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What Are the Best Tips for Making Filo Dough?

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  • Written By: Lakshmi Sandhana
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 14 September 2016
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Filo dough, or phyllo dough, is made into paper-thin sheets for pastries. It may be folded, layered, and rolled with or without fillings to create a variety of desserts and savory items. It's quite easy to make filo dough at home by either using a pasta machine or a rolling pin. Using hot water to combine the dough with other ingredients and keeping the sheets fairly moist is also critical to making thin sheets.

A few cooks combine all the ingredients to make this dough with very hot water and then mix it until it becomes the required consistency. With pasta machines, the dough can be put in saran wrap and left in the refrigerator overnight. Cooks then run the dough through the pasta machine to get fine sheets of the desired thickness. If there's any unused filo dough, it can be stored in the refrigerator for around 10 days in a sealed container.

If the sheets are to be made with a rolling pin, then the dough needs to be kneaded by hand until it becomes smooth and soft. It should be left to rest for around 20 minutes and then placed on a lightly floured surface. Adding a little oil to the hands keeps the filo dough from sticking. After kneading, it should be allowed to rest for around two hours. The dough can then be rolled out into small balls of equal size.

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Cooks then roll out the balls using rolling pins or pastry rollers to get very thin sheets. Once the sheets have been made, it is important to keep them moist and work quickly. The dough that is not being used needs to be covered with damp paper or kitchen towels because this prevents them from drying out and becoming unusable. Some recipes call for brushing the filo dough with melted butter. In this case, the pastry brush should have ultrasoft bristles because brushes with hard bristles can leave rips in the dough.

Keeping any fillings ready beforehand is also critical because of the fast-drying nature of the dough. Baklava, samosa, and borek are just a few of the items made with this dough, which is very popular in the Middle East and Balkan regions. Keeping all the necessary implements like knives or pizza rollers ready at hand makes things easier. If a sheet is taken out from the filo dough, then the remaining dough needs to be kept covered so that it stays hydrated. When they become too dry, the sheets become very brittle.

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