Layers and layers of flaky crispy dough filled with pistachios and walnuts and covered with a perfectly sweet glaze.
Baklava making is indeed an art. In the large businesses you will find huge, cold rooms reserved for rolling out he dough (called yufka, also known as phyllo) and preparing this delicious dessert.
Although baklava is found throughout the world especially in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, it is almost always prepared differently. No matter who I ask, they always tell me that the baklava from their country is the best and proceed to explain to me why.
As for me, I find it a beautiful thing to simply appreciate the differences. Yes I have my favorites but at the end of the day, how it is prepared is a beautiful reflection of collective cultures and societies.
Making baklava at home is actually quite simple especially if you buy the pre-prepared dough like I did. Essentially, it just takes time and patience to carefully and steadily build layer upon layer of this dessert.
Here’s the recipe:
- 200 g melted butter
- 400 g yufka or phyllo dough
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 c chopped pistachios
- 1/2 c chopped walnuts
- 1/4 lemon
Pre-heat the oven on 200C/392F.
Grease your baking dish with butter using a pastry brush. (I used a glass 8 inch x 8 inch baking dish; this is not the traditional type of pan but it works well)
Then keeping the yufka covered with a damp kitchen towel, peel layer by layer and carefully place it in the dish, brushing the dough gently with butter after each addition.
After about 15 layers, it’s time to add the nuts.
On one side I added the pistachios and on the other side I added the walnuts.
Then I continued layering about 18 more sheets of the dough, adding butter after each addition.
Once the final layer is added, gently cut the baklava into diamond or square shapes, being careful not to tear the dough.
Cover with the remaining melted butter and place the baklava in the oven.
Meanwhile, to make the simple syrup combine the sugar with 2 cups of water and the the lemon wedge and simmer on low heat, stirring frequently for about 8-10 minutes.
Once the baklava is golden, remove it from the oven and pour over the simple syrup on top. The baklava will rise and sizzle and it will look and smell absolutely delicious.
Allow to cool and then serve and enjoy warm or at room temperature.