As time goes by and I get deeper and more consciously into cooking, things start to be shape up. It’s clear to me that any type of dough is of special interest to me. I think that the dough is a mirror. Every recipe/dish is, but with the dough it’s different. Every step you take cannot be easily reversed or corrected at all. You have to listen, to feel. You have to use your senses and ‘be there’ as you can’t taste the dough to understand what you’re making. You have to talk it, to get along. And then you need to trust it. You’ll close it in the oven and then there is nothing you can really do. Whatever is to happen, will happen.
For the filo/phyllo dough you use the ingredients as mentioned in the ‘Kihi’ traditional cheese pie:
- 200gr. lukewarm water
- 650gr. flour
- 1tbsp. olive oil
- 1tbsp. vinegar
- 1/2tsp. salt
- 1/2tsp. sugar
- butter for spreading in the filo pieces you’ll make
For the filling
- 400gr. spinach
- 3-4 spring onions
- 100gr. parsley
- 50gr. dill
- 25gr. spearmint
- 30gr. olive oil
- black pepper
- 1 egg (optionally)
- 100gr. feta cheese (optionally)
For the filo
- Put in a big bowl the water, oil, vinegar, salt, sugar and slightly mix with your hand.
- Add little by little the flour and knead with your hands until you get a soft dough that doesn’t stick to your hands. You might need some extra flour for that. It all depends on the quality of your flour (strong/medium/soft).
- When the dough is ready, let it rest for an hour in warm environment.
- After that, you make 6 balls out of it.
- Every 3 dough balls will give you in the end one ‘filo’.
- How is this going to happen? Well, you squeeze with your hand every ball so that you get a small round thick filo with a diameter of 15cm. You spread some butter on this and put on top another squeezed ball. You put some butter also on the 2nd small thick filo and then you place a 3rd one on top of the other two. You place this triplet in a big flat plate and then straight to the fridge! You follow the same procedure for the rest of the 3 balls. In the end you will have 2 dough triplets. Let them rest and freeze in your fridge for 20′.
For the filling
- Chop the spinach, parsley, dill, spring onion and spearmint leaves and place them on a kitchen towel.
- Squeeze them in the towel so that you get out of them as many liquids as possible (beware, the towel will turn green!)
- Move all chopped greens in a big bowl, add the olive oil, salt, pepper and if you want the egg and feta cheese. If you choose to use the feta cheese you should use less or even no salt at all. Mix all of them well.
- Preheat your oven at 200 degrees C and grease a 30cm baking pan.
- Take a dough triplet of the fridge, sprinkle some flour on your clean table and using a thin wooden rolling pin start spreading the triplet from the inner to the outer part. This ‘filo’ should be a but bigger than your pan. You will use it as the base of the pie and outer parts of it need to finally turn in the inner part of the pie to cover it. After you place it in the pan sprinkle with some olive oil.
- Take the other dough triplet and follow the same procedure. When ready let it stay on your table.
- Lay the greens filling on top of the filo you placed in the pan and spread well.
- Use the second filo you made and cover the pie. Let this filo fall spontaneously on the top of the filling so that those dough ‘waves’ as formed. Then turn the outer parts of the base filo on top of the upper filo and close the pie.
- Cut the pie in pieces, not really thoroughly. Sprinkle some olive oil and some water.
- Bake for at least one hour until it gets crispy and…
- Using the same dough you can make leek, pepper, meat, cheese pies..!
- Instead of baking the pie right away you can put it on your freezer and bake when you want. You will need to let it unfreeze smoothly before baking. You can also bake it and put in your freezer in pieces if you want to keep some for later!