Sunday, May 15, 2016

Roasted Radish


It is common to eat radish raw. However, in Chinese cuisine, radish is also cooked in soups and also sun-dried. I much preferred the taste of sun-dried radish than raw. Since I am not so adventurous to sun dry radishes myself, I tried roasting them in the oven. The results is quite similar to dried ones but with enhanced sweetness and milder peppery taste.

Roasted Radish
Radishes
salt
oil

1) Pre-heat oven at 170˙c
2) Slice radishes into rounds. Place on oven-proofed dish, drizzle with some cooking oil and sprinkle with salt.
3) Bake for 30mins. until slightly brown.

raw radishes

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hungarian Fairy Cake { Tündérsüti }


Hungarian Fairy Cake { Tündérsüti }
recipe via Tundi Konyha

Ingredients

For the dough
200gm Plain flour
80gm Powdered or Confectioner's sugar
100gm Butter, room temperature
2 Egg yolks
1 tsp Baking powder
1 pkt vanilla sugar
pinch of salt

For the filling
1 packet "puncs" / strawberry pudding powder
200ml Cold Milk
4 Tbsp sugar
180gm Sour cream, room temperature (normally 20% fat, but I only had 12%)
2 Egg whits
Rum extract, to taste
small drop of red food colouring

Powdered sugar for dusting

Method
1) Pre-heat oven to 180°. Prep cake tin (17.5x23.5cm) by greasing and flouring it. Set aside.

2) Make the dough by mixing  mixing flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt. Then add in butter by gently pinch butter into flour mixture until crumbly. Create a well in the centre of the bowl, pour in the egg yolks and gently knead into becoming a soft dough.

3) Divide dough into 6:4 portions. Roll out the bigger dough to the size of the bottom of baking dish. Place in the baking dish. Place the baking dish in the fridge to let the dough rest. The smaller portion of dough, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge too.

4) While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. In a sauce pan , pour in cold milk, then slowly mix in the pudding powder and powdered sugar. Cook the pudding on stove top until thickens.

5) When pudding has thickens, carefully mix in the sour cream. This process will easily split the mixture. What I did was, take a little of the hot pudding, and add into the sour cream and then pour the whole sour cream mixture into the  hot pudding and quickly whisk it to avoid splitting. Then put in the rum and red food colouring, mix well. Set aside

6) In a bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. The slowly fold into pudding mixture.

7) Take out the baking dish from the fridge, pour the filling over the dough base. Finally roll out the smaller portion dough, cut into strips and lay a criss cross pattern on top (see pic from recipe link above).

8) Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins. until pudding is firm nad pastry is golden brown.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Chinese New Year Baking : Almond London Cookies

Chinese New Year is once again around the corner (February 8th)! For this year, I thought aside from the staple pineapple tart, I should try my hand at another favourite cookies for the festival. When I saw a recipe for Almond London Cookies during my blog surfing, I knew I want to make these. These did not originate from London and I have no idea why this cookies exists in Malaysia. The cookie is basically a toasted almond wrapped with short cookie dough, bake lightly, then dipped into melted chocolate and finish off with a sprinkle of chopped/nibbed almonds.

For step-by-step tutorial, please go to Nasi Lemak Lover.


Almond London Cookies
Source : Nasi Lemak Lover (linked above)


150g whole almonds

30g nibbed almonds




170g butter (salted)

60g icing sugar, sifted

20g egg yolk (used 1 yolk)

300g cake flour (used plain flour)


300g chocolate

Method

  1. Toast whole almonds in oven at 180°c for 13-15mins, and toast nibbed almonds at 180°c for 1-2mins. Set aside to let it cool completely before use.
  2. Cream butter and icing sugar till light and pale.
  3. Add in egg yolk, beat well to combine.
  4. Add in cake flour, mix until it come together to form soft dought. Do not over work it.
  5. To weight dough 6g each, wrap up a whole almond, and shape into oval shape.
  6. Bake cookies at 160°c (fan forced) for 15mins or until golden brown, set aside to cool completely.
  7. Melt chocolate over double boiler or microwave oven. Dip cookie in melted chocolate. Use a small fork, transfer coated cookie into a mini paper cup.
  8. Sprinkle some toasted nibbed almonds on top. Chill in the fridge (~10mins) to set the chocolate before storing in air-tight container. Store in cool place to prevent chocolate from melting.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hungarian poppy seeds / walnuts rolls { Bejgli II }

Two thumbs up for this recipe! which by the way , will replace the one archived here before.  What I like about this version is the fluffy bread texture as you see below.
With the exorbitant price of walnuts, I've opted to only make the poppy seeds fillings. That being said, both fillings are equally good. For us and especially my mother-in-law, she prefers the poppy seeds type.

The recipe linked below makes 6 rolls; but the quantity I stated below have been adjusted to only 2 rolls. In fact, I could have made into 3 shorter rolls instead of 2 long ones.

Bejgli
source : Receptneked

makes 2 rolls

Ingredients
For the dough
130ml sour cream (20% fat)
83g goose fat
1 medium-size egg
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch salt
30gm fresh yeast
400gm flour

For the filling

200gm ground Poppy seeds
100gm Honey
100gm water
vanilla extract
bunch of raisins, soaked and drained
1 zest of lemon
2 Tbsp of apricot jam
sugar, to taste


For glazing
1 egg, seperated

Preparation
For the dough
1) In a bowl, mix together sour cream, goose fat, egg, sugar and salt.
2) In another bowl, put in the flour and crumble in the yeast. Then create a well in the centre, and pour in the sour cream mixture (1). Mix until all ingredients are combine.
3) On a floured surface, pour out the flour mixture and knead until you get a smooth dough.
4) Let the dough rest in covered bowl , in room temperature for 1 hour.

For the filling
1) Heat water until hot. Combine it with honey and mix well.
2) In a bowl, put the ground poppy seeds, lemon zest, apricot jam, vanilla extract , soaked and drain raisins. The pour in the honey-water mixture. Combine well. Check for sweetness, if needed add sugar to taste. I needed to add sugar in consideration of my MIL taste buds.
3) Divide filling into 2 portions. Set aside until assembly.

To finish
1) 30 mins. into proofing the dough, start pre-heating the oven at 180°c
2) Once dough is fully proof, pour out on floured work surface, and punch out the air from the dough.
3) Divide dough into 2 equal size.
4) Take the first dough, roll out into a rectangle shape. Size according to your preference.
5) Spread a portion of the filling onto the dough , leaving some space on the sides to prevent leakage.
6) Roll up the dough just like Swiss roll, but not too tight to leave room for the dough to grow and not burst.
7) Repeat the same for the next roll. Glaze each roll with only egg yolk. Then let it dry for about 15 mins. After 15 mins. glaze with egg white.  Use a knife or fork to prick the roll all the way to let out the steam during baking.
8) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 mins. until golden brown.

Serving
It is better to let the roll sit for a day or two to enhance the taste even more. Just wrap the rolls in cling film and keep in a cool place.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cantonese Egg Tarts II 港式蛋挞

Over the years, I've made egg tarts on few occasions. The result mostly looked rough and rustic but this time these tarts look  like the real deal! That said, am still trying to achieve a melt in the mouth lighter crust. Mine have slight chewy tart shell. I'll have to work on my short crust pastry technique. However, the filling is exactly what I'm looking for.

Cantonese Egg Tarts
serves : 12-15 tarts
I have halved the recipe from Guai Shu Shu

Ingredients
For tart shells 
1 egg (lightly beaten) 
220 grams of plain flour (sifted) 
40 grams of icing sugar (sifted) 
100 grams of chilled butter (cut into cubes) 
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional) 

For egg custard filling   
220 grams of fresh milk 
75 grams of castor sugar 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional) 

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c

In a big mixing bowl, put butter cubes and sifted plain flour together. Use the finger tips to rub the butter cubes and flours together until it become crumby. Add in sifted icing sugars and continue to rub until well mix.

Add lightly beaten eggs and vanilla essence, mix slowly until it become a dough. Put it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. Note that if you are able to handle soft dough, you can by pass this step. Take the dough from the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat sheet with about 0.5 cm thickness.

Use a round cutter to cut about the size of the mould.  Note that this step is optional and will help you to roughly gauge the amount of dough required and you still need to adjust the quantity of dough as you progress.  Use your hand to press the dough against the sides and make it as even as possible. Use a knife or anything sharp to cut off the sides. If preferred, use a fork to lightly make some holes to let any trapped air to escape.  However, this step of making hole is optional. Set aside for later use.

For crispier crust, bake the tart shell in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes. However, this step is also optional. 

For filling :-
In a microwavable bowl or mug, heat the milk until boiling hot (if you do not have a microwave oven, just heat the milk over the stove). Set aside for the next step. 

In a big mixing bowl, put egg, sugar and vanilla essence. Use a hand whisk to beat until well mixed. Pour the hot milk to the mixture and use a sift to sieve the custard mixture. 

Pour the custard mixture to the pre-baked tart shells. 
  
Bake the egg tarts in the pre-heated oven of 180˙c for 10-15 minutes. Once the tarts starts to puff up a bit, open the oven door, leave the door ajar and continue to bake the tarts for another 5 –8 minutes. A tart is considered as baked when a toothpick inserted in the centre of the tart, the toothpick stands upright. The tarts is best served warm when the custard is still soft and crust crispy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Homemade Belgian Waffles

Not sure why it took me so long to invest in a waffle maker, when I love eating waffles?! Now that I finally bought one and that the first recipe came out exactly how I like it. It will definitely be used many Sundays ahead.

Homemade Belgian Waffles
adapted from casa de lindquist
serves : about 6 x 10x12cm waffles

Ingredients:
1 large egg or 2 medium-sized eggs, room temp.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
about 207ml milk, room temp.
57gm butter, melted2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Method:
1) Lightly grease waffle maker then switch it on to pre-heat.
2) Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. set aside.
3) In another bowl, whisk egg(s) and sugar until light and fluffy.
4) Pour in milk and melted butter, mix well. Finally add in the flour-mixture. Mix until lump-free. Don't over mix.
5) Spoon waffle batter onto pre-heated waffle maker. close it. and set timer to 5 minute.
6) Serve hot with any sweet or savoury condiments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spanakopita { Greek spinach pie } with homemade filo / phyllo pastry

When I have spinach and feta available, first thing that come to mind is spanakopita. It's an absolute favourite filling for filo /phyllo pastry for me. Never in my life that I would've imagined making filo / phyllo pastry  though! I gave it a go on and as usual it is not as scary or hard as I thought. What I did was prep. and knead the dough a day ahead and let it rest in the fridge over night. 

Homemade Phyllo Dough

via http://korenainthekitchen.com/2011/06/27/daring-bakers-baklava-with-homemade-phyllo-pastry/

Ingredients
Dry
1 1/3 cup flour (type “00” or pizza flour, if possible – all purpose flour will do, though)
1/8 tsp salt

Wet
1/2 cup less 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Filling
spinach (frozen, with access water removed)
feta cheese
sautéd garlic
salt, to taste

Method
1) Mix together dry ingredients. In a small bowl combine wet ingredients. Then pour the wet mixture slowly into the flour.
2) Continue mixing stirring until it comes together in a soft dough with no dry flour bits left. You may need slightly less water, or slightly more (I had about 1 tbsp of water left over) – just add it slowly, bit by bit, to gauge how much you’ll need.
3) Knead the dough in mixing for about 20 minutes, until you have a soft, silky, smooth dough.
4) Then  remove from bowl, on floured surface knead another 2 minutes, whacking the dough down hard on the counter a few times during kneading.
5) Rub the dough with vegetable oil, wrap it in plastic, and let it rest for at least 2 hours – longer is better.

Rolling and stretching the dough

Divide the ball of dough in half, cut each half into thirds, and each third into thirds again, to end up with 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on a plate, covered with plastic wrap.

Flatten a ball out with your fingers and place on a well-floured surface. Roll out with a floured rolling pin or dowel until it’s about 9″x5″ (mine was twice as large), picking up the dough and re-flouring the surface underneath it every few strokes. Don’t be afraid of adding too much flour – keeping everything properly floured will make it much easier to roll, because if stuff starts to stick you’re in trouble! Let the dough rest for a minute or two if it starts getting difficult to roll out.

When the dough sheet is as thin as you can roll it, gently lift it and stretch it with your fingers from underneath. Do this very s-l-o-w-l-y and gently, using more of a stroking motion than a pulling motion, and letting the dough rest every so often. Don’t worry if you get some rips and holes – you only really need one perfect sheet for the top layer of your baklava (it took me until sheet number 14 to get a perfect one, and only about two out of 18 had no holes!).

When the dough is stretched thin enough to read through, place it on a floured baking sheet, and lightly sprinkle flour between each sheet to stop them from sticking together. The original recipe says that the sheets won’t dry out, but it took me forever to roll them out so I covered them lightly in plastic, just in case.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Roasted Radish


It is common to eat radish raw. However, in Chinese cuisine, radish is also cooked in soups and also sun-dried. I much preferred the taste of sun-dried radish than raw. Since I am not so adventurous to sun dry radishes myself, I tried roasting them in the oven. The results is quite similar to dried ones but with enhanced sweetness and milder peppery taste.

Roasted Radish
Radishes
salt
oil

1) Pre-heat oven at 170˙c
2) Slice radishes into rounds. Place on oven-proofed dish, drizzle with some cooking oil and sprinkle with salt.
3) Bake for 30mins. until slightly brown.

raw radishes

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Hungarian Fairy Cake { Tündérsüti }


Hungarian Fairy Cake { Tündérsüti }
recipe via Tundi Konyha

Ingredients

For the dough
200gm Plain flour
80gm Powdered or Confectioner's sugar
100gm Butter, room temperature
2 Egg yolks
1 tsp Baking powder
1 pkt vanilla sugar
pinch of salt

For the filling
1 packet "puncs" / strawberry pudding powder
200ml Cold Milk
4 Tbsp sugar
180gm Sour cream, room temperature (normally 20% fat, but I only had 12%)
2 Egg whits
Rum extract, to taste
small drop of red food colouring

Powdered sugar for dusting

Method
1) Pre-heat oven to 180°. Prep cake tin (17.5x23.5cm) by greasing and flouring it. Set aside.

2) Make the dough by mixing  mixing flour, powdered sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt. Then add in butter by gently pinch butter into flour mixture until crumbly. Create a well in the centre of the bowl, pour in the egg yolks and gently knead into becoming a soft dough.

3) Divide dough into 6:4 portions. Roll out the bigger dough to the size of the bottom of baking dish. Place in the baking dish. Place the baking dish in the fridge to let the dough rest. The smaller portion of dough, wrap in cling film and let it rest in the fridge too.

4) While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. In a sauce pan , pour in cold milk, then slowly mix in the pudding powder and powdered sugar. Cook the pudding on stove top until thickens.

5) When pudding has thickens, carefully mix in the sour cream. This process will easily split the mixture. What I did was, take a little of the hot pudding, and add into the sour cream and then pour the whole sour cream mixture into the  hot pudding and quickly whisk it to avoid splitting. Then put in the rum and red food colouring, mix well. Set aside

6) In a bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. The slowly fold into pudding mixture.

7) Take out the baking dish from the fridge, pour the filling over the dough base. Finally roll out the smaller portion dough, cut into strips and lay a criss cross pattern on top (see pic from recipe link above).

8) Bake in the oven for 30-35 mins. until pudding is firm nad pastry is golden brown.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Chinese New Year Baking : Almond London Cookies

Chinese New Year is once again around the corner (February 8th)! For this year, I thought aside from the staple pineapple tart, I should try my hand at another favourite cookies for the festival. When I saw a recipe for Almond London Cookies during my blog surfing, I knew I want to make these. These did not originate from London and I have no idea why this cookies exists in Malaysia. The cookie is basically a toasted almond wrapped with short cookie dough, bake lightly, then dipped into melted chocolate and finish off with a sprinkle of chopped/nibbed almonds.

For step-by-step tutorial, please go to Nasi Lemak Lover.


Almond London Cookies
Source : Nasi Lemak Lover (linked above)


150g whole almonds

30g nibbed almonds




170g butter (salted)

60g icing sugar, sifted

20g egg yolk (used 1 yolk)

300g cake flour (used plain flour)


300g chocolate

Method

  1. Toast whole almonds in oven at 180°c for 13-15mins, and toast nibbed almonds at 180°c for 1-2mins. Set aside to let it cool completely before use.
  2. Cream butter and icing sugar till light and pale.
  3. Add in egg yolk, beat well to combine.
  4. Add in cake flour, mix until it come together to form soft dought. Do not over work it.
  5. To weight dough 6g each, wrap up a whole almond, and shape into oval shape.
  6. Bake cookies at 160°c (fan forced) for 15mins or until golden brown, set aside to cool completely.
  7. Melt chocolate over double boiler or microwave oven. Dip cookie in melted chocolate. Use a small fork, transfer coated cookie into a mini paper cup.
  8. Sprinkle some toasted nibbed almonds on top. Chill in the fridge (~10mins) to set the chocolate before storing in air-tight container. Store in cool place to prevent chocolate from melting.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Hungarian poppy seeds / walnuts rolls { Bejgli II }

Two thumbs up for this recipe! which by the way , will replace the one archived here before.  What I like about this version is the fluffy bread texture as you see below.
With the exorbitant price of walnuts, I've opted to only make the poppy seeds fillings. That being said, both fillings are equally good. For us and especially my mother-in-law, she prefers the poppy seeds type.

The recipe linked below makes 6 rolls; but the quantity I stated below have been adjusted to only 2 rolls. In fact, I could have made into 3 shorter rolls instead of 2 long ones.

Bejgli
source : Receptneked

makes 2 rolls

Ingredients
For the dough
130ml sour cream (20% fat)
83g goose fat
1 medium-size egg
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch salt
30gm fresh yeast
400gm flour

For the filling

200gm ground Poppy seeds
100gm Honey
100gm water
vanilla extract
bunch of raisins, soaked and drained
1 zest of lemon
2 Tbsp of apricot jam
sugar, to taste


For glazing
1 egg, seperated

Preparation
For the dough
1) In a bowl, mix together sour cream, goose fat, egg, sugar and salt.
2) In another bowl, put in the flour and crumble in the yeast. Then create a well in the centre, and pour in the sour cream mixture (1). Mix until all ingredients are combine.
3) On a floured surface, pour out the flour mixture and knead until you get a smooth dough.
4) Let the dough rest in covered bowl , in room temperature for 1 hour.

For the filling
1) Heat water until hot. Combine it with honey and mix well.
2) In a bowl, put the ground poppy seeds, lemon zest, apricot jam, vanilla extract , soaked and drain raisins. The pour in the honey-water mixture. Combine well. Check for sweetness, if needed add sugar to taste. I needed to add sugar in consideration of my MIL taste buds.
3) Divide filling into 2 portions. Set aside until assembly.

To finish
1) 30 mins. into proofing the dough, start pre-heating the oven at 180°c
2) Once dough is fully proof, pour out on floured work surface, and punch out the air from the dough.
3) Divide dough into 2 equal size.
4) Take the first dough, roll out into a rectangle shape. Size according to your preference.
5) Spread a portion of the filling onto the dough , leaving some space on the sides to prevent leakage.
6) Roll up the dough just like Swiss roll, but not too tight to leave room for the dough to grow and not burst.
7) Repeat the same for the next roll. Glaze each roll with only egg yolk. Then let it dry for about 15 mins. After 15 mins. glaze with egg white.  Use a knife or fork to prick the roll all the way to let out the steam during baking.
8) Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30-35 mins. until golden brown.

Serving
It is better to let the roll sit for a day or two to enhance the taste even more. Just wrap the rolls in cling film and keep in a cool place.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Cantonese Egg Tarts II 港式蛋挞

Over the years, I've made egg tarts on few occasions. The result mostly looked rough and rustic but this time these tarts look  like the real deal! That said, am still trying to achieve a melt in the mouth lighter crust. Mine have slight chewy tart shell. I'll have to work on my short crust pastry technique. However, the filling is exactly what I'm looking for.

Cantonese Egg Tarts
serves : 12-15 tarts
I have halved the recipe from Guai Shu Shu

Ingredients
For tart shells 
1 egg (lightly beaten) 
220 grams of plain flour (sifted) 
40 grams of icing sugar (sifted) 
100 grams of chilled butter (cut into cubes) 
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional) 

For egg custard filling   
220 grams of fresh milk 
75 grams of castor sugar 
2 eggs 
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence (optional) 

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c

In a big mixing bowl, put butter cubes and sifted plain flour together. Use the finger tips to rub the butter cubes and flours together until it become crumby. Add in sifted icing sugars and continue to rub until well mix.

Add lightly beaten eggs and vanilla essence, mix slowly until it become a dough. Put it in the fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. Note that if you are able to handle soft dough, you can by pass this step. Take the dough from the fridge and use a rolling pin to roll it into a flat sheet with about 0.5 cm thickness.

Use a round cutter to cut about the size of the mould.  Note that this step is optional and will help you to roughly gauge the amount of dough required and you still need to adjust the quantity of dough as you progress.  Use your hand to press the dough against the sides and make it as even as possible. Use a knife or anything sharp to cut off the sides. If preferred, use a fork to lightly make some holes to let any trapped air to escape.  However, this step of making hole is optional. Set aside for later use.

For crispier crust, bake the tart shell in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 10 minutes. However, this step is also optional. 

For filling :-
In a microwavable bowl or mug, heat the milk until boiling hot (if you do not have a microwave oven, just heat the milk over the stove). Set aside for the next step. 

In a big mixing bowl, put egg, sugar and vanilla essence. Use a hand whisk to beat until well mixed. Pour the hot milk to the mixture and use a sift to sieve the custard mixture. 

Pour the custard mixture to the pre-baked tart shells. 
  
Bake the egg tarts in the pre-heated oven of 180˙c for 10-15 minutes. Once the tarts starts to puff up a bit, open the oven door, leave the door ajar and continue to bake the tarts for another 5 –8 minutes. A tart is considered as baked when a toothpick inserted in the centre of the tart, the toothpick stands upright. The tarts is best served warm when the custard is still soft and crust crispy.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Homemade Belgian Waffles

Not sure why it took me so long to invest in a waffle maker, when I love eating waffles?! Now that I finally bought one and that the first recipe came out exactly how I like it. It will definitely be used many Sundays ahead.

Homemade Belgian Waffles
adapted from casa de lindquist
serves : about 6 x 10x12cm waffles

Ingredients:
1 large egg or 2 medium-sized eggs, room temp.
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
about 207ml milk, room temp.
57gm butter, melted2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

Method:
1) Lightly grease waffle maker then switch it on to pre-heat.
2) Mix together flour, baking powder and salt. set aside.
3) In another bowl, whisk egg(s) and sugar until light and fluffy.
4) Pour in milk and melted butter, mix well. Finally add in the flour-mixture. Mix until lump-free. Don't over mix.
5) Spoon waffle batter onto pre-heated waffle maker. close it. and set timer to 5 minute.
6) Serve hot with any sweet or savoury condiments.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Spanakopita { Greek spinach pie } with homemade filo / phyllo pastry

When I have spinach and feta available, first thing that come to mind is spanakopita. It's an absolute favourite filling for filo /phyllo pastry for me. Never in my life that I would've imagined making filo / phyllo pastry  though! I gave it a go on and as usual it is not as scary or hard as I thought. What I did was prep. and knead the dough a day ahead and let it rest in the fridge over night. 

Homemade Phyllo Dough

via http://korenainthekitchen.com/2011/06/27/daring-bakers-baklava-with-homemade-phyllo-pastry/

Ingredients
Dry
1 1/3 cup flour (type “00” or pizza flour, if possible – all purpose flour will do, though)
1/8 tsp salt

Wet
1/2 cup less 1 tbsp water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp cider vinegar

Filling
spinach (frozen, with access water removed)
feta cheese
sautéd garlic
salt, to taste

Method
1) Mix together dry ingredients. In a small bowl combine wet ingredients. Then pour the wet mixture slowly into the flour.
2) Continue mixing stirring until it comes together in a soft dough with no dry flour bits left. You may need slightly less water, or slightly more (I had about 1 tbsp of water left over) – just add it slowly, bit by bit, to gauge how much you’ll need.
3) Knead the dough in mixing for about 20 minutes, until you have a soft, silky, smooth dough.
4) Then  remove from bowl, on floured surface knead another 2 minutes, whacking the dough down hard on the counter a few times during kneading.
5) Rub the dough with vegetable oil, wrap it in plastic, and let it rest for at least 2 hours – longer is better.

Rolling and stretching the dough

Divide the ball of dough in half, cut each half into thirds, and each third into thirds again, to end up with 18 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and place them on a plate, covered with plastic wrap.

Flatten a ball out with your fingers and place on a well-floured surface. Roll out with a floured rolling pin or dowel until it’s about 9″x5″ (mine was twice as large), picking up the dough and re-flouring the surface underneath it every few strokes. Don’t be afraid of adding too much flour – keeping everything properly floured will make it much easier to roll, because if stuff starts to stick you’re in trouble! Let the dough rest for a minute or two if it starts getting difficult to roll out.

When the dough sheet is as thin as you can roll it, gently lift it and stretch it with your fingers from underneath. Do this very s-l-o-w-l-y and gently, using more of a stroking motion than a pulling motion, and letting the dough rest every so often. Don’t worry if you get some rips and holes – you only really need one perfect sheet for the top layer of your baklava (it took me until sheet number 14 to get a perfect one, and only about two out of 18 had no holes!).

When the dough is stretched thin enough to read through, place it on a floured baking sheet, and lightly sprinkle flour between each sheet to stop them from sticking together. The original recipe says that the sheets won’t dry out, but it took me forever to roll them out so I covered them lightly in plastic, just in case.