Spanakopita no. 2
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Spanakopita no. 2 (Σπανακόπιτα no. 2)

A spinach and feta pie made with homemade phyllo.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: meze, Side Dish
Cuisine: Greek
Servings: 1 large spanakopita
Author: Mia Kouppa

Ingredients

For the phyllo

  • 6 1/2 to 6 3/4 cups sifted all purpose flour approximately
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the filling

  • 1 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup white part of fresh onions, chopped (from 5 large fresh onions)
  • 2 cups green part of fresh onions, chopped (from 5 large fresh onions)
  • 1450 grams fresh spinach approx. 51 ounces
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 grams Greek feta, crumbled
  • 2 tbsp olive oil for the pan and brushing top of spanakopita

Instructions

To prepare the phyllo

  • Place your flour in a large mixing bowl.
  • In a smaller mixing bowl combine the warm water, 1/4 cup vegetable oil and salt. Mix well until the salt is dissolved. Pour into the bowl containing the flour.
  • To the flour mixture add the eggs and milk.
  • Using your hands, mix the ingredients well, and when the dough comes together, begin to knead it. Your dough should be soft, almost pillow-y, and not sticky. Add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time if you find that the dough is too sticky.
  • Knead your dough for approximately 5 minutes and then add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Knead again until oil is incorporated into the dough. Cover and let it rest at room temperature for approximately 30 - 40 minutes.

To prepare the filling

  • Wash your spinach and chop it up into small pieces; the stems should be chopped finer than the leaves.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and when the water is boiling add the spinach, mint, parsley and onions. Stir quickly and remove from heat. Immediately drain the greens in a colander and rinse them with cold water. Then, transfer the greens to a bowl, fill the bowl with very cold water and let the greens soak for at least 5 - 10 minutes.
  • Using your hands grab handfuls of greens and squeeze out the water. Transfer the squeezed greens to a colander. Once you have squeezed out the water the first time, repeat. You may have to do this step several times; the goal is to remove as much water as possible. You can also use cheesecloth, a clean kitchen towel or a piece of tuile to help you squeeze out the water.
  • Once your greens are as dry as possible, transfer them to a bowl and add the salt, pepper, eggs, olive oil and breadcrumbs. Mix well with a fork and add approximately 2/3 of the crumbled cheese. Mix again.

To assemble the pita

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Divide your dough in half and begin to roll it out with a rolling pin. (See detailed hints in the post.) Your phyllo should end up being thin enough that you can almost see through it, but not so thin that it tears.
  • Grease the bottom of your pan with some olive oil and place your dough into your pan, being sure that it overlaps the sides.   Pour the filling into your pan, on top of your phyllo.  Crumble the remaining 1/3 cup of feta over the spinach filling.
  • Take the remaining phyllo dough and roll it out so that it is large enough to cover the top of your pan.  Press down gently so that the phyllo dough sits directly on the spinach, and crimp the edges so that the top and bottom layers of phyllo are pressed together.
  • Cut off any excess phyllo around the edge of the pan.
  • Using a sharp paring knife, score the top layer of phyllo in a diagonal pattern in order to mark the serving size pieces you will cut when your spanakopita is done.  Brush the top of the phyllo dough with the remaining olive oil.
  • Place in the middle rack of your oven and bake for 60 minutes, or until your phyllo is a nice golden brown colour.
  • Cool, and then cut into pieces using the scoring as a guide.Enjoy.

Notes

We used a large, round baking pan, which yielded about 35 pieces.  You can easily halve this recipe if you're using a smaller pan.
The amount of spinach is substantial, but this is a large size spanakopita...1450 grams of fresh spinach, equals to about 51 ounces.... if you buy boxed spinach, each being 10-11 ounces, you'd need 5 boxes.
Rolling out phyllo is a bit of an art, and takes practice.  Please consult the Helpful hints in this post, and take a look a the photos and videos we have included.  We think that these are pretty helpful!
If you have any left over dough you can roll it out thinly and fry it quickly in some olive oil.  This type of fried bread is delicious when served with Greek feta!  Alternatively, depending upon how much you may have left, you can freeze it for a day when you want to make a smaller spanakopita.