Egyptian Borek (Cheese Filled Hand Pies)

Disclaimer: This post contains a recipe highlighting a different country or culture. While I strive for authenticity, I sometimes need to make adjustments to recipes due to ingredient availability.   

My friend Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm just went on the trip of a lifetime to Egypt, so it’s only natural that she chose Egyptian food for this week’s Sunday Funday.

I made Egyptian cookies a few years ago for Eat the World (and that’s its own funny story).

This time I decided to make Borek, which are cheese-filled hand pies.  They were super reminiscent of my favorite pizza buns or ham & cheese buns so I know they’d be a hit in this house.

One recipe I saw only said to fill with cheese but didn’t mention what kind (in the video it was some sort of white cheese).  In a different blog, it was suggested to use white cheddar or mozzarella (and deli meat, if one so chooses)- both are white but provide a very different flavor profile.  I made some cheese stuffed buns and added some leftover deli turkey I had on hand to the cheddar buns and some leftover pepperoni to the mozzarella buns.

The biggest difference here was the addition of tomato paste to the dough.  It didn’t seem to change the flavor at all but made the dough a delightful orange color.

Sunday Funday


Egyptian Borek (Cheese Filled Hand Pies)

Adapted slightly from Dina Dodxy


3 cups flour 

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon instant dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

¾ cup milk, heated to 110 degrees F

¼ cup olive oil

1 egg

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon cider vinegar

To fill

4 ounces cheese, cut in chunks (cheddar or mozzarella)

Meat, optional (I added some deli turkey and pepperoni)

Place all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix with the dough hook until smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel until doubled in size, 30-45 minutes.

Cut dough into 2-ounce pieces.  Flatten each piece and add a heaping tablespoon of fillings.  Pinch to shut.  Place face down on a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet.  Cover with a damp towel.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake the filled Borek for 15 minutes.  Serve warm.


  1. Interesting about the tomato paste in the dough. Your buns are so pretty with a nice surprise in the center!

  2. Amy, these look delicious! I haven't really baked bread since my boys left for school. I will definitely try these when they are home for the holidays.

  3. Egyptian pizza, now that is interesting. Perfect for dinner parties.


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