Baking Challenge – European Style: Croatian Gibanica (and an extra of free-style Apple Strudel)

The first savoury dish of my 16 week baking challenge was not so much a challenge. Making a gibanica is actually pretty simple – if you don’t make the dough yourself. ­čÖé If your bend to make it yourself, then here’s a recipe.

Taste-wise it was really good but neither I nor my husband┬ácared much for┬áthe texture┬áof it. I’m not sure if this was due to my baking abilities or if that’s just the way it’s suppossed to be… the texture could probably best described as gummy-like. On top of that I didn’t like the eggy consistency. There are a lot of eggs in it – much like a quiche, eg.- which I personally don’t care for. As a result, I would probably not bake this again or maybe in another version without the eggs.

However if you want to go ahead and try it out, here’s the recipe. I’ve mixed and matched several recipes and adjusted it a bit according to ingredients that I had on hand:

Ingredients (enough for 2)
8 sheets of filo dough
100 gr feta cheese
1 Egg
200 ml milk
2 tsp of creme fraiche with herbs
a little bit of pepper for seasoning
neutral oil

Preheat oven to 175┬░ Celsius (app 350┬░ Fahrenheit).

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Oil baking dish (size for two servings) and line with two filo dough sheets slightly overlapping and hanging over the sides.

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Crumble feta cheese and mix with egg, milk and creme fraiche until it has a liquidy texture. Season if you like.

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Take filo dough sheet and completely submerge it in the cheese mixture. Then ball it up and put into your baking dish. I needed about 5 filo dough sheets to fill up my dish.

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Add the rest of the mixture on top of everything.

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Cover the mixture with a filo dough sheet and fold on top the parts of the filo dough sheets hanging over the sides of the dish.

Glaze the top with a mixture of some oil and water.

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Bake for 40-45 minutes.


Since I had two filo dough sheets left over, I decided to go for a free style apple strudel as dessert. It’s pretty simple and delicious!

2 filo dough sheets
2 apples
2 tbsp of melted butter
2 tbsp of sugar
some lemon juice
some cinnamon
1 tbsp of rum (optional)
raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 190┬░C (app 365┬░ Fahrheit).

Put one sheet of filo dough on top of the other.

Peel and cut apples in small pieces.

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Cover apples with some lemon juice and add sugar, half of melted butter, rum, cinnamon and raisins. Mix well.

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Pour apple mix onto the filo dough sheets leaving about an inch (about 2-2,5cm) free around the edges.

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Roll it up and place in a baking dish.

Cover it with some of the melted butter.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes.

Let cool for about 10 minutes then serve dusted with confectioners sugar and some vanilla sauce or ice cream.

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This apple strudel has not a lot of dough to it. If you like it with more (and therefore also more traditonal) you might want to add several more layers of filo dough.