Sometimes five sheets are rolled out together to make one large thick sheet of phyllo used to make the Vlakiki pie famous in the villages of the Epirus region. When baked, the dough separates into layers because of the fat trapped between them, resulting in a very flaky, crisp pastry, like a rustic puff pastry.
- 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- cornstarch (cornflour), for dusting
Lightly dust a baking pan with flour and set aside. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the oil, vinegar, and water. Using your hands, gradually draw the flour from the sides of the well into the liquid and mix well. Knead lightly to form a soft, elastic dough, adding a little more water if necessary. Divide into small balls, according to the number of phyllo sheets required and the size of the pan. Place the balls side by side in the pan, cover with plastic wrap (cling film) or a damp dish towel, and let rest for 1-2 hours. Roll out each ball on a surface lightly dusted with cornstarch, then roll each one around the rolling pin, pressing lightly and rolling to a thickness of 1/8 inch or less. To prevent it from sticking, sprinkle the surface with a little cornstarch as you work. Phyllo for pies can be made more easily by flattening the dough into 8-inch rounds, spreading each generously with oil or melted butter before stacking in threes, one on top of the other, and rolling them out into one large round sheet.
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