Banitsa – Bulgaria’s cheesy gift to humanity

Learn how to bake a Bulgarian cheese pie, banitsa баница.


Join my livestream at 7pm AEST, Thursday 26 August 2021 on my YouTube channel. (Webinar via Google Meet was too hard for people who don’t have a Google account).

The banitsa, a delicious cheese pie, is one of Bulgaria’s many gifts to humanity.

Learn how to make this simple, scrumptious pastry, and make your kitchen smell divine.

Preparation takes about 20 minutes, and baking at least 30, depending on your oven.
Making one banitsa will cost around $10

You will need:
375g Fillo/filo pastry – chilled, not frozen. I recommend Antoniou brand
At least 400g of feta cheese. Bulgarian white cheese, called sirene, is best, but if you can’t find it in the deli section at your supermarket, get Greek or Australian. Danish white cheese is not salty enough. 
One cup of natural yoghurt (Greek is great. Don’t use a flavoured yoghurt).
Minimum four eggs
One quarter of a cup of oil (eg canola, or sunflower or olive oil).
A pinch of bi carb soda (baking soda)
Small amount of butter/Nuttlex to top the banitsa before baking
A baking tray, such as a 25cm round spring form one. A flat tray will also work, but it needs to be at least 6cm deep.

I’ve made this dish multiple times since my Bulgarian Beloved showed me a few years ago. It was in Bulgarian stereo: she was beside me in our Canberra kitchen, Mother-In-Law on the phone on Skype from Varna on the Black Sea.

In Bulgaria, you can get banitsa everywhere, from bakeries on street corners to pubs and bus stations. I ate it three times a day in Bulgaria during three weeks in the summer of 2017 and I regret nothing.

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