Mushroom burekas are a favorite filling for the beloved and ubiquitous Israeli savory pastries. The mushroom filling is made with sauteed mushrooms and spiced mashed potatoes, all wrapped up in puff pastry. Make this taste of Israel easily using frozen puff pastry.Yum
Israeli burekas, savory pastries made with puff pastry dough, come in four canonical flavors: cheese, potato, mushroom, and spinach, in exactly that order of popularity. Each has its own delights, and this homemade version with the umami punch of mushrooms mixed with spiced potato might just flip the ranking. (And yes, of course we'll be making spinach next! Because you need all the burekas.)
Ingredients for mushroom burekas
To make mushroom burekas, you'll need:
- Puff pastry - Mushroom burekas are, by mysterious-origin tradition, half-circular in shape. Of course, since we're sticklers for tradition, I had to make them half-rounds, and I show you how below. That being said, it's easier and more economical (in terms of the dough) to make your mushroom burekas rectangular or triangular. Whichever shape you choose to make them, I recommend getting a sheet that you can roll out and cut to the right dimensions. I found most precut squares of puff pastry a little too small to work with. If you want to use them, get the largest squares you can find. The filling makes enough to use a whole package of puff pastry, about 20 to 22 burekas. See below for instructions on how to freeze part of the batch for later.
- Mushrooms - You can use either regular, white button mushrooms or cremini (the brown ones) here. The white are somewhat milder and the brown more mushroom-y. They're going to get sauteed with diced onion before going into the filling. Then everything gets pureed in the food processor for the right texture.
- Onion - The BFF of mushrooms, you'll want about half a small onion here. Dice it up nie and fine and saute till softened before adding the mushrooms.
- Yellow potato - Just one of these medium guys, peeled and boiled whole in water, gets mashed in with the mushrooms and onions in the food processor.
Other ingredients include an egg yolk to bind the filling, plus another egg to top the burekas. Optionally, you can add seeds to the tops of the burekas after brushing them with egg wash, though bakery mushroom burekas usually don't have them. Sesame seeds are always good, and onion-y nigella seed (ketzach) would be great on top of mushroom burekas as well.
Making mushroom burekas
You'll want to set out the puff pastry to defrost before you begin the filling. By the time the filling is ready, the dough should be soft enough to unroll.
Then, peel and boil your potato in a small pot while you prep the onions and mushrooms. When the potato is fork-tender and the onions and mushrooms are nicely browned, stick everything in the food processor with the remaining filling ingredients and puree to a chunky paste (like in the photo above right).
If you want to make traditionally half-round mushroom burekas, you'll need to cut out large circles (about 3" / 8 cm diameter) from your defrosted puff pastry. Puff pastry is easy to handle in terms of cutting out and folding—but it's not so hot at being re-rolled. So be prepared to sacrifice some pastry dough or make some "interesting" burekas from the scraps (which obviously still taste wonderful) Otherwise, you can divide your pastry dough into rectangles (about 5"x3" / 13x8 cm) or large squares (about 4" / 10 cm), to be folded into triangles.
Unbaked burekas freeze exceptionally well and turn out exactly as delicious as ones you shape and place right in the oven. Since this batch makes a fairly large amount, you can freeze half for later: just place the shaped burekas on a lined baking sheet and freeze on the sheet for 30 minutes or so, then pop them in a bag for storage (they won't stick together this way). When you're ready for some fresh burekas, bake them just as you would fresh burekas, with egg wash on top. They will take just a few extra minutes to bake and puff up (less than five).
Mushroom Burekas (parve)
- 1 package puff pastry - 2 sheets
- 1 lb white or cremini mushrooms - 500 g
- 1 medium yellow potato
- ½ small onion
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 egg - beaten, for egg wash
- sesame or nigella seed - optional
- Set out the puff pastry to defrost before making the filling.
Make the filling:
- Set a pot of water to boil. Peel the potato, leaving it whole, then add them to the pot.
- Finely mince the onions and sauté them in a large skillet with the olive oil over a medium flame.
- Slice the mushrooms. When the onion has softened, add the mushrooms to the skillet. Saute until they shrink and release their water.
- When the potato is fork tender, add to a food processor work bowl fitted with the metal blade. When ready, add the sauteed onions and mushrooms. Season with salt and dd the egg yolk. Process to a chunky taste.
- Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C.
Shape the burekas:
- Unfold one sheet of puff pastry. Using a 3" / 8 cm cutter or glass, cut into rounds. (Alternately, use a pastry wheel or pizza cutter, slice a column into thirds, each rectangle about 5"x3" / 13x8 cm, for rectangular pastries, or 4" / 10 cm squares, for triangular pastries.) Place 1 tablespoon of mushroom filling in the center or each round. Fold in half, pressing to seal all around with your fingertip.
- Place shaped burekas on lined baking sheets. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with seeds, if using.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until well puffed and medium golden.