Homemade phyllo is not that difficult. It just needs practice!
To make phyllo you have to prepare the dough first and that you will find here: Making the Greek phyllo dough -Choriatiko-
We show you step by step how it is done and even show some Yiayia’s tips!!
We begin by taking one piece of dough that was resting for at least half an hour to develop its gluten. This resting time is necessary to develop and make the dough elastic and easier to work with!
In order to make large, thin sheets of phyllo, it is preferable to use a long dowel rod. You can use a rolling pin as well but the phyllo will get as big as the length of the rolling pin and to make it thin you need a dowel rod.
The next step is to clean very well the table (or flat surface you are going to use) and prepare to make a mess!!
Phyllo comes from the Greek word φύλλο which means leaf because the dough is rolled out as thin as a leaf (and even more) but also the word phyllo means sheet.
So that means we are going to roll a lot ! Flour the clean surface to start working with the dough, keep flouring your working surface regularly, with flour.
Take the first piece of dough and create a disk with your hands and put it on the flour to start working it. Dust the dough regularly so that it will not stick. You can use either flour or corn flour . Always keep the remaining dough covered, so that it does not dry.
Press to flatten and turn it clockwise, then flipping it in the flour and do it again.
To make the phyllo thinner roll it on the dowel rod and starting in centre of dough, working outward toward edges, with your fingers pressing it gently, try and stretch the dough. Continue until you have the desired thickness.
Once you have the desired thickness you roll it on your rod and unroll it on the pan!
Fix it with your hands, oil it and repeat the process with the second sheet!
Yiayia Eleni usually puts 2 sheets at the bottom of the pan, one in the middle and then 2 again on top… but it really depends on what you bake!
Yiayia says “…don’t worry if you made the sheets larger than your pan! It’s better to cut the excess than not to have enough!”
You can always springle the rest of the dough with sugar and cinammon and make twisted sweet sticks for your coffee!
It’s a process kids love taking part so don’t be afraid to inclyde them! Let them dust the dough with flour or oil the sheets! It gets them excited to help and they learn to cook!
Now you can fill it with anything you like !! We made a “Chortopita” that you can read about here click here