Homemade Phyllo Dough
4 cups all purpose flour (can sub whole wheat)
1 teaspoon raki (or white vinegar)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon (I've substituted oranges)
2/3 cup water (or less), HOT
flour for work surface and hands
Note-Make sure to use HOT water for this recipe. This really is the key to getting the best Phyllo dough possible.
Combine all of the dough ingredients into a large bowl, and mix (by hand) until the dough holds together.
On a floured surface, knead the dough for 10-15 minutes, until soft, pliable, and with a smooth texture. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight before using.
After refrigerating overnight, phyllo is ready to be rolled out and shaped. Cut the dough into 6 or 8 pieces, setting all but one piece aside. Next, using the thinnest rolling pin possible, roll out each piece of dough as thin as you can. The traditional method of rolling Phyllo is to wrap the phyllo dough around a well-floured rolling pin, pressing and stretching it the entire time. Then roll the dough back off, flip over (or turn the dough), and continue the process. Repeat with the remaining pieces of phyllo dough. I usually make sheets of phyllo (6x6 - 9x9 inches), but you can also use this dough as you would ravioli, cutting out circles, then filling them and folding the dough over.
Make sure that when you set each sheet of phyllo aside (as you're done rolling it), that it is well floured, so it won't stick to any surface or any other piece of dough. Also, cover phyllo sheets with a damp towel to keep moist until use. Unbaked phyllo dough will last up to 10 days in the refrigerator, and can be frozen at this stage as well.
Follow recipe directions for cooking times, remembering that homemade phyllo dough will take loner to cook than store bought phyllo.