The crispy dough may look difficult but with some practice, you can master it too.
Everyone loves a homemade pie, but when you see crispy leaves of phyllo on delicate Baklava or airy Spanakopita, it can feel like you’d never be able to recreate that magic. Though it can take a long time to master the process, it is possible to include some helpful tips that make the whole process a breeze.
The secret is to really take your time with every stage. Ensure you have high-quality bread flour, as the dough needs to stretch. Resting time is also crucial since it lets the ingredients really develop and become more elastic so you can roll it thinner. And aim for super-thin sheets, it may seem impossible at first but if your dough has come together right, it should be capable of stretching paper-thin without tearing.
Another huge factor is the amount of water you use. Depending on the relative humidity and temperature of your region, the recipe may need more or less water. Start slow adding a little at a time, and if it gets sticky add a teaspoon of flour.
Phyllo and all the delicious dishes you can make with it are no longer out of reach just follow this recipe for a foolproof result every time.
300g strong bread flour
5 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp salt
130–150g of lukewarm water
In a large mixing bowl add the flour and salt, make a well in the centre and pour in the vinegar and the olive oil. Using a dough hook mix to combine the ingredients for 10-15 seconds.
Start by adding ½ a cup of water and mix, until the flour absorbs the water; after mixing for a while, the dough should become an elastic ball.
The dough should be soft, malleable and smooth. If the dough is still crumbly, then add a little bit more water.
Add a few drops of water and mix for a while; check out the consistency of your dough and add a few more drops of water, if needed.
When you are happy with the consistency of your dough, cut the dough into balls, coat lightly with olive oil, wrap with some plastic wrap and let the dough rest for 60 minutes, or longer.
This is essential so that the dough softens and you can roll it easily.
Place one ball of dough on a floured surface and coat your rolling pin with some flour. Make a circle of dough with your hands.
Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough, until it becomes a very thin round sheet; the thinner, the better.
You may find it easier to roll out a little bit of the dough with the rolling pin, and then lift it with your hands and hold it by the edges with your fists, shaking a little bit, while the rest hangs and stretches out, re positioning your hands around the perimeter of the dough and repeating.
Once it’s thin enough, dust a surface with some flour and set it aside to use in your recipe!
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