Croatian Gibanica - Make a Cheese Pita for Lunch

Cheese Gibanica

The Cheese Pie should be thick with a flaky crust.  It needs about a half hour to cool down and solidify after baking, and is best served with a side dish.
The Cheese Pie should be thick with a flaky crust. It needs about a half hour to cool down and solidify after baking, and is best served with a side dish. | Source

Cheese Pita or Gibanica (gee-bahn-itza)

Ever have something so flaky, light, buttery, and cheesy? It's even more wonderful when it's still slightly warm from the oven :)

This dish has truly become a family favorite. Not only is it easy to prepare, it's a great Saturday lunch or evening meal when you don't want to fill up too much, but will also be satisfied. resembles a quiche, but the buttery flaky crust puts it in a class by itself. The Turks call it BUREK and the Croats call it GIBANICA.

Especially in the Springtime, with lots of fresh cheeses and eggs, It takes about 1/2 hour to hip up and 1/2 hour to bake in the oven. You need to wait about 15 minutes for it to cool off, so be sure to allow for that, too. A great side dish to this meal is BLITVE (see my hub) or a fresh green salad. Since the cheese pita is a bit fatty, salads made with an oil and vinegar dressing really hit the spot.

Dressing:

I Tablespoon sugar

1/2 tsp salt

Two turns of a pepper grinder

2 T. Olive Oil (or a bit more if it's a large salad)

1 T. Vinegar (the relation must be 2:1 in favor of the oil)

Toss, the spices into the salad, mixing well, before adding the "wet" ingredients. Toss well and serve. For best results, put the dressing on right before eating.

The Recipe

5 to 6 eggs depending on size, 400 to 500 grams of fresh cheese (Ricotta or any other soft, high quality cheese), 20-25 grams of sour cream, about 1/2 liter of milk, 1-1/2 sticks of butter (go the extra mile, it's worth it), and one packet of store-bought pita bread.  Unlike Baklava, this pita bread does not have to be the thinnest.  Although in my personal preference, thinner is flakier and tastier.  The thicker one will also do fine.

First, melt the butter on the stove at very low heat.

In a large bowl, mash the fresh cheese with the eggs.  Add the remaining ingredients:  all of the salt, a little of the milk and some of the melted butter until the mixture is very consistent. 

In a metal, oven proof pan, pour a portion of the butter into the pan to avoid sticking.  Reserve more butter for later.  Now line the pan with the pita dough. You need to line the bottom of the pot and have a good portion of pita hanging out over the side.  By the time you are done you will have made a pita flower with about five or six petals sticking out in all directions. 

WITH THE REMAINING PITA DOUGH, tear it into bite sized pieces and soak it into the cheesy milky mixture.  Add more milk as needed and keep mixing and mixing.  Take a good 15 minutes - it's worth it.  Except for 1/4 cup of melted butter to brush on top of the pita before cooking, the remaining butter should be added now and blended in.

Filler up!

With a tablespoon or a ladle, fill up the pita.  Just fill, fill fill and scrape the sides of the bowl to get it all in.  Then fold the petals inward and brush with melted butter.  You can cover the pot iff you like, but I don't.  Put it on the middle rack and get golden crispy brown.  Good idea to keep an eye on it though.  It won't be done before 20 minutes nor after 40.  About 30 is about right.

Now you have time to prepare your side dish....

When Baked in A Sqare Pan

Using fresh eggs make a difference in the taste, as well as butter instead of margarine.
Using fresh eggs make a difference in the taste, as well as butter instead of margarine. | Source

Flaky Pita Dough

Ideally, the pita dough should be baked through so it's not gummy, but not over baked, like this photo shows.  Five minutes less in the oven would have been better.
Ideally, the pita dough should be baked through so it's not gummy, but not over baked, like this photo shows. Five minutes less in the oven would have been better. | Source

More by this Author


Comments 4 comments

Little Shiva 5 years ago

Yum, yum, triple yum!


EuroCafeAuLait profile image

EuroCafeAuLait 5 years ago from Croatia, Europe Author

For this recipe, flaky is a good thing. Bon Appetit¨, ECAL


europewalker profile image

europewalker 5 years ago

That looks delicious!


Lizzy 5 years ago

For some delicious cottage cheese pancakes and quiche go to my teenage blog http://teenage-baking.blogspot.com/

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working