Serbian or Bosnian Pita Krompiruša
This pita recipe comes from the area where my mom grew up. Namely, from the Serbian part of today’s Bosnia and Herzegovina. There it is often called “Pita Savijača” (“the rolled up pita”) or “Pita Krompiruša” (“the pita filled with potatoes”). For us, pita is something like a hearty strudel that can have different fillings. Many also know him as “Burek”, which is often only filled with minced meat.
As some of you know, I’m a child of two migrants. My mom and dad are native Yugoslavs. In the meantime, Yugoslavia no longer exists. The civil war has turned the country, which was so large and diverse at the time, into 7 independent countries: Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, and Macedonia. All of these countries were formerly Yugoslavia with the common language “Serbo-Croatian” and numerous dialects. I also have “Yugoslav” in my birth certificate – here are some more fun facts about me! 😉 The Yugoslavia at that time and its provinces had numerous cultural influences in their history, which of course also had an impact on the cuisine.
The following recipe is a little more complex than my previous ones. However, you will quickly find out that the effort is more than worth it and that some practice puts it all into perspective. It was not for nothing that Pita Krompiruša was my favorite childhood food and my mom is really known for making the best far and wide! My mom always used “normal minced meat”, of course, which I replaced with vegan minced meat*. Alternatively, you can leave it out entirely. So let’s get rolling out and rolling in!
- baking plate with baking paper
- 500 g wheat flour Type 405
- 300 ml water lukewarm
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- 1 onion cubed
- 900 g potatoes raw, floury
- 250 g vegan minced meat
- rapeseed oil for browning
- 1-2 tsp Vegeta seasoning
- some salt and pepper
- 1 tsp Vegeta seasoning
- 50 ml water boiling
- Mix the wheat flour with the pinch of salt, the rapeseed oil, and the lukewarm water by hand in a bowl to form a dough. It shouldn't be too sticky, otherwise, add some flour.
- Set aside and leave to rest while preparing the filling.
- Peel the potatoes, cut them into small cubes, and place them in a water bath.
- Cut the onion into small pieces and fry in a pot with some rapeseed oil.
- Add vegan minced meat and fry as well.
- Strain the diced potato pieces and add them. Fry everything for another 10 minutes, season with Vegeta. Add salt and pepper if wanted.
- Place the covered pot to cool for about half an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 220° C top/bottom heat.
- Flour your countertop a little and roll out half of the dough until it gets very thin.
- Top with about half of the potato/minced meat mixture, slowly roll into a snail and place on the baking sheet with baking paper.
- Repeat the same with the other half of the dough and the rest of the filling. Put it to the first snail on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 220° degrees for about 35 minutes.
- In the meantime, mix 50 ml of boiling water in a glass with 1 teaspoon of Vegeta and coat the pitas with it after the first 35 minutes of baking time.
- Turn the oven down to 180° and bake for another 25 minutes, especially the slightly crusty ends, dab again with Vegeta and water, and let cool. Bon appetit or as you say in Yugoslavian: Prijatno! 🙂
Practice creates masters
I have long thought about whether I should upload this recipe at all. Mom is the best pita-maker in the world and my pita is not getting close to mom’s one. The best thing was my mom’s description of the recipe to me. In fact, there was none at all and everything is up to her gut feeling. But I remained persistent, experimented for a long time and now you have my result in the virtual hand. I also tried to do the whole thing with wholemeal flour but failed miserably because I just couldn’t get it rolled thinly enough. If you have any suggestions, I really appreciate any advice!
A little tip: With a very thin handle, such as a broom handle, you get the pita a little thinner than with a normal rolling pin. You can also “stretch” the dough a bit with your fingers and thus get it thinner. But here, you need some practice to manage the balancing act between thin and torn. But it is worth it and if you have flatmates, I can guarantee that you are the absolute eye-catcher with your karate stick when rolling out. #rosaapproved 😉
You can also make the pita entirely with potatoes if you don’t want to use vegan minced meat. Instead of the Vegeta seasoning, which is very popular in Yugoslav cuisine and ends up in almost every dish, you can also use vegetable broth if necessary. But of course, it’s not the same. You can now find Vegeta spice in almost every well-stocked supermarket. You can also use 350 g of wheat flour (type 405) and 150 g of spelled flour (type 630) for the dough. I often do this alternatively and also works great for rolling out.
You can also experiment with the fillings in general and there are no limits to your creativity here. There are variants with nettles, spinach, mushrooms, cheese, or even sweet variants with apples. Here’s my recipe for Pita Zeljanica which is filled with spinach and vegan feta cheese! Pita is best served warm with a green salad or coleslaw. By the way, my mom makes the best coleslaw as well. But there will definitely be more from my side! 😉
Have fun cooking or baking and swinging your broomstick in a completely different way! Please tell me if you liked it and what filling you could discover for yourself! Then all that’s left to say is: Prijatno! 😉
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