The Greeks use the super-thin dough to make appetizers, sweet pastries like baklava, and savory main-course pastries like spanakopita (or “spinach pie,” phyllo filled with chopped spinach, Feta, onions, eggs, and herbs).
At heart, any phyllo-based pastry is simple. Layers of phyllo are blanketed with melted butter, filled, and then the whole thing is baked. The trick is creating the phyllo itself.
Only four ingredients go into phyllo—flour, water, salt, and (not surprising with Greek food) olive oil. Some homemade phyllo recipes call for raki (white vinegar) and lemon juice. One way of making phyllo on Crete calls for the ingredients to be kneaded into dough separated into equal pieces that are then formed into balls.
The balls are rolled flat with a heavy rolling pin. Then each disk is hand-rotated into a large, round, thin sheet. The sheet is stretched on a huge table covered with a linen sheet, and stretched and tugged until it covers the table. Trimmed, dried, and cut into 16 rectangles, the phyllo pieces are separated by linen pieces, then stacked in shops and ready for sale.
Luckily, during Passport Greece, we’ve shortened the phyllo-making process for you. First, learn fun, delicious, and creative uses for phyllo dough in our Cooking School classes, then head to the Frozen department and buy your own.
Register for a phyllo class near you:
Phyllo Favorites – Working quickly, you'll learn to layer and shape phyllo to create crisp, flavorful favorites.
- Austin North Lamar, May 2 –> Register
- Plano, May 2 –> Register
- San Antonio, May 2 –> Register
- Fort Worth, May 3 –> Register
- Southlake, May 3 –> Register
Phyllo, Fillo, Filo! – Learn how to use and work with this delicious dough that derives its name from the Greek word “leaf."
- Dallas Lovers, May 2 –> Register