Has anyone made warka?

Have any of you attempted homemade warka? Any tips? I'm try this gluten-free tonight and hoping for the best...




beyondcelery April 8, 2011
This was a huge success! My millet batter worked quite well and I even have a delicious batch of baklava to show for it. Thanks for the tips; I certainly learned a few things:

Lesson 1: Don't use a silicone brush. The "bristles" don't catch or spread the batter in a gentle enough fashion and you'll end up with cooked splatter instead of thin sheets of dough. Use instead a wad of cheesecloth soaked in the batter and dabbed on gently all over in a circle. (I'll be trying a thicker batter I can hold next time, Betteirene!)

Lesson 2: Just rice flour yields (what else?) a pancake that's like the rice wrappers for spring rolls. Nice, but you need millet or another grain in there to make it like warka or filo.

Lesson 3: Don't mix up the cooked side with the uncooked side! You'll lose a few sheets to sticking.

Lesson 4: Use plenty of olive oil to coat both the sheets and the parchment paper between them. Being skimpy here just leads to sticking.

Lesson 5: Since plenty of olive oil was used to prevent sticking during storage, use less butter in the baklava than normal or it'll get a bit greasy.
susan G. April 7, 2011
I have some commercial lumpia wrappers which are made with rice, and I believe GF. They are home and I am not, so I'll try to get brand and ingredient info for you next week.
beyondcelery April 7, 2011
Wow, thanks, Betteirene! I followed Wolfert's directions and made the batter last night, covered it, and let it sit in the fridge. I'll try this tonight and see how it works. I intend to use a skillet over boiling water and brush it on. (Silicone brush! Oh man, I've done that with nylon bristles.)

As for flours, I made two versions: sweet rice flour, white rice flour, and potato starch; in the other, sweet rice flour, millet flour, and tapioca starch. It's certainly much easier to purchase phyllo dough, but nothing out there is GF. It's been an idea of mine for awhile to make it from scratch, but I was waiting for a good recipe. I found it in Wolfert's, since her bisteeya is the one I adore. Rice wrappers just don't work the same way.

I'll let you know what happens!
betteirene April 7, 2011
Wolfert's version of warka and the contemporary Filipino version of lumpia use a batter that's thinner than crepe batter, which is brushed on the skillet to make paper-thin food wrappers. The two versions I'm linking here employ the old-fashioned method of using a ball of wet dough to sweep a thin film over the surface of a hot skillet. Filipinos use direct heat, North Africans use a skillet placed over boiling water.

Warka (for bistiya): http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/food/recipe21.shtml

Lumpia wrappers (for Filipino deep-fried spring rolls): http://burntlumpia.typepad.com/burnt_lumpia/2009/09/homemade-lumpia-wrappers.html

What are you using to replace the flour? The most important tip with any of the recipes above is to let the dough/batter rest for at least a half hour before forming the wrappers, to give the flour enough time to absorb liquid and to tame the gluten that has formed. You want gluten because it helps form the "skin," but you don't want so much gluten that the wrapper is tough, thick and/or rubbery. I'm not sure how that would translate to a gluten-free preparation. To me, it's interesting in an odd way that Filipinos use wheat flour instead of rice flour to make wrappers.

I've done both versions, and it was harder for me to work quickly with the brush than it was to film the pan with the blob of dough. I read a blog piece written by a person who used a Misto sprayer instead of a brush--he said it worked superbly. Just make sure you use a brush with natural bristles instead of nylon bristles, which melt, duh. Ask me how I know.

It's so much easier to purchase them from the store, but I don't think anyone makes a gluten-free version of these paper-thin wrappers, except for rice paper wrappers.
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