Filo Pastry Recipe – How to Make Filo Pastry

Also called Fillo Pastry or Phyllo Pastry

Filo pastry, also called fillo pastry or phyllo pastry is a paper-thin translucent pastry used in Greek, Eastern European and Middle Eastern recipes. It’s ideal for making savoury parcels, greek style cheese pies (John’s “speciality” for Boxing Day), samosas and spring rolls as well as sweet dishes such as baklava and apple strudel. It’s usually layered and brushed with melted butter between the layers to maintain it’s crispy quality. Filo pastry is also good for making Chinese style spring rolls.

Filo Pastry Samosas

Filo Pastry Samosas

It’s the only pastry that I buy ready-made, either already frozen or fresh as it is so difficult to make. Often you can find fresh filo pastry at a greatly reduced price fresh and then freeze it. It requires not only a lot of time and patience but skill to produce those paper thin sheets.

You will need quite a few attempts to be able to judge the dough’s correct consistency and a lot of dummy runs at stretching it without breaking/ripping the dough. Obviously you can make your own filo pastry and, if you’re brave enough to have an attempt, follow this filo pastry recipe.

Once you’ve mastered the skill of making filo pastry, consider making it in larger quantities and freezing it. Cut into sheets about the size of A4 paper and dust lightly with flour to stop it sticking to itself.

Whilst the filo pastry dough is resting, why not check out cookymom.com for a look at their tips.

Ingredients for Filo Pastry:

  • 4 oz (112 g) plain flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Method for Making Filo Pastry:

  1. Sieve the flour and salt together in a bowl and gradually add water to make a stiff dough.
  2. Oil your hands lightly and knead the dough on a board, gradually working in all of the olive oil this way until a smooth, elastic dough is achieved.
  3. Roll the dough in a little more olive oil, place in a bowl, cover with a damp cloth and allow to stand in a warm place for a couple of hours to allow it to rest.
  4. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and roll to ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thickness on a lightly floured board.
  5. Cover with a cloth and allow to relax again for 10 minutes.
  6. Cover a worktop with a smooth, clean cloth and lift each piece of the rolled dough onto it one at a time.
  7. Putting your hands, palms down under the dough, gently stretch the dough with the back of hands, rotating the cloth until the dough is stretched and as thin as tissue paper and in an approximately 1’ x 1’ (30 cm x 30 cm) square.
  8. Repeat with the other pieces of dough.

Good luck!

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