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In Greek, phyllo means leaf. It is a perfect name for these tissue-thin sheets of dough, which are used for making Greek pastries and filled pies. The sheets can be used whole or cut into the size required by the recipe. Most commercial phyllo packaging has good directions for handling the dough. The key to working with phyllois to have everything ready and work quickly. It can be used for all kinds of dishes including meat, fruit and cheese based ones.
Shredded phyllo sheets
Remove the thawed phyllo from the package and unroll the sheets. Cover the unrolled phyllo with a sheet of waxed paper covered by a damp towel to keep it moist; else if will dry out very quickly.You may now cut it with scissors into thin or thick slices. The slices can be separated from each other with your hands to get shredded phyllo sheet.
How to select
• Fresh phyllo can be found in many Greek and Middle Eastern markets.
• It is also available frozen in most grocery stores, with alternative spellings of filo and fyllo.
• It is available as large sheets, with 20-25 sheets rolled into a compact package.
• Another form of phyllo is kataïfi dough, which is shredded phyllo and looks like shredded wheat.
• Countryphyllo is a variant of phyllo sheets, which are thicker, similar to puff pastry but with no eggs or sugar.
• Phyllois most often used in making Greek pastries and filled pies.
• Many layers coated with butter or oil are usedto create a flaky crust that has become the signature of Greek pastries such as baklava.
• Small cheese pie triangles made with Greek feta (and other cheeses) and phyllo pastry dough is another popular treat.
• Paper-thin sheets of phyllo dough can be used to create many shapes. The rolls can be filled with creams, custards, and other fillings.
• Another popular recipe is galaktoboureko , which is a custard-filled phyllo dessert.
How to store
• Take the required number of phyllo sheets and roll up any remaining sheets with the original protective paper.
• Cover them carefully with waxed paper and plastic wrap to keep air out.
• Unused phyllo can be stored this way in the refrigerator for a week or so. Refreezing is also permissible.
• Phyllo pastries and pies are a quick source of carbohydrate,and thus keep hunger away.
• Choose the healthier alternatives like fresh fruits or green vegetables as filling or topping on phyllo sheets for a tasty and healthy breakfast, meal or snack.