Baklava Flashback: How is Filo Made?

Reader Scott submitted that question last week and I forgot to get to it. As far as I know there are two different ways of making filo dough. One is to simply roll it, which is the way commercial manufacturers do it, starting with a fairly stiff dough and employing a machine that’s analogous to a giant pasta maker. The dough is progressively squeezed between metal rollers until it’s tissue-thin. The other way is the more traditional hand method, in which a slightly wetter dough is used. Hot water is added to a flour mixture to help gelatinize the flour particles, and a bit of oil is drizzled in to give the dough elasticity. It’s then very gently stretched over a large table employing the back-of-the-hands technique that strudel makers have made famous. That’s how Greek grandma’s used to do it, and the one I’d prefer if I had the courage to attempt my own filo.

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