Pastry: Filo by pepe

posted by pepe85323 02-07-103 2:07 PM


Before starting to make filo, there are a few things that you must remember. To make a pound of filo allow yourself 2 hours, especially if it is your first time making it. Now for a few tip that should help you.

1. Avoid making filo on a rainy or humid day. On days like this filo takes longer to dry and much harder to work with.

2. Use the best quality unbleached flour you find. The better the flour the better the results.

3. You will need a large working surface, but you must be able to reach the center comfortably from all sides.

4. Before you start stretching the dough, remove all jewelry from your hands. The jewelry will snag and tear the dough.

One more thing before you start, remember the measurements of flour can not be exact. The amount used depends on the type flour and humidity of the day. Start with the smallest amount and add more as needed. To start your filo use the following:

2 to 21/2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
1 large egg at room temperature
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt
11/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp white vinegar

Put the flour in a medium bowl and set aside. In a small bowl mix the egg, water, salt, oil and vinegar. When it is well mixed, add to the flour and quickly knead the dough. Add more flour as needed, until the dough no longer sticks to your hands or the bowl. Be very carefully not to add to much flour, you don't want the dough to lose its pliability and become stiff. Keep kneading the dough until it is smooth and elastic, normally about 10 minutes.

Cut the dough in half and shape it into 2 smooth balls. Knead again lightly. Flatten both balls slightly, brush with oil and place on an oiled plate. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rest for 30 to 45 minutes.

While the dough is resting, cover your work table with a clean cloth and sprinkle the entire surface with flour. Very gently transfer one of the balls to the center of the table, being very careful not to disturb the shape or make any folds or creases in the dough. Sprinkle the dough lightly with more flour.

With a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough evenly to about 16 inches in diameter. After rolling out the dough carefully pick up the dough and place it on the back or your hands (palms down, hands slightly curled and elbows to your side). With the dough on your knuckles, stretch the dough by lifting and turning. Slowly and evenly repeat the motions. The dough should stretch under its own weight each time you lift and turn. When the dough is to thin and fragile to stretch this way, carefully put it in the middle of your work table and start stretching it slowly and gently with your fingers, moving around the table as you stretch. Do not stretch the dough in one place to long. Continue stretching the dough until it is thin enough to read through, even out the thick spots. Trim the edges with a very sharp knife or scissors. Save the scraps to stretch again.

Let the filo dry a little (if it hasn't already done so) until it feels smooth and satiny, usually about 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the filo into the shape needed for your recipe.

If you don't use the filo immediately, stack the sheets, sprinkling generously with cornstarch between each sheet to prevent them from sticking to each other. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Repeat with remaining dough.

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