How to Roll out Pastry Sheets

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Making your own pastry sheets (phyllo) is a process that needs love and patience. It may seem difficult at first but practice makes perfect and it’s really worth the effort. The video includes detailed description and many tips about the rolling out technique.

Orange Kooloorakia with Olive Oil

Prepare time (dough): 15 min
Prepare time (shaping): 30 min
Bake time: 20 min per pan
Ready in: 1 hr 25 min
Yield: 45 kooloorakia app.
They aren’t cookies, they aren’t biscuits. In Greece, we call them “kooloorakia” and they’re somewhere in between. Crispy or soft, crumbly or chewy, with butter or with olive oil… There are so many recipes and all you need is a glass of warm milk or a cup of coffee to enjoy them with! This recipe is for orange flavored kooloorakia made with olive oil.

Ingredients

  • 115g granulated sugar
  • 110ml olive oil
  • 170ml fresh orange juice
  • 55ml cognac or brandy
  • 1 tbsp orange zest
  • 1 tsp orange extract (optional)
  • 750g all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp honey diluted in one tbsp of water (optional, for brushing)

Instructions

1
In a big bowl, mix the sugar, the orange juice, the olive oil, the cognac, the orange extract and the orange zest. Add the baking soda and the baking powder and gradually start adding flour.

2
The mixture will slowly start to thicken and gradually it will turn into a soft dough. You’ll know it’s ready, when it sticks a little at the tips of your fingers. Oil your hands with olive or sunflower oil to gather the dough easily, cover it with a clean towel and let it rest for 30 min.

3
Pour 4 – 5 tbsp of olive or sunflower oil in a small bowl. Don’t use extra flour for shaping. The dough will absorb it and the kooloorakia will be tough! Oil your hands and your working surface. Take small pieces of dough and give them any shape you like. Small braids are the traditional shape of Greek kooloorakia.

4
For more flavor and colour, brush them with a honey – water mixture (1 tbsp honey diluted in 1 tbsp water) and sprinkle with some sesame seeds. Bake them in a preheated oven, at 190°C / 375°F, middle position, for 20 min. until golden brown. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Greek Leek Pie Rolls

Prepare time: 1 hr
Bake time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hr 45 min
Yield: Serves 12
Savoury pies with leek as the basic ingredient, are very popular in Greece. These leek pie rolls are my favourite and they are so yummy! You can eat them, hot from the oven or after they’ve cooled down, or even cold from the fridge. They’re delicious, they’re healthy and you can eat them at any time of the day.

Ingredients

  • 300g finely chopped leek
  • 400g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 150g greek graviera cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • pinch of pepper
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 1 dose Greek phyllo pastry sheets
  • flour for the rolling out
  • 5 tbsp melted margarine, for brushing

Instructions

1
For the filling
: Heat 60 ml of olive oil in a pan. Add the chopped leek and saute’ for 6 to 7 min. Season with pepper. Place it aside and let it cool.

2
In a bowl, mix the crumbled feta with the grated graviera and the egg. Add the lightly cooked leek and stir.

3
Making the pie rolls:
Take one piece of dough out of the fridge and put it on a well-floured surface. Tip: take the pieces of dough out of the fridge, one at a time. Otherwise, they’ll become soft and sticky and therefore, very difficult to roll out.

4
Sprinkle with flour and roll out the dough; give a rectangle shape, 40x30cm/16x12inches.Take a spoon and put filling along the two edges of the sheet’s smaller side. Wrap the filling with the pastry sheet and roll towards the middle. Do the same for the other side.

5
Carefully transfer on a greased baking sheet 40×30 cm / 16×12 inches. Repeat the same process for the rest 3 pieces of dough.

6
Brush the rolls with melted margarine. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F, lowest position, for about 40 to 45 minutes, until they’re golden brown.

7
If you want the pie rolls to stay crunchy, don’t cover them until they’ve cooled down completely. Enjoy, with a glass of red wine!

Recipe Video

Greek Phyllo Pastry Sheets ver.2 for Sweet & Savoury Pies (helios)

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Prepare time: 1 hr
Passive time: 1 hr 20 min
Ready in: 2 hr 20 min
Making your own pastry sheets (phyllo) is a process that needs love and patience. It may seem difficult at first but practice makes perfect and it’s really worth the effort.
There are many types of Greek phyllo, multi and one-layered pastry sheets, suitable for savoury or sweet pies and pie rolls. I’d like to share with you everything I’ve learnt so far and I’ll continue with the 2nd version of the Greek phyllo family. This recipe produces two, extra large, multi-layered, thick pastry sheets, ideal for any savoury or sweet creation. The video includes detailed description and many tips.

Ingredients

  • 550 gr. all purpose flour (plus more for kneading)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 300 ml warm water
  • 150 gr. melted margarine or butter (for brushing)

Instructions

1
In a bowl whisk flour , sugar, salt and the baking powder. Add vinegar and water, all at once. Stir with a wooden spoon for a while and finally add the olive oil. Mix just until the dough begins to form.

2
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 15-20 min. The dough should now be soft and smooth. Put the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover it with a clean cotton towel and let it rest for 20 min.

3
Cut the dough in half. Cover the second piece of dough to avoid skin forming. Take the other piece, flatten it a bit, sprinkle with flour and start rolling out, a round sheet 50cm / 19.6″ in diameter. Brush with melted margarine.

4
With your finger, “draw” a circle-20cm / 8″ in diameter-in the center of the sheet. With a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the sheet into 8 pieces, starting from the circumference of the inner circle towards the outer edge of the sheet; it should look like the sun.

5
Fold the pieces towards the center, one after another, creating layers. Wrap it with food membrane and place it in the fridge for an hour to chill. Do the same for the other piece of dough.

6
After one hour, repeat the process once more for both pastry sheets. The sheets are now ready for use, but the process can be repeated up to 5 times!

7
If you’re going to use them the same day, leave them in the fridge for 2-3 hours to set. Otherwise, store them in the fridge maximum for a week or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Recipe Video

How to Knead by Hand

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Although standing mixers and kneading machines have made the process so easy, I think that kneading by hand is something you should learn, if you are a real dough lover! Kneading by hand helps you feel the dough’s texture and how it changes during the process. It helps you understand how a type of flour works in a recipe or when to stop adding flour. Kneading by hand can offer you such knowledge and relaxation that no machine can do. So, if your hands are strong enough and you love the smell of flour, roll up your sleeves and let’s start kneading!

Recipe Video

Greek Phyllo Pastry Sheets for Savoury Pies ver.1

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Prepare time: 1 hr 15min
Passive time: 20 min
Ready in: 1 hr 35 min
Making your own pastry sheets (phyllo) is a process that needs love and patience. It may seem difficult at first but practice makes perfect and it’s really worth the effort.
There are many types of Greek phyllo, multi and one-layered pastry sheets, suitable for savoury or sweet pies and pie rolls. I’d like to share with you everything I’ve learnt so far and I’ll start with the 1st version of the Greek phyllo family. This recipe produces four, extra large, multi-layered, thick pastry sheets, ideal for any savoury creation. The video includes detailed description and many tips.

Ingredients

  • 800 gr. all purpose flour (plus more for rolling out)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 330 ml carbonated water
  • 120 ml water
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 250 gr. melted margarine for brushing

Instructions

1
In a large bowl, mix all your liquids. Add the baking powder and some flour; keep mixing until the dough starts to thicken. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured surface.

2
Gradually add the rest of the flour and knead for about 20min. till you have a soft and smooth dough (in a stand mixer or a kneading machine, it takes 5-8 min). Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, cover with a clean towel and let them rest for 20 min.

3
Flour your working bench; take one piece of dough, flatten it a bit with your hand and start rolling out. With a thin rolling pin, roll out the dough till you get a pastry sheet 40cm/16 inches in diameter.

4
Brush the entire surface with melted margarine. Fold the two sides to the center. Brush with margarine. Fold in half and brush again. You now have a rectangle about 40x12cm/16×5 inches.

5
Mark the center, and fold the two sides to the middle. Brush again. Fold in half and you’re done. You now have a pastry sheet with 16 layers that you can roll out any time you wish in order to make a Greek pie.

6
Wrap the sheet with food membrane and place it the fridge. Repeat the same process for the other three pieces of dough.

7
If you’re going to use them the same day, refrigerate for 2-3 hours to set. Otherwise, store them in the fridge maximum for a week or freeze them up to 3 months.

Recipe Video

Cheese Pie with Creamy Semolina Filling

Prepare time: 1 hr
Bake time: 45 min
Ready in: 1 hr 45 min
Yield: Serves 8
This is a delicious cheese pie, with a rich and creamy filling that melts in your mouth. The sweetness of the semolina cream and the spicy taste of the two types of cheese, make a fantastic combination! You can eat it as a snack or you can serve it with your favorite salad and turn it into a main dish.

 

Ingredients

  • 250ml milk
  • 2 tbsp fine semolina
  • freshly ground nutmeg
  • 20g cold butter
  • 350g grated greek kasseri cheese (or any other easy melting cheese)
  • 300g greek feta cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 dosage greek phyllo pastry sheets v2 [click here to watch the relevant video and learn how to make them]
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil for brushing
  • some flour for rolling out

Instructions

1
Pour the milk into a small pot, put it on medium heat and wait for a few minutes to warm up. Add semolina and whisk constantly to avoid any lumps. Lower heat and continue whisking. When the mixture starts to thicken, remove it from the heat, add the cold butter and stir until incorporated. Adding the butter cold, helps the mixture to cool faster. Add nutmeg and stir. Place it aside and let it cool completely.

2
Mix feta with kasseri. Beat the eggs and add them to the cheese mixture. Season with pepper and set it aside for the moment.

3
Flour your working surface, take the first piece of dough out of the fridge and start rolling out a round pastry sheet. The baking pan should be 40cm/16″ in diameter, so the bottom pastry sheet has to be a little bigger; it has to cover its sides so that it can hold the filling.

4
Brush your baking pan with olive oil. Wrap the sheet around the rolling pin and transfer it to the baking pan. Arrange it nicely.

5
Add the cooled semolina cream to the cheese mixture and give it a good stir. Spread the filling all over the surface of the baking pan.

6
Roll out the second piece of dough. This time, the sheet should be exactly 40cm/16 inches in diameter, just to cover the filling. Use your rolling pin to transfer the sheet easily. Fold and press the edges with your fingers, to seal and decorate the pie.

7
Brush with olive oil. Take a knife and carefully cut the pie into pieces but not all the way to the bottom! This way, you’re creating vents, to allow the steam to escape.

8
Bake the pie in a 180°C /350°F oven, lowest position, for 45 to 50 min or until it’s golden brown.

Recipe Video