Oven Baked Cheese Dip (Sirenje vo Furna)

If you’re here then I know you love cheese and if you love cheese, melted cheese, to be specific, you have come to the right place. This authentic, Baked Cheese Dip (Sirenje vo Furna) will be your next go-to appetizer for any occasion because it’s so easy, cheesy, and not your typical cheese dip!

This authentic recipe for the Macedonian Baked Cheese Dip or “Sirenje vo Furna” in Macedonian, is made with only 5 ingredients and unlike anything that you have ever tasted before. This Macedonian Baked Cheese Dip is very popular in many cities in Macedonia and you can find it at almost any restaurant. Baked Cheese Dip or Sirenje vo Furna, comes plain with just cheese, however it is not uncommon to have additions such as mushrooms and various types of meat, typically smoked for extra flavor, in the dip.

An authentic Macedonian Baked Cheese Dip is traditionally served in a clay dish. The bottom of the clay dish is brushed with ketchup, or a tomato sauce, followed by a creamy- feta cheese bottom, topped with super stretchy yellow Bulgarian cheese and seasoned with oregano and sesame seeds. The dip is served with delicious sesame seed bread sticks but you can use anything for dipping!

Ingredients used Authentic Macedonian Baked Cheese Dip (Sirenje vo Furna):

  • Ketchup. You really only need about one tablespoon for this just to coat the bottom of a 6″ clay dish but even though it’s only a small bit, it make a great difference so be sure not to skip it.
  • Domty Feta Cheese Plus. Don’t confuse this with cream cheese. Spreadable feta cheese is saltier and has a stronger flavor. When baked, this spreadable feta cheese is ultra smooth and creamy. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find so I included some wonderful substitutes below.
    • Substitutes: Feta Cheese made from sheep’s milk is the best and closest alternative to Domty-Feta Cheese Pluse and is more common and easier to find. The rule of thumb here is to look for any feta with a high fat content, which will result in creamy texture when melted. Your best bet should be feta made from sheep’s milk. Another substitute is just to use feta cheese crumbs. While this will not give the creamiest texture, it will still taste incredible and very similar to the Authentic Macedonian Baked Cheese Dip.
  • Bulgarian cheese. Bulgarian cheese is usually made from either cow’s milk, sheep’s milk, or a combination of both. This hard, yellow cheese melts extremely well is a perfect addition to pasta, pizzas, and even paninis. I have a great recipe for Chicken Cutlets with Bulgarian Cheese so be sure to check out my website for that!
    • Substitutes: I have yet to find a cheese that tastes very similar, however, I would say that the closest substitutes would be either provolone cheese or sharp, white cheddar. To get the cheese to melt better, buy a block of cheese and grate it yourself.
  • Oregano and Sesame Seeds. The two most common toppings in many delicious foods in Macedonian restaurants.

How to make Baked Cheese Dip (Sirenje vo Furna):

  1. Lightly coat the bottom of the clay pot or baking dish with ketchup. You need very little – you should still be able to see the bottom of the dish through the ketchup.
  2. Add in the feta cheese layer, then the shredded Bulgarian cheese.
  3. Top with sesame seeds and oregano.
  4. Bake at 400F for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil and 5 minutes uncovered.

Where to find ingredients:

Both of the cheeses mentioned above can be found in international stores. Your best bet is to search” international food market near me” on Google and before heading over, I suggest calling and asking for:

  • Bulgarian Cheese
  • Domty – Feta Cheese Plus OR Feta cheese from sheep’s milk

If you’re from the Rochester, NY area- International Food Market & Cafe on Jefferson Road carries both of the cheeses so you can have yourself an Authentic Baked Cheese Dip (Sirenje vo Furna).

Can I double the recipe?

Yes- you can double, triple, or even quadruple this recipe. If you make this recipe to fit a different sized baking dish, make sure you use equal parts feta cheese to Bulgarian cheese.

Tips for making it taste like Authentic Baked Cheese Dip (Sirenje vo Furna):

  • If you can’t find Domty Feta Cheese Plus in a store near you, use Feta cheese made from Sheep’s milk-higher fat will make a creamier consistency and sharper flavor makes it authentic.
  • Bake the cheese dip in a clay pot. Trust me, it bakes the cheese really well but keep in mind that you can also use any oven safe dish.
  • Don’t skip the ketchup, oregano, and sesame seeds.

Ingredients:

  • 7oz (200g) Domty – Feta Cheese Plus
  • 7oz (200g) Bulgarian cheese
  • 1 Tbs ketchup
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp oregano

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the bottom of a 6in round clay dish or any oven-safe dish with ketchup.
  3. Add the Feta cheese evenly on the bottom of the dish and top the feta cheese with shredded Bulgarian cheese.
  4. Sprinkle oregano and sesame seeds over the top of the cheese.
  5. Cover with aluminum foil and bake covered for 30 minutes. Then, uncover and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese bubbles.

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