Many people find working with Filo dough to be complicated, but in fact, it is very easy once you get the grip of it.
The great thing about this thin, paper-like dough, is that it allows you to control the type and amount of fat you want to use, and it can be formed into many different shapes; from the traditional triangles, as shown here, to squares, layers, cups and more. The variety of fillings is also endless, from savory to sweet.
If you can get the fresh dough, you can use the dough immediately. For best results using the frozen dough, make sure to defrost it slowly, in the fridge, overnight, so you’ll end up with nicely separated sheets.
The thinner the sheets are, the more flaky and delicate the result will be, yet, the thicker types are easier to handle, so if you’re just beginning to use Filo, it may be a better choice for you.
A few things to remember when working with Filo:
* The dough dries out quickly, so it’s important to cover the sheets while working.
* Brush or spray a layer of oil or clarified butter on each layer, so that the sheets will get nice and crispy.
* Brush the pastries top with a bit more oil before baking.
Makes: 16 large triangles
Prep time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 15-20 minutes
½ package Filo sheets
About ½ cup olive oil (or clarified butter)
For the filling:
2 cups chopped mixed herbs (I used basil, mint, dill, parsley and cilantro)
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 Tbs bread crumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup pine nuts
1 Tbs olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 370F (185C). Place baking paper on a flat baking pan.
2. The filling: combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Cut the Filo sheets in half. Tightly wrap one-half with plastic wrap and keep for future use. Cover the rest with a towel.
4. Place one sheet on a cutting board. Brush with a bit of oil and turn over. Brush on the other side and place another Filo sheet on top. Brush with oil and add one more layer. Brush with oil and cut in half with a sharp knife, so you’ll have two large stripes, each of three layers of dough.
5. Place 1 heaped tablespoon of the filling at the bottom of each strip. Fold one corner to one side, then flip sides (“flag folding”) and keep on folding this way until you end up with a triangle shape. Do the same with the rest of the dough and filling. Place the triangles on the baking sheet and brush the tops with a bit more oil.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the pastries are golden brown.