a baking pan, until 15 cm diameter of the center is empty. Then it's made a smaller filo, it's placed in the center and filled with the remaining filing, then closed up with another filo. In the end the zelnik is sprinkled with sunflower oil and left to rest 30 min to 1 hour. After that, the zelnik is baked. At the time of baking, the zelnik is checked several times, and every time is sprinkled with little hot water mixed with sunflower oil. Of course, every family had it's own method of making the dough, the rolling, the filling and baking. But these are the basics of making zelnik. For breakfast it's eaten with Jogurt, and I love it:-)!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
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