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Phyllo Dough

Phyllo Dough
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Phyllo Dough

Prominent in Greek, Turkish, and Near Eastern dishes, phyllo consists of tissue-thin sheets of dough that, when layered and baked, results in a delicate, flaky pastry. The word phyllo is Greek for "leaf."  Prominent in Greek, Turkish, and Near Eastern dishes, phyllo consists of tissue-thin sheets of dough that, when layered and baked, results in a delicate, flaky pastry. The word phyllo is Greek for "leaf." Although phyllo can be made at home, a frozen commercial product is available and much handier to use. Allow frozen phyllo dough to thaw while it is still wrapped; once unwrapped, sheets of phyllo dough quickly dry out and become unusable. To preserve sheets of phyllo, keep the stack covered with plastic wrap while you prepare your recipe. Rewrap any remaining sheets and return them to the freezer.

Filo dough is made with flour, water, and a small amount of oil and raki or white vinegar, though some dessert recipes also call for egg yolks. Homemade filo takes time and skill, requiring progressive rolling and stretching to a single thin and very large sheet. A very big table and a long roller are used, with continual flouring between layers to prevent tearing.
Filo for domestic use is widely available from supermarkets, fresh or frozen.

Uses

Filo can be used in many ways: layered, folded, rolled, or ruffled, with various fillings. Some common varieties are with:

Cheese: called Tiropita in Greece and Cyprus, Peynirli börek in Turkey, Burekas in Israel, sirnica in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Gibanica and Burek in Serbia, standard Banitsa in Bulgaria.

Chicken: called Kotopita in Greek cuisine Tavuklu börek in Turkish cuisine.

Vegetables: Chortopita in Greek cuisine (Prasopita when filled with leeks) sebzeli börek (spinach, leek, aubergine, courgette, etc.) in Turkish cuisine.

Meat: called Kreatopita in Greek cuisine, Kiymali börek or Talas böregi (with diced meat and vegetables) in Turkish cuisine, Burek in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and elsewhere.

Meat with yogurt on top: called Buredžici in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Nuts and syrup: Baklava, sütlü nuriye, söbiyet, saray sarma in Turkish cuisinePotatoes: called Patatesli börek in Turkish cuisine; Patatopita in Greek cuisine; Krompiruša or Krompiraca in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and SerbiaPowdered sugar on top and filled with grated apples - Czech cuisine jablecný závin or Austrian cuisine ApplestrudelSpinach and feta cheese: called Spanakopita in Greek cuisine, Ispanakli börek in Turkish cuisine, Spanachnik in Bulgarian cuisine, Zeljanica in Bosnian cuisine.

Milk: Mlechna Banitsa in Bulgarian Cuisine

In Turkish cuisine consisting of boiled dough layers with cheese in between can be described as a salty version of baklava. Some recipes also use an egg yolk glaze on top when baked, to enhance color and crispness. In Western countries, filo is popular with South Asian immigrants in making samosas. Filo is used in many of the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire; to make flaky pies and pastries, including baklava, börek, gözleme, spanakopita, tyropita and bstilla. Filo is also used for güllaç, a Turkish dessert mostly eaten in the holy month of Ramadan, where layers of walnuts and rose water are placed one by one in warm milk. A similar Egyptian dessert is called Umm Ali.

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