I am very excited that yesterday I made my first video. It was nothing planned but it was one of those rare days that I was alone at home. I had already done the preparation of the dough and filling for Spanakopita, when the idea of making a video popped up.
I know that there are a lot of mistakes in this video and my friends on facebook gave me some good advice for next time, if ever I decide to do this again, and if I do, I hope next time to do a better job.
What I did was set the tripod on the only free space available in the kitchen and focus on the working area. As you see from the picture, the stand mixer is where the fruit are and right behind me is the kitchen table.
In order to speak to the camera I had to lower down my body and also later on, while rolling the dough I had to put my back to the camera as otherwise I could not reach the pasta attachment.
As I said, it was not planned and the dough I had made was more than it takes for one spanakopita as I wanted to use the rest to make some Spicy Sausage Rolls (that will have to wait for a future recipe).
Nevertheless, with all the technical mistakes in it, I think that you will understand how to make a good Greek Spanakopita.
Spanakopitta (or spanakopita) is the most popular Greek pie, made with spinach, aromatic herbs and feta cheese. Other types of cheeses, like anari or myzithra, which are soft whey cheeses, similar to ricotta can be combined.
How to make Phyllo
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Rolling phyllo: 30 minutes, depending on your skills
500 grams (1.10 lbs) all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tbsp wine vinegar
200 ml water (about 1 cup)
Preparation time: 60 minutes
Baking time: 45 – 60 minutes
Serves: 6 – 9 (as a main dish) or 18 as a snack
Dough (as above)
Olive oil for brushing (about 1 cup)
Ingredients for the filling:
1 kilo (2.20 lbs) fresh or frozen spinach
3 spring onions
1 small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup parsley, finely chopped
½ cup dill, finely chopped
Myronia and kafkalithres (whenever they are in season), optional
¼ cup olive oil
300 grams (0.65 lbs) feta, crumbled
3 large eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
Sift the flour and mix in the salt. Put the flour in a large bowl and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil until the flour has absorbed the oil. Add vinegar and then water gradually (more or less water may be necessary). Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky on your hands. Place on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.
You can also make the dough in your stand mixer. Attach the dough paddle. Put all the ingredients, except water, in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed. Gradually add water until the dough is ready and does not stick on the walls of the bowl. Test with your fingers to see if it is sticky. If it is, add more flour.
After your dough is ready, you should leave it to rest for half an hour. This resting time is necessary for the gluten to develop and make the dough elastic. If gluten does not develop properly, you will roll out the dough and then it will shrink again.
Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and then press to flatten. While working with the dough, flour your working surface regularly with flour, unless you are working on a non-stick mat. Also dust the dough regularly so that it will not stick.
Always keep the remaining dough covered, so that it does not dry.
Depending on your pasta machine, it is usually numbered from 1 – 6 and on some other attachments on stand mixers like mine, the machines are numbered from 1 – 9.
Set your pasta machine to the smallest number which is number 1. Each time you roll it out, dust it again with flour and continue the same procedure increasing the numbers, until you get the desired thickness
Meantime, wash the spinach, removing the stems or any damaged leaves and dry. Frozen spinach reduces the time of preparation considerably but defrost before using. Squeeze it with your hands to remove all fluids. Alternatively, if fresh spinach is used, when still wet you can put them in a big saucepan, without any additional water, and bring to a soft boil for about 5 minutes, until it wilts. It will become soft and its volume will be reduced. Place it in a colander to cool down and when it can be handled, drain any water by squeezing it. In both cases,cut it into smaller pieces.
Preheat oven to 180o C / 350ο F.
Place the spinach in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the onions and herbs, as well as the eggs, feta and spices and mix well.
Grease a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 15.75”) or 30 cm – 12” baking tin with olive oil. The remaining olive oil will be used to brush the phyllo.
Divide the dough into six parts and roll out a thin phyllo.
Place on your working surface and cut it in the middle. Join the two pieces to make a bigger square or rectangle piece and brush it generously with olive oil.
Put some filling on one edge. Roll, once to cover filling and press the two sides so that the filling will not come out. While rolling brush it with olive oil and when done, twist the two ends towards opposite direction. This will stretch the dough and make it even bigger. Place in an oiled baking tin one roll next to the other.
Brush on top generously with olive oil.
Bake for about 1 hour or until golden on top.
Hope you enjoyed the video and please let me know what you think:)
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