The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller before 28th December, 2016 for your chance to win a share of $50,000!

Gourmet digital

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad or Android tablet.

Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Garlic recipes

This pungent yet essential little bulb sets the foundation for countless dishes across the globe. Slowly roast it alongside spatchcock or whole snapper, or grind it down to thick paste for a rich alioli. When it comes to garlic, the possibilities truly are endless.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Taming the Wilderness

Heading to Canada’s far-flung places means a whole lot of adventure with life’s luxuries on the side.

Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Dark chocolate delice, salted-caramel ganache and chocolate sorbet

"The delice from Source Dining is a winner. May I have the recipe?" Rebecca Ward, Fitzroy, Vic REQUEST A RECIPE To request a recipe, email fareexchange@bauer-media.com.au or send us a message via Facebook. Please include the restaurant's name and address, as well as your name and address. Please note that because of the volume of requests we receive, we can only publish a selection in the magazine.

Koh Loy Sriracha Sauce, David Thompson's favourite hot sauce

When the master of Thai food pinpoints anything as his favourite, we sit up and listen.

Cooking breakfast like a chef

Direct from our Fare Exchange column and recipe vault, we've picked the best breakfast recipes from chefs cooking around Australia. From croque-monsieur to Paris Brest, you won't find poached eggs on toast here. All of the dishes are the perfect accompaniment to your morning coffee.

Filo pastry


Take a leaf out of Greece's cuisine and make its most popular and versatile pastry. Here are the filo facts.

You'll need

500 gm plain flour, plus extra for dusting 200 gm butter, melted, for brushing

Method

  • 01
  • Combine flour, 250ml water and ¼ tsp salt in a bowl.
  • 02
  • Using your hands, mix until dough comes together.
  • 03
  • Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth (3-5 minutes). The dough should be soft; you may need to add more flour as you knead if it is too sticky. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and rest for 1 hour.
  • 04
  • Divide dough into eight and, working with one piece at a time, roll and feed through a pasta machine, dusting with flour and reducing settings notch by notch until you reach the last setting and dough is 4mm thick. Cut sheet in half widthways.
  • 05
  • Gently stretch filo sheet with your hands, pulling from the edges until it is almost transparent.
  • 06
  • Transfer sheet to a tray lined with baking paper and brush sheet with melted butter. Repeat with remaining filo, placing baking paper in between sheets to prevent them sticking. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until required. Bring to room temperature before using.

Note Makes about 16-20 sheets.


It's the papery, leaf-like thinness that gives filo both its characteristic texture and its name (filo, or phyllo, is Greek for leaf). As with all other forms of pastry, making your own filo gives you a far better outcome than buying it. The result is a more pliable raw pastry that gives a flakier finish. The downside is that it's labour-intensive and can be tricky to work with if the dough isn't just right.

There are two main components to filo: flour and water. Some traditional recipes call for the addition of a little oil and vinegar in the dough, but this isn't absolutely necessary. You can make any quantity of dough by using the simple ratio of two parts (by weight) flour to one part water, plus a pinch of salt.

You'll need to judge the texture of the dough as you make it, adding more flour or water if necessary to reach the right consistency. You're looking for dough that can be easily stretched, so it needs to be quite soft, but dry enough not to stick to the bench while you work with it. It should not be tough, firm or elastic. You can easily fix a wet dough by dusting it with extra flour as you work to prevent it from sticking, but if it's a very dry dough you may as well throw it out and start again. Trying to fix it with a lot of extra water is difficult, because the gluten strands become overworked.

Once you have the right consistency, the dough needs to be rested for about an hour. Place it into a lightly oiled bowl and cover it with plastic wrap (the dough can stick too much if it is wrapped directly in plastic). Rest it in the fridge or at room temperature; the gluten strands will relax and the dough will soften.

The next step is to roll out your sheets. Greek-born Sydney chef Janni Kyritsis rolls his through a pasta machine, which makes the whole process a lot faster and easier. You'll need extra flour on hand for dusting. The trick is to roll it as thin as you can - this is going to create the flakiness when it is layered and baked. Alternatively, you can use a wooden dowel to roll it out, but this method, while more traditional, is time-consuming and requires a bit of deft technique, and you'll need to work quickly to prevent the dough drying out.

When you have rolled the sheet through the pasta machine as thin as it will go, you can then stretch it even further by gently pulling from the edges with your hands. (This is the same technique used when making strudel dough.) It should be thin enough to read through.

Because fresh filo is so fragile and difficult to store, there are really only two options for working with it. The first is to roll out and layer the sheets of dough (or line your mould if you're making a pie) as you go, brushing each with melted butter or oil. The alternative is to roll out the sheets, brush each one with melted butter, place baking paper in between each sheet and keep them refrigerated, wrapped tightly with plastic wrap, until required. Stored this way, fresh filo keeps for three to four days. Brushing with butter prevents the filo sheets from drying out, but they'll need to be brought to room temperature again before you work with them, otherwise the cold butter could cause the sheets to break.

Once you have your perfect filo layers, all that's left to do is to add your filling and bake the pastry until golden (like we've done in this classic spanakopita recipe) - giving you the delicious flaky result that is so synonymous with Greek food, both savoury and sweet.


At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
The GT x STILY
Christmas Boutique is now open

The smallgoods, homewares, art and more from the pages of GT are now all under one roof, ready to take their place under the tree.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Featured in

Mar 2010

You might also like...

Tempered chocolate

recipes

Armando Percuoco: Linguine Napoletana

Trenette with pesto

recipes

Dhal with coriander and fried onion

Broad bean puree with chorizo

recipes

Pork and white beans

Italian meringue

recipes

conversion tool

 
get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×