bet you thought gluten-free phyllo dough was simply impossible.
Well, guess again. Recently I had the pleasure of spending the
day with a friend of mine from Greece. We spent the day preparing
homemade phyllo and Spanakopita. My friend, Dimitrios, was born
in Greece and spent many days watching his mother prepare homemade
phyllo for a delicious authentic Greek dish called Spanakopita.
Upon his diagnosis of Celiac disease he decided to try to convert
his mothers recipe to be gluten-free. The end result couldnt
have been better. This Spinach Pie consists of wonderful
layers of flaky phyllo and a delicious mixture of spinach and
feta. From his house to yours, wed like to share our experience
with you and this wonderful family recipe.|
|Techniques & Tips
You Will Learn in this Class
Helpful Tools for making Phyllo
Making Phyllo Dough
Rolling out Phyllo
What is Phyllo?
Phyllo (which means leaf in Greek) dough
is finely rolled and stretched sheets of pastry (usually wheat)
dough. Paper-thin and almost translucent, the sheets are approximately
12 x 20 inches and are stacked, rolled, wrapped, and then
frozen. Gluten-free phyllo is not quite as thin as traditional
phyllo and is best used immediately rather than frozen for
later use. Despite the differences it is equally delicious!
Helpful Tools for Making Phyllo:
Long thin rolling pin (preferably without
Large surface (cutting board) for rolling out the dough
Matfer Dough Cutter
Making Phyllo Dough:
(Makes 8 sheets of phyllo)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 to 3-1/2 cups of gf flour (Schar Mix
Whisk together the eggs and milk in the
work bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the dough hook to your
stand mixer. Gradually add the flour, with the machine on
low, until the dough is no longer sticky. Cover the dough
in a mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for 2 hours.
the dough from the bowl and cut it into 8 equal pieces. Generously
dust a clean work surface and the rolling pin with corn starch
to prevent the dough from sticking as you roll. Using the
palm of your hand, flatten 1 piece of dough to about 7"x5"
making sure the thickness is fairly uniform. Using the rolling
pin, make 4-5 passes (front to back then back to front) over
the dough. Roll the phyllo up onto the pin, then put it back
down again sideways (now it should be lying side to side).
The goal is to have a nice rectangular sheet of phyllo (approximately
18"x14"). Continue to roll out the phyllo as many
times as you need to get the phyllo to the desired size. Remember
to dust the board and the rolling pin frequently with corn
starch to prevent sticking. Note: only roll out one phyllo
at a time as you are ready to use it to avoid having it dry
out and become brittle.
Spanakopita is a popular Greek dish in which
spinach and feta cheese are encased in phyllo pastry. Spanakopita
Pie is a great meatless entrée for a light supper served
with a simple garden or fresh fruit salad. Or, serve
your pie as a side dish to grilled chicken or lamb chops for
a Greek-inspired meal. You could also serve this as a nice
appetizer as a prelude to a delicious Greek dinner.
(Makes 24 portions)
- 2-3lbs. fresh spinach ( 4-5 bunches )
- 3 large eggs
- 600-800 grams feta - crumbled ( 3-4 Valbreso
Feta packages ), crumbled
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1-1/2 tsp. dry mint ( more or less -
to taste )
- 4 tbsp. fresh Italian parsley - chopped
and coarsely chop the spinach. Blanch the spinach in boiling
salted water for 30 seconds. Drain and let cool on a baking
sheet. While the spinach cools combine the eggs, olive oil,
dry mint and parsley in a large bowl. Squeeze out as much
water as possible from the spinach. Add the spinach to the
bowl and stir to blend. Fold in half the feta then add the
remaining feta. Try not to over-mix you dont
want the feta to break up too much.
brush a baking pan with olive oil. Roll out the phyllo and
lay it in the pan (the easiest way is to roll the phyllo onto
the pin and then starting at one end of the pan, unroll it
into the pan). Press the phyllo to the oiled sides of the
pan. Lightly brush olive oil on the phyllo sheet (this keeps
the phyllo layers from sticking to each other and becoming
one thick doughy layer).
Note: If the phyllo is bigger than you need,
let the extra hang outside the pan you may need some
of it to cover tears or holes in subsequent layers.
and apply two more phyllo layers (for a total of three). Dont
forget to brush the top of each layer with olive oil.
Use a third of the spinach-feta mixture
and spread it on the phyllo in the pan. Spread it out even
sure it gets in all the corners.
Roll and apply a phyllo layer on top of
the spinach-feta mixture. Brush the top of the phyllo with
Repeat the last step two more times. You
should now have 3 layers of phyllo on the bottom, 1 layer
of spinach-feta, 1 phyllo, 1 spinach-feta, 1 phyllo, 1 spinach-feta.
Top off with the remaining three phyllo layers (a total of
8 phyllo layers for the complete spinach pie). Remember to
brush the top of each phyllo with olive oil.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut off all the excess phyllo hanging on
the sides of the pan. This is best done by pushing a sharp
knife through the phyllo down to the pan. Using the point
of a sharp knife, score the pie pieces (2"x2" in
size) making sure the point of the knife goes all the way
through to the bottom of the pan. Scoring the pie now rather
than later is done for two reasons:
- making the cuts will allow steam to
release during the cooking process;
- the phyllo is easiest to cut before
baking. If you cut it after it is baked, the phyllo is
crusty and runs the risk of falling apart.
Bake the Spanakopita (Spinach Pie) in the
oven at 350°F for 50-60 minutes or until the top is golden
brown. Remove the pie from the pan within 1/2 hour after taking
it out of the oven. Spanakopita can be served hot or cold.
It will keep well on the counter for 2-3 days. Refrigerate
if you plan on keeping it longer.