Filo or phyllo dough is delicious, crunchy and about the thickness of a sheet of paper. "Phyllo" is a Greek word meaning "leaf", and you can probably guess why. Filo is ideal for preparing snacks, Greek cheese pies, samosas and even spring rolls. You can buy ready-made dough, but it's much more fun to make it yourself, even if it takes a while.
- 2 2/3 cups (270 g) of wheat flour
- 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) of salt
- 1 cup of water, minus 2 tablespoons (210 ml)
- 4 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and a little more to cover the dough
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of cider vinegar
Part 1 of 2: Making the Dough
Step 1. In an electric mixer, add the flour and salt
Mix well, on low speed.
Step 2. Add water, oil and vinegar separately
Don't worry if they don't blend in yet. Add water, oil and vinegar to the flour, keeping the mixer on low speed.
Step 3. Continue mixing in an electric mixer until the dough is smooth, approximately 1 minute
Mix only until all ingredients come together. Add more water if the dough is too dry.
Step 4. Change the paddle of the mixer to a hook and continue mixing for about 10 minutes
Using the mixer hook is the same as kneading, which is essential for the filo dough to develop good elasticity.
If you don't have a mixer and you want to hand knead the dough - God bless you - be ready to knead for approximately 20 minutes
Step 5. Remove the dough from the mixer and continue kneading for another 2 minutes by hand
While kneading, pick up the dough ball and toss it on the counter several times to help expel any trapped air.
Step 6. Use approximately 1 teaspoon of olive oil or vegetable oil to coat the entire dough
Once covered, place in a medium bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Wait a minimum of 30 minutes and a maximum of 2 hours for the dough to set. The longer you let the dough sit, the better the results (the dough will be easier to handle).
Part 2 of 2: Rolling the Filo Dough
Step 1. Cut the filo dough into equal portions
Starting with almost 3 cups should give you 6 to 10 separate balls of dough. The bigger the ball, the bigger the mass circles will be.
While rolling a piece of dough, remember to keep the other pieces covered so they don't dry out as you roll
Step 2. Start rolling circular pieces of dough onto a rolling pin or dowel
Dowels are great for making pilo dough; because they're thin, they're pretty easy to roll, and their length means you can work with a larger piece of dough at once. For the first inch, roll the dough as you would a pizza dough, trying to maintain a circular shape.
While rolling, make sure you use plenty of flour or cornstarch. At this stage, the flour used is never too much
Step 3. Continue rolling the dough on the rolling pin or dowel by wrapping the dough around the dowel and rolling it back and forth
Place the dowel slightly above the bottom of the dough. Wrap the dough around the top of the dowel so that it is completely covered in dough. With both hands, one on each side of the dough, roll the dowel back and forth to thin the dough.
Step 4. Unroll the dough by rolling the peg back towards you
Turn the dough 90°, pass a little flour and roll again, repeating the process.
Step 5. Roll, rotating after each large back and forth, until the dough is translucent
Step 6. Take the translucent dough with your hands and stretch it very carefully to get an even thinner dough
Almost like a pizza, use both hands to very carefully stretch the edges of the dough, making sure to turn it around in your hands.
- This will create the thinnest dough possible for the amateur baker. It is very difficult, perhaps even impossible, to make the dough as thin as the one you buy from the store.
- Sometimes the dough will tear as you handle it and stretch it even further. Don't worry about these little tears. As long as the piece of phyllo dough you put on top is undamaged, you will never notice any tears in the final product.
Step 7. On a flour-covered baking sheet, place each layer of filo one on top of the other
If you want the dough to be even crispier, consider brushing oil or melted butter between each layer. If you prefer it to be softer, leave it as is.
Step 8. Repeat until all your 7-10 layers are completely stacked
You can increase the volume of the filo dough by cutting it in half and stacking on top. The dough can be kept frozen and saved for the next use.
Step 9. Enjoy
Use filo dough to make spanakopita, baklava or even apple pie, replacing regular dough.
- Brush with melted butter while cooking to keep the dough crispy.
- Filo dough is great for recipes from Greece, Eastern Europe and the Middle East (mostly baklava).