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wonton vs pastry vs puff pastry vs fillo

60919 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  trooper
A. When buying sheets for making desert like things or wonton like things-

1. what is the difference?

2. are they some what inter-changeable?

3. availability? Seems most grocery stores only sell the wonton and fillo...

B. My wife bought a Breville Personal Pie. It calls for "pastry sheets"-

1. What are these?
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Wonton squares, puff pastry and Phyllo have different properties depending on what you want to make.

Wonton squares can be fried or baked.

Filled squares are sealed with an egg wash and then deep fat fried or baked

Phyllo is usually baked but there are other preparations where it is also fried.

Working with Phyllo can be frustrating as it can dry out within minutes and it takes several layers or sheets to create a usable vessel for holding fillings.

Puff pastry is just puffs and is usually meant for baking.

It comes in sheets or squares that can be molded into shapes. When baked the fat inside the layers starts to steam. This steam causes the layers to "puff" hence the name.

Each one is a different dough.
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They're all different.  The wonton wrapper will give you a harder texture.  It's easy to work with and like Chefross says, it can be either fried or baked easily.

Phyllo is tricky to work with.  They are very very very thin sheets of dough.  It is usually found in the frozen foods and must be thawed slowly.  I usually place my container of phyllo in the refrigerator over night.  Then I unpackage the phyllo and place it on the counter ontop of waxpaper with a very thin but slightly damp, almost dry towel on top of it.  As I remove one sheet at a time I place the towel back over it.  Wax paper works as well.  Some people work pretty quickly and find no need to keep the phyllo covered. The phyllo has to be layered and in between the layers you must add fat, usually melted butter or ghee.  You can also add other things between the layers to make things interesting like very finely chopped nuts, sugar, cinammon, or other spices.  It is then baked.  It has an incredible textures, very light and flaky and can create quite a mess as you end up with little shards of phyllo everywhere.  Common dishes that include phyllo are baklava and spanakopita. I love this stuff.

Puff pastry is much easier to work with.  You can rolll it out thin or not, you can shape it into anything really.  When it cooks it puffs up brilliantly.  Common dishes you'll see are apple turnovers.  It is also found in the freezer section but if not you may have to ask a local bakery if they sell any of their puff pastry dough.  If you're up to making it yourself, good luck.  It's a pretty long and intricate process.
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Wonton is a chinese pasta dough. Wonton can also be boiled. The others are pastry. The Breville machine (I'm speculating here) probably wants regular pie dough -- pate brisee. All should be available in a well-stocked supermarket. Wonton in the refrigerated deli case, and the rest in the freezer case.
For a Personal Pie maker (Breville etc), your best bet is pie dough.  Puff pastry may work as well.  If you do a search on Breville personal pies, you will find many ways to use it, including quiche, desserts, etc.  Won ton wrappers would probably burn.  Fillo requires many layers and brushing with butter.  Wolfgang Puck did demos on one of the shopping channels.  He made psychedelic cake batter, bulls eye cake batter, and on and on.  You can get as creative as you like.  It pretty much works like a Panini press. Pizza dough might be interesting. Have fun with it.
I like working with phyllo - I only use half the recommended butter/oil when making spanakopita, baklava, etc.  The trick is to keep the sheets you're not using from drying out.

I've used wonton sheets and they are easy to work with. 

I've never worked with puff pastry, but it's tempting,
I like working with phyllo - I only use half the recommended butter/oil when making spanakopita, baklava, etc. The trick is to keep the sheets you're not using from drying out.
Why do you use only half the recommended fat? Just wondering. Because I find that the more butter you use the flakier it becomes, not greasy. When I've only used the minimal amount the sheets stick together and become hard and gloopy.
I neglected to mention I also use half the phyllo in my spanakopita too.  Recipe calls for 1# package and I find 1/2 of that works.  It's not exactly health food - LOL.
Wow, guys... This was a very informative thread! Thanks!
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