When I began this recipe, I realised that in my previous post about the Greek Islands I completely forgot to mention the mouth-watering Greek bakeries.
While I was in Santorini, I stopped in at a bakery near Perissa Beach. It was pastry overload! With so many delicious phyllo cheese pies and spanakopita, it was too late to worry about the waistline.
I was so intrigued by the pastry because what I buy from the supermarket looks nothing like this. The traditional spanakopita I was holding in my hot little hands was not made with machine rolled pastry but with a long ass rolling-pin.
So, I thought I’d give it a whirl myself and add some variations like potato, onion and herbs.
3 cups flour
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup warm water
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar
1 large potato (cut into 1cm cubes)
1 sliced red onion
3 cloves of garlic
handful of chopped parsley
tablespoon of chopped mint
- To make the dough, mix the flour, salt, sugar and olive oil together. Follow with the warm water and red wine vinegar. Mix together and knead for 5-10 mins until the dough is soft and smooth, then cover with a damp cloth for 30 mins.
- Now let’s make the filling. Boil the potato until cooked, drain and set aside till cool. Add a glug of oil to a pan and saute the onion and garlic till translucent. Place aside and cool.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200°.
- Wash the spinach, place in a bowl and cover with hot water until the spinach has wilted. Drain the spinach, then add the chopped herbs and season well with salt pepper.
- In the same bowl as the spinach, add the crumbled feta, ricotta, eggs, cold potato, onion and garlic. Mix well and set aside.
- Divide the dough into 3 balls. Dust a large surface with flour, then roll out one ball at a time. (The idea is to roll out the dough as thin as possible. To achieve this you will need to use an extra long rolling-pin but who has one of those? I just took the end off the broom, cleaned super well and used that. I have no Greek blood in me so this part didn’t come naturally. I had to cheat at the start by using a rolling-pin to form something that resembled a circle.)
- So when you think you have it has thin as it can be without tearing, spoon a line of the filling near the bottom. Make sure you leave enough room at the bottom to fold the first layer, then continuing to form a snake/coil/sausage shape. If there is any excess dough, just add it to the next ball.
- The next step is totally up to you. I decided to spiral the coil into a cake tins but you can place them on a tray if you don’t have anything big enough.
- Continue to repeat the following steps with the remaining dough and filling.
- Brush a very generous and I mean much more generous than usually amount of olive oil over the spanakopita.
- Place the tin in the oven for about an hour, or until the pastry is golden.
- Once golden, allow the spanakopita to cool down for 10 mins.