In Greek: φύλλο, pronounced FEE-lo
Freshly made phyllo dough (also spelled “filo”) isalways preferable, and it isn’t difficult. Use a pasta machine to make sheets of thin to thick dough to use for pitas and pastries. The alternative, rolling it out with a rolling pin, takes time and experience to master (see below for special instructions). This dough is ideal for small fried and baked pies, as well as pan-sized pie crusts.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
- 8 cups of all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons of raki (or white vinegar)
- 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
- 1 1/4 – 1 1/3 cups of hot water
- flour for work surface and hands
Note: The key to the recipe is hot water. Use hottest tap water.
To roll out with a pasta machine: (photo tutorial)
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until it holds together. On a floured surface, knead by hand for 15-20 minutes until soft and malleable, with a smooth feel. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before using.
To make phyllo sheets for pastries, run it through the pasta machine (with settings from 1-10, with 1 being the thickest), gradually working it down to setting mark 9 on your machine. For phyllo sheets to make small fried pitas, use setting number 6.
Unused phyllo can be kept in the refrigerator, in air-tight wrapping, for up to 10 days after making.
Yield: approximately 3 pounds
To roll out with a rolling pin: (about 18-20 large thin sheets to fit a 16 X 13-inch or equivalent pan) (photo tutorial)
Add 6 cups of flour to a large bowl (the remaining 2 cups will be used when rolling out the dough). Make a well in the center and add water (start with 1 cup) and raki or vinegar. Combine with a fork. Add the olive oil and continue mixing, adding more water if needed to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand, oiling hands if needed, until the dough is soft, malleable, and smooth, about 10 minutes.
Divide the dough into 18-20 equal pieces and roll each piece out to a rough oval shape, about 18-19 inches across, sprinkling the work surface and phyllo with flour to keep from sticking.
Note: Sheets will be about the thickness of 2 sheets of copy paper. Over time, as you become familiar with the texture and rolling process, dough can be made even thinner; however rolling out to the thickness of commercial phyllo dough – which is done with a machine – may never be achieved. It should be noted that even the thickness of copy paper will produce a fine and flaky crust.