A lot of Greek recipes - mainly the pies - use filo (phylo) pastry. You can buy this from the shops, but it's so much better if you can make it yourself. So in this post you can see how to do this. I've used the example of spinach pie (spanakopita) here, but the process applies for any other type of pie. You can see the full recipe for spinach pie here.
Ingredients for dough
300g all purpose flour
40 ml olive oil
1 tablespoon ouzo (if you don't have ouzo, you can use vinegar)
Lukewarm water – enough to make a pliable dough
For the egg wash
1 egg well beaten with 200ml milk
Place all the dough ingredients in a bowl and knead well for 10 minutes. Firstly in the bowl until it becomes a pliable dough -
Then knead it lengthwise on a flat surface (see below)
You will end up with a long roll like this -
Divide the dough into 6 balls of equal size. Cover them with cling film or plastic seal bag (see below) and let them rest on a lightly floured surface for 1 hour. You can prepare the filling for your pie in the meantime.
When the 1 hour has passed take 3 of the balls and, using a wooden rolling pin, open them into flat circles 15 cm in diameter. Lightly brush the first ‘filo’ with olive oil and place the second one on top of it. Lightly brush this one with olive oil and then place the third filo on top. Sprinkle flour on top.
With a rolling pin open out the dough with the 3 filos until you have a large circle enough to fill a medium size oven dish and cover the edge.
Brush the oven dish with olive oil and place the dough in it, covering the edge. Take another ball of dough and with a little flour and the use of the rolling pin, open it out into a circle which is the same size as the oven dish, but not including the edge. Place this in the oven dish on top of the first layer.
Now spread the filling (in this case the spinach mixture) evenly on top of these layers. Take another ball of dough and again open it out to the size of the oven dish. Place it on top of the filling and brush with olive oil. Take the final ball of dough and open it out to the size of the oven dish plus enough to cover the edge. Place it on top of the others and join the extra at the edge with the edge from the bottom layer, using olive oil so that the edge of the whole pie is nicely sealed. Brush the top of the pie with olive oil.
Lightly cut the whole pie into square portions, but without cutting down to the bottom. Brush the pie with the egg wash.
Your pie is now ready to go in the oven. In the case of the spinach pie, a preheated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for about 1 hour, until it has a nice golden brown colour.