Phyllo (or Filo) Dough from Scratch

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Phyllo (or Filo) Dough from Scratch
  1. Place 2 cups flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the center; drizzle in olive oil and add salt. Pour in warm water and white wine vinegar, then mix until dough just comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl, 1 to 2 minutes.

  2. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, using just enough flour to keep it from sticking to the work surface or your hands, 2 or 3 minutes. Continue to knead until dough is supple and elastic, about 5 more minutes. Wrap dough ball in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature, 1 to 2 hours.

  3. Use a kitchen scale to divide dough into twenty 20-gram portions; roll each portion into a ball. Place on a plate and cover with plastic wrap to prevent dough balls from drying out while you begin to roll them out. Work in batches of 5.

  4. Mix cornstarch and 2 tablespoons flour together in a bowl. Dust a work surface and the first dough ball with cornstarch mixture; flatten and roll out into a circle, about 5 inches in diameter. Dust again with cornstarch mixture. Set circle to one side. Roll out 4 more dough balls to about the same diameter and stack them on the first one, dusting each layer with more cornstarch mixture to keep them from sticking together.

  5. When you have 5 circles, roll out the stack to a larger circle about double in size, turning as you go to maintain a round shape. Separate each layer and lay out the circles. Reapply more cornstarch mixture where needed and restack them. Roll again until the 5-layer stack is paper-thin, about 10 to 12 inches in diameter. Place on a sheet of parchment paper; top with another piece of parchment. Gently roll up the dough; wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  6. Repeat with the remaining 15 balls of dough in batches of 5.

    Photo by Chef John.

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Chef’s Note:

You can use your phyllo sheets to make Chef John’s Baklava.

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