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Homemade Phyllo Dough

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Make phyllo dough at home - Greek Food Photos

Homemade phyllo dough

Photo © Jim Stanfield

In Greek: φύλλο, pronounced FEE-lo

Freshly made phyllo dough (also spelled "filo") is always 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

Ingredients:

  • 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

Preparation:

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.

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