Filo dough is that wonderful tissue-paper thin pastry that is used in baklava and other fabulous dishes. Learn how to work with this exotic ingredient.
Time Required: 1 hour
- First, thaw the filo dough carefully, following the package directions exactly. This is usually best done in the refrigerator overnight.
- When the dough is thawed, remove from the package, open the plastic bag, and unroll the dough.
- Remove the top layer of paper. Have plastic wrap and a damp (not wet) kitchen towel ready to cover the dough while you're working with it.
- Carefully pull one sheet of the dough off the stack. Don't worry if it tears - just keep it together the best you can. Immediately cover remaining dough with plastic wrap and the damp towel.
- Place the filo sheet on a cookie sheet, and brush with melted butter, using a pastry brush or a spatula.
- Repeat process with another sheet of dough, covering the unused dough immediately. Continue according to the recipe - usually you will layer 3 to 6 sheets of filo.
- Prepare the filling and place on the layers, roll up or fold, according to the recipe instructions, and brush the filled pastries with more butter.
- Bake as directed in the recipe, until the pastry is golden brown and flaky.
- Always, always cover the dough you aren't buttering and layering. If it dries out, it becomes brittle to the touch, and you'll never be able to work with it.
- Don't worry if the pastry tears. Just brush butter on it and layer on another sheet.
- Mini filo shells are a great way to use the dough for the first time. They're preformed; all you have to do is add the filling.
What You Need
- filo dough
- plastic wrap
- damp kitchen towel