I’m always on the lookout for a cheaters version of my beloved Macedonia favourites. Although nothing beats the taste of fresh homemade pastry sheets, I rarely have half a day to make the sheets from scratch. So when I stumbled across the super thin wheat wraps made by Mountain Bread, I knew I was onto something BIG!!
Mum often makes her cheats zelnik with fresh lavash, a thin and soft Middle Eastern flatbread. It makes for a quick substitute, although the texture is nothing like zelnik, and unless you add a good measure of water to help soak the bread, the final result is too dry.
I made this cheats zelnik with softened leek, but you can try other classic fillings like spinach and cheese, tomatoey onion, or sugary apple and walnut.
1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil (e.g. canola or rice bran oil)
2 large leeks, white and light green part chopped, dark green outer leaves discarded
Sea salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon mild paprika
1 x 200g packet Mountain Bread Wheat Wraps (if not available use another thin wheat based bread)
1) Heat 2-3 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over low-medium heat, add leek and sprinkle with salt to taste, gently fry until leek has collapsed but not browned (10 minutes). Once cooked remove from heat and allow to cool.
2) Preheat oven to 180°C and brush a medium rectangular baking tray with oil. If necessary cut bread length to fit into tray snugly.
3) Place 1 sheet of bread in the the tray and evenly scatter leek. Brush another piece of bread with oil and place on top, scatter with leek and repeat with remaining bread and leek. To finish brush top layer with oil.
4) Bake for 15 minutes, then turn oven down to 160°C and bake for further 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden.
5) Serve while warm or at room temperature as meze or a light meal with yoghurt or buttermilk.
- Try other traditional zelnik fillngs like spinach and cheese, tomaty onion, potato and leek.