Baklava is a absolute joy when made at home. It is such a beautiful layered dessert with alluring flavors and elegant indulgence. Baklava is a traditional treat, made with many layers of phyllo dough which are separated with butter. It’s an exquisite dessert , all buttery and sweet with a wonderful crunchy texture. The Most treasured part ; its packed with walnuts.
Baklava was never on my To do list. Then a friend ( Mona) mentioned this on the Festive recipe box on my Fb page. The Festive Recipe Box is the box where I tell my readers to drop in suggestion of those wish- list bakes. Can be any thing that you wish to bake, but never got time to do so. And this happens with all of us. I am happy that I gave Baklava a try and now I am a fan of this yummlicious dessert.
The true secret of Baklava lies in the layers
I think its high time- I will have to go for my morning run, all that Baklava is sitting on my bums. Baklava has buttery layers, and if I don’t stop eating this sinful indulgence – something will start to show on me (the fat layers). Can’t help it, so damm yummy. Hey! Drop in some suggestions – How to workout while writing a blog, or while cooking and clicking the pictures, or may be while sleeping.
Baklava can be made with the spring roll sheets which are easy available in the market. Then call it cheats baklava because you will never get that classic thin, sweet crunch. I recommend using Phyllo dough for baklava. ( You can buy the phyllo sheet from your nearest food store or make it home) Reason being Spring roll sheet is 5 times more thicker the the phyllo dough. And its really not that difficult to make these at home. If you have made roti (Indian bread) you can make these very very easy. You will have to do justice to the recipe. Lets do it together and create a feast.
See the images to understand the making of Phyllo dough from scratch
Unwrap the dough and divide into small balls approximately same size
Roll out each dough ball individually
The rolled out sheets should be so thin, that you can actually read through them.
All the dough balls rolled out thinly
Now this entire pile of rolled out sheets is given an additional gentle roll out with a rolling pin.
Consistency of the honey sugar syrup
Few points I would like you to read before making Baklava at home
1. Let the dough rest for at least 2 hours before you roll out the thin sheets.
2. Use a mix of flour and corn starch to prevent the sticking of the dough while rolling out. The rolled out sheets should be so thin, that you can actually read through them (as shown in the pictures).
3. Roll each sheet separately and pile them together, make sure that you sprinkle generous amount of cornstarch and flour mix in between the layers, because we will roll them together again. Don’t forget to be gentle with phyllo sheets.
4. Trim the sides of rolled out phyllo dough, so it fits the baking pan accurately. Scissors are easier than a knife, which can pull and drag on the layers.
5. You don’t have to overdo the butter between the sheets while layering. Just gently brush the butter on here and there without covering every inch of the surface. Don’t press really hard or you’ll drag or tear the phyllo sheet.
6. Choice of nuts is totally personal. You can go for pistachio, walnuts, almond or mix them all.
7. Even the sugar syrup can be flavored with cardamoms, cinnamon, orange, rose water. These all work fantastic with this flavorsome dessert.
8. Before baking you will have to cut the well lined layers set in the baking tray into pieces. One suggestion – don’t cut huge pieces, as it is a very rich dessert. Small portions will work great for the pallet and for pants. Second suggestion- Keep in the fridge (all covered) for sometime before cutting, this helps in getting clean and sharp cuts.
9. The honey sugar syrup has to be completely cold before pouring over the hot baked baklava. You will hear a sizzling sound while pouring.
10. The honey sugar syrup should have a thicker consistency. This keeps the layers crisp. Flavor this syrup with lemon, which cuts through the sweetness and gives the dessert a good flavor balance.