Recipes @ Facts About Phyllo Dough

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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Facts About Phyllo Dough

The Greek word "phyllo" means leaf. The word "filo" refers to paper-thin leaves, or layers, of pastry dough. Filo is thought to date back as far as 2,000 years. You can find boxed of commercially prepared filo or phyllo dough in freezer or refrigerator counters at most supermarkets and grocery stores. Phyllo is a classic dough in many great savory and sweet baked items.

However, many people are unfamiliar or intimidated by using this pastry, so let's demystify this a bit. First, when you open a package of phyllo dough, you'll notice it will come out in a large roll. In that roll, there are many many paper-thin layers of dough that you can use for a variety of recipes. Look at your recipe to determine how many sheets you'll need, pull out only that amount, and promptly place the unused portion on a new layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate it. Since you typically will only be working with one sheet at a time, keep the remaining sheets of dough covered with a damp kitchen or paper towel to prevent the sheets from drying out. Once the sheets dry out, forget it: You won't be able to salvage them, since they will turn hard and brittle.

Most recipes call for buttering phyllo dough in a recipe. It's important to use butter, not a margarine or other vegetable oil-based spread for this, since the butter will impart flavor to your finished item. Melt the butter as directed in the recipe and then brush it onto your dough with a pastry brush. Bake according to the temperature and time directed in your recipe, and you'll be rewarded with tender, flaky dough. I hope this has helped you understand the basics of working with phyllo (filo) dough.

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