The bougatsa of Crete, Chania from the world famous Iordanis Café is simple yet incredibly delicious. Their 100-year-old recipe has stood the test of time. It is much different from the custardy style bougatsa that is found in Northern Greece, due to the local mizithra cheese that is used in Crete. Mizithra is hard to find in the United States so, my go to substitute that comes closest to the real thing is a combination of feta and ricotta cheese. If you’ve been to Crete and tried this classic dish, each bite of this recipe will transport you back to that beautiful place.

Preheat the oven to 350 °F, 180 °C.

Line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Mash the feta cheese in a fork and mix with the ricotta cheese until well combined.
Beat the egg with the milk and semolina flour until well combined.
Add the egg mixture to the cheese mixture and mix until combined.
Place one sheet of phyllo on the tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle some melted butter over it and sprinkle 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar over top.
Place the second sheet of phyllo on top, drizzle with some butter and sprinkle with sugar. Continue these steps with 3 more sheets of phyllo.
Drizzle some butter over half of the final sheet of phyllo and fold it over in half. Drizzle some more butter over it and fold it again. Place this package in the center of the prepared phyllo sheets in the baking tray.
Pour all of the cheese filling over the prepared phyllo package in the center of the tray. Fold the sides over to keep the filling from spilling out. Fold the other 2 sides over the filling to create a rectangular looking package. Carefully flip it over.
Brush all over with the remaining butter.
Bake in the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden.
Cut into small pieces and sprinkle a generous amount of granulated sugar over top. Dust with ground cinnamon. Serve.

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  • Serves 4:
  • 6 sheets (#4) phyllo pastry, thawed at room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (115 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 grams full fat ricotta cheese
  • 140 grams feta cheese, Dodonis brand is ideal if you can find it
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons (40 grams) fine semolina flour
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Granulated sugar and ground cinnamon for topping

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