Banicata is food that most often is consumed as daily meal for breakfast, but it is found as traditionally prepared food on holidays, such as Forgiveness, All Souls' Day, etc.. It can be prepared in different ways, with rolled or finished layers with cheese or podvara (cottage cheese).
Needed ingredients: 600-700 gr. flour, 250-300 ml. lukewarm water, 3 eggs, 1 yeast, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, oil, 500 gr. cheese (for filling)
Yeast is put in a bowl with a little water, salt and sugar are added and mixed until the ingredients become melted. In deeper bowl flour is put and yeast, water and mixed eggs are added and dough is kneaded. Dough is nicely kneaded until it becomes smooth and it is left covered with a towel, for about an hour to reach. Reached dough is divided into 5 balls. Each ball of dough is being rolled on floured background and sprayed with a little oil and chopped cheese and then rolled in scrolls. Crusts are lined up like snail, starting from the middle of round and covered with oil casserole with no.30. Each new rolled crust is spirally arranged around the last crust. Such prepared banica is covered and left to reach about half an hour. Reached banica is sprayed with a little oil and baked in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for about 45 minutes.
Cheese crackers or domestic rolls are specialty from dough, which is inevitably present on the table for every glory and every holiday. They are mostly prepared without additives, but can be found stuffed with cheese or jam.
Needed ingredients: 1 kg. white flour, 2 cubes of fresh yeast, 450 ml of milk, 1 cup sour milk, 1 cup of edible oil, 3 eggs, 3 teaspoons salt, 3 tablespoons sugar, margarine, sesame.
In a bowl with 250 ml. tepid milk yeast, sugar and one tablespoon flour are poured and mixed and yeast is left to reach. Once the yeast grown it is added into large bowl containing the flour and to this mixture the rest of the milk, yogurt, salt, egg whites and oil are added . The mixture is mixed until it becomes homogenized, then it is well kneaded about ten minutes. Once it has finely kneaded, dough is covered with a clean towel and it is left for about an hour in warm, to reach. Reached dough is divided into balls (about 40). They are left on oiled background until they are grown (about ten minutes). Each ball is rolled with thickness of about 2-3 mm. and at the one end to half of the dough are made a few incisions with a knife and cheese cracker is wrapped from the side which is not incised. Cheese crackers are placed in a baking tray with baking paper and they are let to reach for about 30 minutes. Before baking, cheese crackers are crumpled with egg yolk, they are poured with little margarine and sprinkled with sesame. They are baked in preheated oven at 180 degrees, about 15-20 minutes.
Churek or unleavened cake is sweet bread that is prepared for many religious and family rituals. In the southeastern region of Macedonia on a tree meter long table there is always churek. The custom of breaking the churek for armas is most ceremonious ancient Macedonian tradition, which today is inevitable ritual during the engagement between Macedonians. The churek is mixed and decorated in different ways depending of the imagination and the creativity of the one who does the ritual for which it is intended. If it is grease churek is being kneaded with eggs and milk, and if it is fasting it is being kneaded lean.
Needed ingredients: 800 gr. flour, 150ml. milk, 200 ml, edible oil, 3 eggs, 1 yeast, 1 vanilla, sugar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 orange, 200 gr., raisins, margarine, salt.
Orange rind is grated and juice is drained and immersed raisins are stained with it. The yeast is kneaded with milk, butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla sugar, a little salt and a little flour and it is left to reach for ten minutes. Then the orange juice and the rest of the flour are added and soft dough is kneaded. Raisins are added and finely kneaded. The dough is covered with a towel and left to rich for about an hour. How the look of the churek will be further shaped, it depends of the ritual and the creativity. It can be done in the form of a braid, in the form of flower, sun cross, decorations with flowers on the top, etc.. Shaped churek is coated with egg and margarine, and white sesame seeds and poppy can be added. Churek is left to reach in the casserole and it is baked for 30 minutes at 200 degrees and for more 20 minutes at 150 degrees. Once is cooked it is being left in hot oven for more ten minutes.
The aromatic Chickpeas bread is traditionally prepared for the celebrations Assumption and Dormition of the Virgin Mary in the southeastern parts of Macedonia. When housewives prepare this bread for the holiday Dormition of the Virgin Mary, there is a custom where a piece of bread with grapes is offered to relatives and neighbors. Chickpeas bread is kneaded for the feast Trimeri by the engaged maidens and it is part of the rich fasting meal offered to the guests of the holiday.
Needed ingredients: 200 gr. chickpeas, 1 ½ kg. flour, water, salt
First brew/bloom the yeast. Ground the chickpeas (in a machine grinding walnuts), place it into a bowl and pour boiling water and salt over it. Mix them with a wooden spoon, cover the pot and let it sit in a warm area through the night. The next day the yeast is ready. On half a kilo of flour add yeast and little water. Mix it with a spoon until the mixture comes together, cover it and leave it for 1 to 2 hours in a warm place. Once the dough is ready add 1 kg of flour, little salt, water as needed and knead it all together. Place the dough on a baking tray and leave it for another half hour in an oven at 50 celsius degrees. Bake it for about 45 minutes on 200 degrees.
Pie with leeks
This food is often prepared for All Souls' Day, for memorials, as well as for daily meals, especially in autumn and winter days. Pie with leeks is one of the most prepared dishes for few years on the "Prazijada" that has been traditionally held in the village Gradashorci, where different dishes from leek are represented.
Needed ingredients: 500 gr. crusts, 6 heads of leek, 500 gr. rice, oil, salt.
Leek is finely diced and fried in a pan with oil. Once it is softened, washed rice is added in the pan and they are fried together. Hot water and salt are added to taste and pan is left on moderate heat until the rice becomes soften. In oiled casserole n. 36, crusts are lined up one by one, and each layer is sprayed with leek and rice. Two layers are put on top and then are coated with a little oil. Pie is baked in preheated oven at 190 degrees about 45 minutes.
Pinirlii is traditional daily meal in Strumica, which is served warm for breakfast, accompanied by yogurt or sour milk.
Needed ingredients: 800-900 gr. flour, 400-500 ml. water, 150 ml. oil, 1 teaspoon salt . For the fill: 6 eggs, cheese if desired, 100 ml. oil, salt.
Half of the flour is put in a deeper dish, then yeast that is dissolved in warm water, oil and teaspoon of salt are added. Gradually while kneading the rest of the flour is added, and care should be taken because dough has to stay soft. Once kneaded, the dough is placed into greased large deep pan from the stove. It is rolled out with hands in length and width of the pan, covered with towel and left to reach. The filling is prepared by mixing the eggs in which the oil, a little salt and cheese slices if desired are added. Reached dough is pressed with fingers and grooves are made in which part of the filling needs to be kept. The filling is poured all over the dough in the pan and is put to bake at a temperature of 200 degrees, about 25-30 minutes. After baking, pinirlii can be immediately cut into cubes and be served.
Pumpkin pie (Tikvenik)
Tikvenik is a sweet pastry with pumpkin and is one of the main dishes, of the family dinner table during the Christmas Eve dinner.
Needed ingredients: 500 gr. Pastry filo - sheets, 500 gr. of pumpkin (orange color), 200 – 300 gr. of sugar, 2 vanilla sugar, oil, cinnamon.
Peel and grate the pumpkin, with the wider side of the grater, sprinkle it with vanilla sugar and cinnamon to taste and mix it all together. Spray each layer with oil, grated pumpkin and sugar and make wraps. Put some oil thought a round casserole dish and place the wraps in a form of a round bed starting from the middle of the casserole. Each new filo wrap is connected to the last one placed. Spray the Tikvenik with oil and bake it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees, 25-30 minutes, until it reaches golden-brown color.