Appears in
Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets

By Darra Goldstein

Published 2015

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filo is the Greek name for the paper-thin pastry known as yufka in Turkish. It is made of durum wheat flour with a high gluten content, enabling it to be rolled or stretched very thin without tearing. The other ingredients are usually just water and salt, although some recipes may also include eggs or yogurt. Filo is rolled out in large circles using a long, thin rolling pin called an oklava in Turkish. Ottoman pastry chefs developed a faster method, first recorded in 1838, by which each walnut-sized ball of pastry is rolled to a saucer-sized circle, then piled up 10 at a time with starch sprinkled between each layer, and the whole pile rolled out simultaneously. See baklava.