Filo pastry is a pastry which holds much heritage and dates back to approximately the 11th century. The pastry originates from a Central Asian Turkic origin. The pastry is well known for being paper thin sheets of dough, popular in the Middle East and Greece. Filo pastry is also known under the name of phyllo and fillo. In Turkey filo is used to create pastries called borek. In Egypt, pastrites named gollash are prepared. In Bulgaria pastries known as banitsa are produced and well liked. In Andhra Pradesh, filo pastry is used to produce pootharekulu.
Filo pastry is a pastry is commonly bought by many in a premade form, available from many major supermarkets throughout the UK.
As well as filo pastry being used for sweet food products, the pastry is also used to a great extent for savoury foods, often within vegetarian meals.
As previously mentioned, the pastry can be bought premade but for those wishing to attempt producing the pastry themselves the recipe is below.
The ingredients required are as follows 400 grams of flour, pinch of salt, 125ml of warm water, 2 table spoons of olive oil and cornflower.
To begin, sift the flour and salt into a bowl, do this quickly. Once this is complete, add water slowly and at a gradual pace, stiff dough should now be occurring. The olive oil should now be placed on to your hands, now work and kneed the dough on a work surface, gradually work in the oil off the hands until the dough is smooth, and it should now feel elasticised. Once the dough is in this form, roll the dough in a little more oil, place it back in a bowl and cover the bowl with a damp cloth, it should now be placed in a warm place (ideally a pantry), it should be left here to rest for approximately two hours. This is one of the most important aspects of producing the pastry and should therefore not be missed out.
After the dough has rested split the dough into ten small parts and roll each into an equal thickness, allow this to rest for a further ten minutes. Once rested, stretch the dough out with the palm of you hands; continue this until the dough is as thin as tissue paper and in the form of a square. Cut the pastry into the desired shapes, use straight away or if required for storage, store in a damp cloth.
Filo pastry is renowned for being one of the most versatile of the pastries, for this reason it is extremely popular. Its versatility means that the pastry is used for many different products as previously mentioned. It is popular with vegetarians as it adds bulk to meals which is missing as meat can not be eaten. Sweet products are also popular users of filo pastry as it is light and tasty, although the main advantage being that it can be bought premade or made simply at home.