Switching to keto diet might leave you with some sentiments of missing different kinds of phyllo dough pastry, pies, etc… For a Greek, the most missed thing is the famous tyropita (cheese pie), spanakopita (spinach pie), manitaropita (mushroom pie), kotopita (chicken pie) and even world famous baklava. Yes, I am talking about classical phyllo dough. For sure, if you visited Greece, you have tried one of these carb-loaded delicacies. I admit they taste good and they have some sentimental value. Therefore, I made it into a project:
Create the perfect keto version of phyllo dough
Of course, the main ingredient which helps the phyllo dough to become so thin, elastic and crispy is the gluten from wheat flour. Now, I don’t have to remind you how unhealthy gluten is! You cannot even think about it when you want to create a keto friendly phyllo dough. As with all batters and doughs, in keto cooking your best friend is called psyllium. This amazing plant will help you to achieve the “gummy” consistency that will allow spreading and thinning the dough. In this phase, I came up with a solution for a little bit thicker phyllo than the original version. Nevertheless, this doesn’t prevent the tyropita or any other pita to look and taste even better than the real thing.
Patience is a virtue
Since I am coming from a baker’s family, I know how important it is to be patient when working in the baking process. The most important thing is to get the right ratio of ingredients. You will be starting with coconut flour as the base. Now, why did I choose coconut flour? Some might say isn’t almond flour more Mediterranean choice? Based on my experience, there isn’t almond flour that can be finely ground into a powder like a coconut flour. On the other hand, coconut flour has a more neutral aroma and a better colour for this purpose. It’s very important to add psyllium in a ratio 2:1. It means if you put 2 tablespoons of coconut flour you will need 1 tablespoon of psyllium.
You probably think, give us the recipe finally! So, here it is:
- 4 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 tablespoons psyllium
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 150g melted grass-fed butter
- 1 whole egg
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (try to find Greek)
- 150g Greek Feta cheese crumbled
- 100g grated aged yellow cheese
- 100g Sour cream
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 whole egg
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- 4 tablespoons sesame seeds
- In a deep mixing bowl add coconut flour, sea salt and psyllium. Mix well.
- Melt the butter and add it to the mixture. Use your hand to combine it.
- Now, add the egg and olive oil and keep mixing with your hand. Be patient, squeeze the dough between your fingers and allow psyllium to “drink” the fluids.
- After 2-3 minutes you will be able to form a ball. If the dough becomes too dry add some warm water and mix again.
- Let it sit for 15 minutes and cover it with a kitchen towel.
- After 15 minutes check the consistency. If it’s dry and breaks in the corners, add some more water and mix it with your fingers again. Once you feel that the dough has gummy, plasteline alike consistency it’s ready to work on it.
- Spread some coconut flour on your working surface and place the dough in the middle.
- Now slowly using your hand press it in the middle while holding the edges with the other hand to prevent it from breaking.
Make it as thin as possible…
Once you your dough is 1cm thin, sprinkle some more coconut flour all over and start working gently with the rolling pin. You have to be patient and don’t press too much because the dough might break. Try to make it as thin as possible. When the dough is well spread cut it into long stripes 5 cm wide.
Using a brush spread olive oil all over your stripes. Place the filling in the lower left corner of the phyllo. Fold the lower left corner of the stripe up to form a triangle. Continue folding the phyllo the same way you will fold a flag. If the triangle gets too thick just cut the rest of the dough.
Try to make all triangles folded 3-4 times. Place them on a baking sheet in a baking pan. Mix the egg for topping and egg wash all the triangles using a brush. Now sprinkle sesame seeds all over the triangles. Preheat the oven to 200ºC and bake them for about 20 minutes or when you see that they are turning golden.
A perfection of taste and appearance
This phyllo dough can serve as a base for many different pastries, even as a pizza base. I had some dough leftover so I created small cookies. They turned out as small loaves of bread which gave me another idea. If I placed the ball of dough into bread baking mould, I would most probably get amazing keto bread. But this is a subject for another article.
I promise I will perform this experiment very soon.
Stay tuned for more Greek Keto baking.