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How to roll out homemade filo pastry

Source: supplied by Angela Nicolettou

You've made the dough, you let it rest. Now, it's time to roll it out to make your pie (pita). Get your rolling pin ready be it short and fat or long and skinny and follow Angela Nicoletou's instructions for a delicious home made pie.

Filo pastry

Ingredients

500 g plain flour (bakers flour if available)

1 tbs vinegar

4 tbs extra virgin olive oil

250 ml water

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

 

Pita dough
Supplied

Method

Place flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and mix well.

Make a well in the centre and add the water, oil and vinegar.

Mix to form a dough. You can use a mixer with a dough hook for this stage, or place dough on a smooth surface and knead until very smooth (about 10 minutes).

Cover dough with plastic wrap and rest for at least one hour.

At this stage you can refrigerate or freeze the pastry. To do this it will need to be well wrapped in plastic wrap.

Pita baked
Supplied

How to roll out the pastry: 

For Round Pites

Cut the dough into 7 pieces and shape each one into a disk as flat as you can, using your hands. Oil each disk and rest for 15 mins.

Make a pile with 4 disks and roll to about 5mm thickness and large enough to cover the base and sides of the baking dish.

Roll out and stretch (once it is thin enough you can use your hands to gently stretch the dough) each remaining disk (3 in total) so each is large enough to cover the pie dish (30-35cm diameter). You now have one thicker piece for the base and 3 thin pieces of pastry for the top.  Lightly oil each piece. 

Place the thicker filo pastry sheet at the bottom of the baking dish, so that the base is covered and the remaining pastry hangs over the edge. Brush the base and sides with oil and add the filling. Cover the top with the three remaining sheets, one on top of the other and the fold over any of the overhanging filo until you have a pie with a slightly messy looking top layer.

Brush with olive oil. Mark each piece of the pie by cutting the top of the pie into wedges or squares depending on how you want to serve. Wet your hands and sprinkle the top of the pie with water. Bake for 30 to 40 mins or until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pita
Supplied

For Spiral Pites

Cut the dough into 6 pieces and shape each one into an oblong shape (approx. 10 x 20cm) making it as flat as you can, using your hands. Oil each piece and make into 2 piles of 3 (rest for 15 mins).

Roll each pile into a long piece of pastry to about 5mm thickness. Using your hands gently stretch the pastry working around each side until it is very thin and you can see through it. If needed, drizzle the pastry with olive oil to ensure it is remains soft and easy to stretch. The filo piece should now be about 70 x 100cm.  Repeat with the other half of the pastry. 

Take one filo sheet and brush it with olive oil and add filling along the length of its base. Roll this up to form a sausage shape about 5cm wide making sure you squeeze slightly to make it as tight as possible (don’t worry about little tears, they become air pockets and add crunch!). Place this in the baking dish starting in the middle and roll it around itself to form a spiral. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Add this to complete the spiral and fill the baking dish.

Brush with olive oil and with a sharp knife poke some air holes 5cm apart along the spiral.  Wet your hands and sprinkle the top of the pie with water. Bake until golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

*All photos are supplied by Angela Nicolettou

cooking
Spiral (strifti) pita
supplied

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