Book cover for SOFRAMIZ: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe

SOFRAMIZ: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe

Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick

Ten Speed Press
October 11, 2016
ISBN-13: 978-1607749189

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Ana Sortun graduated from La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine de Paris and opened Oleana in 2001, earning her raves from the New York Times and a James Beard Award, among many others. She opened Sofra in 2008, followed by Sarma in 2013.


Maura Kilpatrick partnered with Ana to open Oleana in 2001, and Sofra in 2008. She has earned several nominations from the James Beard Foundation for Outstanding Pastry Chef and the title of Boston’s Best Pastry Chef from Boston magazine five times.

SOFRAMIZ: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery and Cafe is an enchanting collection of recipes inspired by the markets and kitchens of Turkey and beyond, from the James Beard Award–nominated chefs behind Boston’s Sofra Bakery and Cafe.

Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick have spent years frequenting the electric cafes and souks of the Middle East, researching ingredients and gaining inspiration for their uber-popular Sofra Bakery and Cafe. In their first cookbook together, these two demystify and explore the flavors of the region, recreating the famed hospitality of the Middle East through recipes for beloved dishes, such as shawarma, hummus, and baklava. Their preparations are rooted in tradition but also adapted for an American audience, a unique hybrid that has won them fans around the world. With a primer on essential ingredients and techniques, Soframiz will transport readers to the markets and kitchens of the Middle East.

Cheese Borek with Nigella Seeds

Serves 10 to 12


Borek is a pie or pastry that probably originated in Eastern Europe and came to Turkey with the Ottomans. It is made with yufka dough, a thin, almost phyllo-like pastry. There are numerous varieties of borek; some are filled with meat, others with cheese, and still others with vegetables. Borek can be rolled, folded, stuffed, twisted, or layered in a baking pan, like this one. This recipe is called su borek, which means “water pastry,” probably referring to the boiled-noodle texture resulting from layering and soaking the pie in yogurt and egg until the center becomes almost like a kugel, lasagna, or dumpling, while the top becomes crisp. I prefer to use store-bought yufka in this recipe because it is thinner than both of the yufka recipes in this book. If you want to make it yourself, use the recipe given on page 19 for katmer and roll it out as thin as possible. If you have leftovers, cut the cold borek into small pieces and crisp them in a pan for a perfect afternoon snack or breakfast item. – ANA


  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
  • 11⁄2 cups whole milk
  • 3⁄4 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
  • 4 sheets store-bought yufka pastry, weighing about 2 pounds (many brands of yufka are available online)
  • 4 (4-ounce) balls buffalo milk mozzarella, grated
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons nigella seeds

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish or an 11 by 7-inch baking pan with 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, salt, and whole eggs until very smooth. Whisk in the remaining 7 tablespoons of melted butter.

Cut the yufka so that you have about eight large pieces that cover the bottom of the pan. It’s okay if they don’t fit the pan perfectly or if the edges hang over; you can fold everything over the top at the end of assembling.

Place one layer of yufka on the bottom of the pan and brush lavishly with the milk mixture. Repeat until you have four layers of brushed pastry. Distribute the mozzarella over the top of the four soaked yufka layers. Place another four layers of yufka over the cheese filling, brushing with the milk mixture between every layer.

Using a small knife, cut the borek, scoring the pastry so that the custard seeps into the cuts. Make 10 to 12 cuts. It doesn’t matter if it breaks up the pastry; you can press it back down with your hands. You don’t need to worry about doing it neatly; the cuts will disappear while the borek bakes.

Mix the remaining milk mixture with the egg yolks and flour. Pour over the top and let soak for 20 minutes. Eventually, the liquid soaks into the pie, so don’t worry if it seems like a lot. Sprinkle the top with the nigella seeds.

Place the borek in the oven and lower the heat to 350°F. Bake for about 50 minutes, until golden on top and puffy. Let rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

Revani (Syrup-Soaked Semolina Cake)

Makes 8 pieces


This syrup-soaked semolina sponge cake is known as revani in Turkey and Greece, but other Middle Eastern countries have similar versions. This cake is a lovely dessert, but I also love it served with fruit and yogurt as breakfast. – MAURA


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semolina flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt, plus more to serve
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup toasted and finely chopped pistachios, to serve

Chamomile Syrup

  • 1 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon loose chamomile tea
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish.

Put the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.

Combine the yogurt, lemon zest, and vanilla in another bowl. Set aside.

Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until pale yellow and tripled in volume, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to low and slowly pour in the canola oil. Add the yogurt mixture in two additions. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold by hand with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.

Prepare the syrup while the cake is baking. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from the heat, add the tea leaves, cover, and let steep for 5 minutes.

Strain and discard the tea leaves. Return the liquid to the saucepan and add the sugar and lemon juice; bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 8 minutes, until reduced to 11⁄4 cups.

As soon as the cake is out of the oven, pour the hot chamomile syrup evenly over the cake. Set the cake aside to cool and absorb the syrup completely. Invert the cake onto a platter to hold the syrup.

Slice and serve with a spoonful of yogurt and chopped pistachios.

Reprinted with permission from SOFRAMIZ by Ana Sortun and Maura Kilpatrick, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC. $35.

 Photographs copyright © 2016 Kristin Teig

Contact: Erin Welke