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Puff Pastry vs. Phyllo Dough: What's the Difference?

Anna Sonnenberg |

If you’ve ever wondered, “Puff pastry vs. phyllo dough - what's the difference?” you aren’t alone. Both types of dough look somewhat similar, and they’re used to make deliciously flaky pastries. While they might be relatives, they aren’t quite the same. Take a look at some of the key differences between puff pastry and phyllo dough and find out what each does best.

How Puff Pastry and Phyllo Dough Are Different

If you’ve enjoyed your fair share of tarts, baklava, and other delicately doughy treats, you know that both puff pastry and phyllo dough are wonderfully flaky. Though you can use them for some similar applications, their makeup is very different.

Puff pastry is known as a laminated dough, and it’s made by folding plenty of butter into the pastry to create alternating layers of butter and dough. When baked, puff pastry actually puffs up, creating lots of flaky layers. You’ll get the airiest layers when you handle the pastry as little as possible, but you can also roll out the dough to create a denser pastry.

In contrast, phyllo dough is already incredibly thin, even leaf-like, and traditional recipes don’t include much butter or other types of fat at all. Instead, you’ll usually add extra fat when you bake with phyllo dough, as recipes often call for brushing each leaf with butter. Phyllo dough does get flaky when baked, but it doesn’t give you the airy quality that puff pastry does.

How to Use Puff Pastry

Puff pastry is ideal for countless recipes. In fact, when you browse the GeeFree recipe collection, you’ll see that we use our gluten-free puff pastry for everything from breakfast tarts to savory appetizers to pot pies to sweet desserts. We’ve even used puff pastry to make creative pizzas and cream-filled cannoli! It’s a truly versatile dough, and it’s perfect for just about every meal of the day, from breakfast to dessert.

How to Use Phyllo Dough

Phyllo dough works well in many traditional Greek and Middle Eastern dishes, such as baklava, spanakopita, and savory appetizers. In the GeeFree test kitchen, however, we’ve found that our gluten-free puff pastry makes a great substitute for phyllo dough in many of these recipes. We even have a mouth-watering gluten-free baklava recipe you should try and a ready-to-bake spanakopita you can have delivered right to your front door.

Ready to try your hand at baking with puff pastry? Pick up some of our gluten-free puff pastry in our online store or find a supermarket that carries GeeFree near you.

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