Phyllo Dough Recipe – How to Make and Use It

phyllo dough recipe

Phyllo dough, a paper-thin pastry, has taken the culinary world by storm with its exceptional versatility. Whether you’re crafting a savory entrée or a sweet dessert, a phyllo dough recipe is your secret weapon. In this article, we’ll explore the world of phyllo dough recipes, from traditional to gluten-free recipes, and discover how they can be used to create delectable desserts.

What is Phyllo Dough?

Phyllo dough, sometimes spelled “filo” or “fillo,” is a delicate, paper-thin pastry that originates from Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s prized for its ultra-thin layers, resulting in a crispy and flaky texture when baked. Phyllo dough is a versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savory dishes.

Traditional Phyllo Dough Recipe

Ingredients for Traditional Phyllo Dough Recipe

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar


  • In a spacious mixing bowl, blend together the flour and salt.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the warm water, olive oil, and vinegar.
  • Gradually pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and mix until a dough is formed.
  • On a floured surface, knead the dough for approximately 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  • Divide the dough into small balls and let them rest for at least 30 minutes, covered with a damp cloth.
  • Flatten each ball of dough into a thin, nearly see-through layer. This can be done using either a rolling pin or a pasta machine.
  • Layer the sheets on top of one another, brushing each one with either olive oil or melted butter.
  • Use as needed in your recipes.

Gluten-Free Phyllo Dough Recipe

Ingredients for Gluten-Free Phyllo Dough Recipe

  • 1 3/4 cups rice flour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 teaspoon gelatin
  • 1/4 cup sweet rice flour
  • 4 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup margarine (melted) or 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar or 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 egg


  • In a mixing bowl, combine rice flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and gelatin.
  • Create a well in the dry ingredients that is big enough to hold the liquid ingredients.
  • In a separate bowl, lightly beat an egg with 1/4 cup of milk, melted margarine or oil, and honey.
  • Pour this mixture into the well in the dry ingredients and mix everything together until a soft dough forms.
  • Depending on the type of rice flour used, you may need to add more milk to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use for your desired holiday pastry.
  • If not used immediately, keep stored in the refrigerator.

Phyllo Dough Recipe Dessert

Phyllo dough isn’t just for savory dishes; it’s also a star in the world of desserts. Its thin layers add a delightful crunch to a variety of sweet treats.

Baklava: Phyllo Dough Recipe Dessert

Baklava is one of the most famous phyllo dough desserts. Baklava is a delicious dessert that consists of layers of phyllo dough filled with chopped nuts, typically walnuts, pistachios, or almonds. The layers are then sweetened with syrup made from sugar and spices. This results in a divine dessert that is both rich and crunchy, with a delightful syrupy flavor. Baklava is a popular dessert in various Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines.

Ingredients for Baklava

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups mixed nuts (walnuts, pistachios, almonds), finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 package (16 ounces) phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a mixing bowl, mix together chopped nuts and ground cinnamon.
  • Prepare a baking dish by greasing it with butter and placing one sheet of phyllo dough at the bottom. Brush the dough with melted butter.
  • Repeat this process with the remaining sheets, layering and buttering each one until half of them have been used.
  • Sprinkle a generous amount of the nut mixture over the layers of phyllo dough. Continue layering the remaining sheets, buttering each one as before.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes.
  • Place in a preheated oven and bake for 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Once the baklava is in the oven, prepare the syrup by mixing sugar, water, honey, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a saucepan. Let it simmer on low heat for 15 minutes.
  • Then, add vanilla extract and stir well.
  • Once the baklava is fully baked, pour the hot syrup over it immediately.
  • Allow it to cool and soak for a few hours before serving.
  • Enjoy your homemade baklava made with phyllo dough!

Exploring Phyllo Dough’s Culinary Potential

The versatility of phyllo dough knows no limits, as it can be utilized in various culinary endeavors, whether they be sweet or savory in nature. Its potential for application is vast and boundless.

Spanakopita: A Savory Delight

Spanakopita, a much-loved Greek cuisine, consists of a delectable phyllo pastry that encloses a delightful blend of spinach, feta cheese, onions, and a medley of flavorful seasonings. The combination of the flaky phyllo dough and the flavorful spinach and cheese filling creates a mouthwatering delight that’s perfect as an appetizer or side dish.

Ingredients for Spanakopita

  • Phyllo dough (prepared or homemade)
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped and wilted
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large bowl, combine the wilted spinach, feta cheese, ricotta cheese, chopped onions, minced garlic, fresh dill, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
  • Layer the phyllo dough sheets, brushing each layer with olive oil.
  • Place the spinach and cheese mixture evenly on the phyllo sheets.
  • To make a triangle shape, fold the phyllo dough over the filling.
  • Then, place the spanakopita on a baking sheet and bake it in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until it turns golden brown and becomes crispy.


Phyllo dough, a delicate and versatile pastry, is a culinary treasure that transcends both sweet and savory dishes. With its crisp, flaky layers, it elevates the texture and taste of any recipe it’s used in. Whether you’re creating the iconic baklava or the savory spanakopita, phyllo dough adds a touch of magic to your culinary creations. Don’t hesitate to try your hand at making traditional or gluten-free phyllo dough, and let your creativity shine through in the kitchen. From appetizers to desserts, phyllo dough invites you to explore and experiment with a world of delicious possibilities.


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