What is Phyllo Pastry?
Phyllo is the Greek word for “leaf”. It comes in tissue-paper thin sheets that are mainly used in Greek or Middle Eastern cuisine.
To use, the sheets are brushed with oil or butter and then layered. This gives it a crisp, flaky texture similar to flaky pastry…only different.
Phyllo pastry is used for a multitude of delicious treats both sweet and savory. From spanakopita to baklava, its delicate flakiness always seems luxurious.
You can find it in the frozen section of your supermarket. To use, the pastry must be properly defrosted.
Making the dough from scratch at home is much more difficult than other pastries which is why most people keep a roll of frozen phyllo in their freezers.
It can take a while to defrost though so we thought we’d give you a few methods to get it thawed quickly.
Why Use Phyllo?
- This pastry has an extremely light, delicate, flaky texture.
- It is the healthiest pastry available as it contains no saturated fats.
- Recipes can be created by adding flavoring items between the layers such as spices, herbs, grated cheese, or other seasonings.
- Phyllo dishes can be made ahead, frozen before baking, then baked from frozen.
- The dough stores beautifully.
- It can be used for both sweet and savory dishes – so versatile!
Ways To Thaw Phyllo Dough Quickly
How To Thaw Phyllo Dough
1. Be Accurate About Time
When you are trying to thaw the phyllo dough, you need to ensure that this is done at the right time. Keep in mind that defrosting or thawing it too quickly will result in damp and soggy sheets.
Remember that phyllo dough is sensitive and when it’s made damp, the sheets will stick to one another and they won’t be usable. So, make sure that you use it as soon as it’s thawed, and don’t leave it sitting around for too long.
Once defrosted, cover the sheets with a damp towel as you work to prevent them from drying out.
2. Use Accurate Temperature
Many people make the mistake of thawing phyllo dough at room temperature but this can lead to condensation, which makes the pastry sheets unusable.
Never thaw phyllo dough at room temperature – defrost it slowly in the fridge. After that, bring it to room temperature before using it.
3. Don’t Separate The Sheets Too Quickly
Don’t try to separate the sheets until you’re sure that the pastry is completely thawed. If they are still frozen when you try to separate them, they will tear.
The Process Of Thawing Phyllo Dough
- With A Refrigerator
The first and the most reliable method of thawing phyllo dough is to use the refrigerator. Remove the pastry from the freezer and put it in the fridge overnight.
Although it’s a slow process, it gives the best results. Thaw it in its original packaging for at least eight hours.
- With A Microwave Oven
This is a little tricky as if you let the dough get too hot, it will spoil. Put the packet flat on the turntable and use the defrost mode for just a minute at a time.
Check repeatedly until your phyllo is completely defrosted.
More Useful Hints When Using Phyllo Pastry
- Don’t open the phyllo packet until you’re ready to start work on your recipe because it dries out quickly.
- Once you start, try to work fast.
- If a sheet of pastry tears, simply dampen it and press the edges back together.
- Don’t use it with very wet fillings.
- Before baking, brush the top layer with melted butter or oil to give a beautiful golden, crispy finish.
- Phyllo pastry recipes are not suitable for microwaving. They need to be oven-baked for crispness.
- If you make a dish with phyllo ahead and freeze it, do not defrost it before baking. Cook it from frozen.
- Unused pastry can be rewrapped and kept in the fridge for up to a week. It can also be refrozen for up to 2 months.