Boyos (Sephardic)

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  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • Olive oil
  • 1 recipe filling of choice (see below)
  • Cold water (optional)
  • 1 extra large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water for egg wash
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling (optional)


  1. Set aside 1/2 cup flour and mix with grated cheese. Place 5 cups flour in a mixing bowl with salt. Mix well.
  2. Dissolve sugar in the lukewarm water. Mix in yeast and proof for 10 minutes.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mound of flour and pour in proofed yeast mixture. Stir well and start kneading. Add more flour as needed to produce a slightly sticky dough. Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a damp towel to rest for 30 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into four equal parts. Roll each into a ball. Place each ball of dough in a large bowl with 1/2 inch of olive oil. Turn the dough over so that every part of the surface is oiled. Cover each bowl with a damp towel and let rest for 30 minutes more.
  5. While the dough is rising, preheat the filling for the boyos.
  6. Prepare two well-oiled cookie sheets.
  7. On a well-oiled bread board, roll out one ball of dough to a 15-inch square. The dough will be very thin. Set aside one quarter of the cheese-flour mixture. Sprinkle half of the cheese-flour mixture you have set aside over the dough. Fold the two ends of the sheet of dough over the filling, letting them meet at the center.
  8. Sprinkle the remainder of the cheese-flour mixture you have set aside over this and then fold the sheet of dough in half.
  9. Cut the piece of dough into six squares of equal size.
  10. Roll one of the squares into a 5-inch square. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of the square.
  11. Fold each point of the square into the center of the pastry and pinch the edges gently to seal.
  12. Using a spatula, gently place the finished pastry on a prepared cookie sheet. Repeat steps 10 through 12 with the remaining 5 pieces of dough. Then repeat steps 7 through 12 with the remaining dough and filling. You will have 24 boyos.
  13. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  14. Brush the boyos with the egg wash and sprinkle lightly with the sesame seeds, if you wish. Bake until golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Cool to room temperature before serving.

Makes: 24 pastries

Spinach Filling (Gomo de Espinaca)

  • 1 bunch spinach (about 3/4 pound), finely cut, or 1 pound frozen cut-leaf spinach
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  1. Mix filling ingredients together.

Onion Filling

  • 5 pounds regular onions
  • 5 pounds sweet onions
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup flour or dry potato flakes
  • 1 pound dry small curd cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Romano cheese, grated
  1. Slice onions in food processor, then sauté in vegetable oil.
  2. Put into a colander and let drain for a couple hours. Save liquid for broth.
  3. Combine drained onions with remaining ingredients.

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