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The Next Step in Making Phyllo Dough
Now that you know how to make homemade phyllo dough as the Greeks do, it's time to create phyllo sheets that you can use for pitas and pastries. This is the easy part — at least when you use a pasta or dough machine.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
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Using a Pasta Maker
A pasta machine is a very simple device that clamps to a table or work surface. Place a folded towel underneath so the work surface doesn't get scratched.
This pasta machine has 10 thickness settings from 1 — the thickest — to 10, which is the thinnest. It makes strips about 5½ to 5¾ inches wide.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
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Soften the Dough
Make sure your dough is well refrigerated first. Start with a handful of dough and cover the rest with plastic wrap to keep it moist while you're working. It's not important exactly how big your handful is, as long as it's a good chunk. I usually take a piece the size of my palm and about an inch thick.
Working on a floured surface and with floured hands, pat the dough down into the shape of a burger. Set the machine to 2 or whatever the second thickest setting is on the pasta machine you're using. Run the dough through the machine. Fold the resulting strip in half and run it through again, then repeat a third time. This will soften the dough so it can be made into a thin sheet.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
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Roll Out the Sheets
Roll out the dough, adding more flour to your work surface if necessary. The next step depends on the recipe you intend to make and how experienced you are with baking.
- For small fried cheese and savory pies, use setting number 6 on your pasta maker, or a setting just slightly thinner than your middle setting.
- If you're an experienced baker and you're familiar with using thin sheets for baking, run the dough through setting number 9 — or the second thinnest on your machine — to roll out thin sheets.
Hold the end of the phyllo as it comes through the machine, drawing it out gently so it lays flat. Don't let it double up on itself.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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A Phyllo Sheet Ready to Use ...
Lay the sheet out on a lightly floured work surface so it's flat. When the sheet has been completely rolled out, it's ready to use.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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... And Ways You Can Use It
You can easily make small fried cheese and savory pies now that you have your dough, but now that you've got making the sheets down pat, you might want to broaden your horizons and try your hand at a few other slightly more complicated recipes. Greek cheese pies, spinach pies, meat pies, and croissants all call for phyllo dough, but if you prefer to start out with an easier recipe, some tips and tricks will help you become a master.