Allow several hours to make phyllo. Once rolled out, the dough must be carefully handled to avoid drying. Roll sheets one at a time, assembling the intended dish as you proceed.
Yield: makes About 1 Pound
- 2 1⁄2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Combine 2 cups flour with salt in a large bowl. Make a well in center and add oil, 3⁄4 cup warm water, and vinegar. Using a fork, gradually stir flour into oil mixture. When dough becomes stiff, use your hands to knead dough, gradually adding about 1⁄2 cup more flour. Knead until dough is smooth, 10 minutes, then cover surface directly with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour. (Dough may be refrigerated in a tightly sealed, oiled plastic bag for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)
- Divide dough into smaller balls (the number will depend on the recipe). Cover all balls but one with plastic wrap, then, using a long thin rolling pin, roll out dough to form a 6''-8'' circle on a well-floured surface. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to relax for about 10 minutes.
- To stretch dough, wrap edge nearest you around rolling pin, then roll, applying light pressure, until all but the farthest edge is wrapped around pin. Turn pin 90°, then unwind dough onto floured surface. Sprinkle dough with flour and repeat process, rolling and turning dough (regularly flour both rolling surface and dough). Apply more pressure as dough thins and continue rolling out until dough is 12''-22'' across, depending upon recipe (this will require about 15 turns).
- Phyllo sheet will be slightly wrinkled when stretched and should be covered or used immediately according to recipe. Repeat, rolling out remaining dough. (Dough scraps may be fried in hot oil until crisp. Serve dusted with confectioners' sugar.)