Your local bakery is the place to go if you enjoy the crispy, paper-thin delight of pastries made from filo pastry. You can choose from apple strudel, baklava, samosas and even spring rolls, all of which are made using delicious, buttery filo pastry. However, if you fancy having a go at making your own filo pastry, here's how you do it!
Making filo pastry
Filo pastry is notoriously tricky to make, but you'll get a great sense of achievement if your DIY attempt is a success. Filo pastry can be frozen successfully too, so once you get good at it, you could make a large batch and pop it into your freezer for future use.
What you'll need
- 112g plain flour
- a pinch of salt
- cold water
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- mixing bowl
- a large clean cloth
How to do it
- Start by sieving the flour into a bowl; hold the sieve well above the bowl so that plenty of air is trapped between the grains of flour. This helps to give the pastry lightness and a crispy texture.
- Add a pinch of table salt.
- Gradually add cold water to the flour and salt, stirring well to create a stiff dough.
- Take a small amount of olive oil and use it to coat your hands lightly. Now knead the dough on a wooden board, working-in all of the oil, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
- Next, take the ball of dough and roll it into a little more oil. Put the dough into a bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and place it somewhere warm for two hours or so to rest.
- Now divide the dough into a dozen pieces and roll each piece out on a lightly floured wooden board, until it is 0.5cm thick.
- Cover the rolled-out dough with a damp cloth and leave it to rest again for about 10 minutes.
- Take a large, clean cloth and cover your kitchen counter with it. Place one piece of the rolled-out dough onto the cloth.
- Now put your hands under the dough with your palms down. This is the trickiest step, so take your time to gently stretch the dough, using the backs of your hands. Keep rotating the cloth until the dough is evenly stretched and is as thin as tissue paper. You should finish up with a square of dough measuring roughly 30cm x 30cm.
- Repeat the process with the remaining pieces of dough.
You can make your own filo pastry by following the method above. However, if you'd rather enjoy those delicious, crispy pastries without the hard work, take a trip to your local bakery!