Friday, April 29, 2011


These rolls have become an Easter tradition in our family.  The Greek name for them is Galaktoboureko, which I'm not even sure I can say correctly, but we just call them farina rolls.

Farina, more commonly known as semolina, or cream of wheat, is cooked into a custard with milk and eggs, and then rolled into sheets of phyllo dough which have been generously brushed with melted butter.  They are baked up until golden brown and crispy, and are then doused in a simple syrup flavored with cinnamon, amp; vanilla, & sometimes orange or lemon.  Completely delicious served right out of the oven, and just as good served room temperature the next day - they may be the perfect dessert.  I've also seen had this served up as a pie, but it's just more fun to eat in cute little cigar sized rolls :)

I was lucky enough to receive a reprinted copy of an old church cookbook that my Grandma used to cook out of, so I know this recipe is as authentic as it gets.

For the custard:
1/2 cup farina/semolina/cream of wheat (not instant!)
3 cups milk
4 egg
1 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
zest of one orange (optional)

Heat the milk over medium heat until warmed through.  Combine eggs, farina & sugar in another bowl, then add to milk mixture.Continue to cook over medium-low heat until it thickens (approximately 10 minutes).  Add butter and vanilla, then let cool completely before proceeding.

To make the rolls:
You'll need 1 lb of phyllo dough, thawed, and 1 stick of butter (at least!) melted.

Cut one sheet of phyllo in half (the short way), brush with butter and fold in half (the short side, again).  Add a tablespoon of custard, roll the top over once, then fold the sides in and roll the rest of the way.  Repeat until all the custard is used or you run out of phyllo.  When you finish each roll, place into a jelly roll pan and keep covered with a damp towel, as you would with the unused phyllo.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.  When rolls come out of the oven pour the simply syrup on them while they are still hot.

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 tsp vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
lemon or orange peel

Boil sugar, water, cinnamon stick, and fruit peel until thickened.  Remove peel and stir in vanilla.  Let cool before using.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Dana,
I came across your blog while I was searching for recipes for making galaktoboureko rolls! These are one of my favorite desserts served in one of my favorite restaurants! I really want to try making them myself.

My questions are:
1) how many rolls can you make from the filling?
2) I assume using the whole sheet of phyllo dough would give you too much "crust", hence you cut each sheet in half?
3) how do you store the leftover (if there's any)? in the fridge? For how many days would they still be good? need to reheat?
4) do they get soggy in the fridge?

At the restaurant, they serve it warm/semi-hot with a scoop of pistachio ice-cream. It was pure heaven!

Thanks a lot for sharing your recipe and thanks in advance for answering my questions!!