I’ve received a reader question! Thank you, Miss Jessica, for asking about the origins of phyllo dough, especially since Mama seems to be using it a lot lately.
This tissue-thin pastry dough is used in many Greek sweet or savory dishes—think baklava and spanakopita, those little spinach & feta–filled triangles. But it’s also widely used in the cuisines of other Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries. Like other pastry doughs, it’s made from flour, water, and fat—in this case, oil—with a splash of vinegar; sometimes an egg yolk is added. Phyllo literally translates into “leaf,” if you were wondering, and much like a pepper, you can stuff practically anything into a phyllo pocket.
You can buy phyllo in the freezer section of most supermarkets, but be sure to thaw it overnight in the fridge. When you work with it, keep a damp paper towel over the “exposed” sheets to prevent them from drying out. They tear easily, so this little bit of moisture is key. Use several layers, always brushed with oil or melted butter, to roll, fold, or layer your already-cooked filling. Then bake until the pastry is golden and flaky.
Please let me know if you give phyllo a try, and tell me what you made!
August 28, 2012 at 10:19 pm
Thanks for the info. It sounds yummy.
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