I have not made filo pastry before as I usually use the bought one.
However I recently bought a book on different pastries to make, and decided to try it.
The pastry is totally different to the bought ones, and while not as flaky it had a nice taste and I knew it had no added chemicals to preserve it, or sugar.
I used two different cheeses and the result was a rich, quite salty, moorish taste.
Preparation Time: 65 minutes
Cooking Time: 35 minutes
Makes: 4 extra large coils
Ingredients For the pastry 300 g plain flour, plus extra to dust
3½ tbsp olive oil
For the filling 25 g butter
1 tbsp plain flour
½ cup milk
240 g feta (I used Bulgarian), crumbled finely
250 g ricotta
1 small bunch silverbeet, stalks taken out
2 tsp oil
2 tbsp dill, chopped
½ bunch spring onions, chopped finely
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Method For the pastry
Combine the flour and 1 tsp of salt in a bowl. Stir in 165 ml of water until the mixture forms one lump, adding more water if necessary.
Turn it on to a floured board/benchtop, and knead till the mixture turns into a stiff dough.
Add 2 tbsp oil one at a time, and kneading between each one, for about 5 more minutes or until the dough is smooth and going elastic.
Coat it with 2 tsp of oil and place in the bowl. Cover with a tea towel and put in a warm place for 2 hours.
Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface again and divide into 6 round pieces.
Make each piece flat and round to about 1 cm thick, using a rolling pin, and brush with the remaining 1 tbsp of oil.
Place 3 round pieces on top of each other, cover and put in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200°/180° fan forced.
Working with one stack of dough at a time, and again using a rolling pin, roll out on the lightly floured benchtop to as thin as you can.
Put your hands, palm side down under the dough and stretch it using the back of your hand till it reaches about 60 cm x 1 metre if possible. I found this just a bit too difficult, so made it smaller.
Brush each piece with extra oil.
Leaving about a 3 cm border, place 1/6 of the filling (depending on how many pieces of dough you end up with) along the short edge of the pastry.
When doing this, make sure you leave a space between the filling, as per the picture as this will stop the coil from bursting.
Fold the pastry over the filling and roll into a large log.
Roll it into a coil and trim the ends. Repeat with the remaining filo and filling.
Place each coil on baking paper on an oven tray with the cut ends touching.
I basted them with a tiny bit of egg mixture
Bake for 25 minutes or until they are golden.
For the filling
Make this ahead if you want and store it in the fridge.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
Add the flour and cook, stirring for about 1 minutes. Slowly add the milk and cook, once again stirring for two minutes or until slightly thickened.
Add the feta and ricotta and stir to mix.
Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the spinach leaves and leave for just short of a minute.
Drain and when cool enough, squeeze as much liquid out as possible.
Chop this dried spinach into small pieces.
Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat, and add the spring onions, dill and parsley and cook for 2 minutes or until the onion is soft.
Add this to the cheese mixture with the spinach and stir to combine well. Season with pepper - it should not need salt as the Bulgarian feta is salty.
Allow to cool, and use as above.
I served the spinach and cheese coils with a warm pear and walnut Caesar salad.