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Easy Baklava Recipe

Updated on October 16, 2014

Simply Delicious Pastry

Baklava ( pronounced bak la va ) is a gorgeous looking pastry made with layers upon layers of phyllo dough which is filled with chopped nuts and sugar and then sweetened with a heavy syrup usually made of sugar and honey. Makes your teeth hurt just to read it but it is oh so yummy.

Several years ago, while I was still working, one of our clients brought in this lovely tray full of baklava. I poured a fresh cup of coffee and helped myself to this delicious delicacy. It was sooo good. I'd never tasted anything like it. I had to have the recipe. I'd never done this before but I got on the phone and started tracking down the person who made this wonderful pastry called baklava. She was the sweetest lady and gladly shared her recipe with me. I don't know where she got it and, at that time, I really didn't care because now I have it and I couldn't wait to give it a try. In hindsight I really wish I knew where this recipe originated.

Anyways, I am going to share this baklava recipe with you and I hope you love it as much as I do. I always make it during the Christmas Season. I make several so that I have lots to "gift" away and some to keep at home for guests and anyone stopping by to say Merry Christmas.

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What you will need

Start baking your baklava

Here is a list of the ingredients and tools you will need to start baking your baklava.

Ingredients:

1 Box of Phyllo dough

1 pound of Walnuts ( 4 cups )

1 pound of butter ( don't skimp, use the real thing )

3 cups of Sugar

1 cup of Water

3 or 4 tablespoons of honey

Kitchen Tools:

Cookie Sheet with deep sides

Pastry brush

measuring cups

small sauce pan for melting butter

medium sauce pan for making syrup

Long Bladed knife

Food Processor or nut chopper of some type

The above ingredients are common in the kitchen except for the phyllo dough. I buy Athens (name brand) phyllo dough which contains two packages of dough. I find that I use one whole package and need to open the other package and use 3 or 4 sheets of phyllo to complete one recipe of baklava. I live in Michigan and that happens to be the brand that is sold in stores near me, however, I am sure any brand will do.

Before you get started make sure you have all your ingredients out and all of your kitchen tools ready.

Pastry brush

A pastry brush should be in every kitchen. Not only do they work great for making baklava but also when grilling and you need to brush on the bar-b-que sauces. Get the best brush you can afford and it will last for years

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Chopped Walnuts

Chopping or Processing

Your first step in making the baklava is preparing the walnuts. I use a 4 cup measuring cup and fill with the walnuts and use a hand held chopper to chop nuts the size of peas or a bit larger. A food processor will work if you don't over process and make the walnuts too small. I'm a lazy cook and if I use my food processor it gives me something else I need to clean up and that's the part of baking I don't like. But you do whatever is best for you, just don't chop them so small they look like something you would put on an ice cream sundae.

Once the walnuts are chopped add 1 cup of granulated sugar and mix until the sugar is equally distributed among the walnuts.

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Melting Butter and Making a Simple Syrup

The rich and the sweet

Now that you have your walnuts prepared for the Baklava it is time to melt your butter and make your syrup.

Melt 1 pound of REAL BUTTER. Please don't skimp here or it will really show up in the taste. Nothing beats the taste of the real thing and it would be the difference between a so-so Baklava and the best Baklava you've ever tasted.

While the butter is melting, using another sauce pan, combine 2 cups of sugar with 1 cup of water. Bring this to a boil and then add 4 tablespoons of honey. Once the boil has returned reduce the heat and keep this simmering while you are putting together the phyllo dough.

By now your butter has melted and you can bring this to your work area. You need an area big enough to have your cookie sheet, melted butter and walnut and sugar mixture all within reach while you are building your Baklava.

Measuring Cups

I keep several varieties on hand. That way you can have all your ingredients measured out and ready to use.

Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup
Pyrex Prepware 2-Cup Glass Measuring Cup

This is the size measuring cup I use most often.

 
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Working With Phyllo Dough

Don't panic, it is easier than you think

Relax and start building your layers of dough. Phyllo dough is not that hard to work with but you do need to work as fast as possible and with a steady pace. You can't put one layer down then go have a cup of coffee. Once you start layering the phyllo dough you must complete all layers. once you start you'll get the idea and it will get easier with every layer.

First you need to brush butter on the bottom of your cookie sheet. Then you start with a sheet of phyllo dough. You will notice that one sheet does not cover the entire bottom of the cookie sheet, you will need to use two sheets of dough. The brand I use is a little longer so I must also fold one edge over. So, you have two sheets of phyllo dough on the bottom of your cookie sheet and now you need to use your pastry brush and spread butter over the entire sheets of dough. Make sure you cover the entire sheet.

You will make 3 layers of phyllo dough, each buttered and then use one third of your walnut and sugar mixture. Spread this mixture evenly over the phyllo. Proceed with 3 more layers of phyllo, another third of walnut mixture, 3 more layers of phyllo, your last third of walnut mixture and finally your last 3 layers of phyllo. You will end with phyllo dough. Remember each time you place a sheet of phyllo dough down it must be brushed with butter.

Now then, that wasn't so bad was it? You are almost done.

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Cutting the Baklava

How to Cut your Baklava

The cutting of your Baklava happens before you bake and it is what makes the pieces look so pretty.

Take a sharp knife and cut your Baklava in straight lines from one end of the cookie sheet to the other until you have 7 or 8 parallel straight lines. Now, take your knife and cut diagonally across your straight lines. Hopefully, you can see that from this picture.

This needs to be done very carefully so as not to disturb the phyllo dough. The sharper the knife the easier it will be.

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Time to Bake

The smell is wonderful

You are almost finished. It really didn't take that long and you have a beautiful pastry that people are going to thank you for.

Once you have cut your Baklava it is time to bake. You bake in a 350 degree F. oven for 20 to 25 minutes. The time will depend on your oven. The color should be golden brown.

While the Baklava is baking you should check on your syrup. You will notice that it has probably cooked down a little and it is a little thicker. The honey also gives it a golden color.

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Almost Done

The finishing touch

Now that you have your Baklava out of the oven and it is looking wonderful and it is a beautiful golden brown you are probably thinking, what else could you possibly need to do. Well, you still have your syrup and now is the time to use it.

Once out of the oven place your Baklava on a flat surface and pour your syrup all over the top of your Baklava. That's right all over the top of the Baklava while it is hot.

You are now finished. Well not quite.....you still have a kitchen to clean up. I love to bake but this cleaning up part is not so much fun. By the time the kitchen is cleaned up your Baklava will be ready for the tasting. Sit back and enjoy.

I hope you find this recipe not only delicious but easy to do and that you will be making this every year and it will become one of your family's favorites.

Ben Baker plays while you bake

He's very good.

Great Books on Baking

These books are also great gift ideas for birthdays, wedding or shower gifts or just because gifts.

Do you like Baklava?

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    • profile image

      Sosuzz 2 weeks ago

      Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    • profile image

      fran 2 months ago

      what is the "sugar mixture??? I used the syrup :(

    • ShariBerry profile image
      Author

      Sharon Berry 2 years ago from Michigan

      I hope she does get the hint and I'm sure if she tries this recipe she will be making Baklava every Christmas.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 2 years ago from USA

      My sister has this at her house every Christmas, only she orders it. Since she is the best baker in the family I'm sending this to her as a hint. Think she'll get the message?

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Excellent lens for such a lovely dessert. Your guidance in executing the recipe is awesome. Apply for a Greek citizenship the soonest possible!!!

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 4 years ago

      Looks so good! I am going to make it. Thank you for sharing this delicious looking recipe!

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 4 years ago from Naperville, IL

      Yes we love baklava! Need to try your recipe as we've only had it from Greek bakeries and restaurants. So tasty!

    • profile image

      aussiejon 4 years ago

      I absolutely love baklava, never made it myself though, so its high time I did :)

    • Ninche profile image

      Ninche 4 years ago

      Love it, it brings me back to childhood, my grandma used to make it for us kids, it is big part of her culture.

    • AnnounceItFavors profile image

      AnnounceItFavors 4 years ago

      Mom made it all the time when we were kids, very rich and delicious!

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 5 years ago

      Yummy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • ShariBerry profile image
      Author

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      @anonymous: I hope you do give it a try...much easier than it sounds and once you make it you will be making dozens every Christmas season just to give to friends!

    • ShariBerry profile image
      Author

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      @Gypzeerose: Thanks for all your sweetness! Nope, not my son or grandson. I do have a granson that will go into 6th grade next year and will start learning how to play the sax, as soon as he learns I'll try to get him posted here :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I love Baklava, but have struggled a little bit with the phyllo dough. Looks like I need to try it again, great job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      This recipe looks delicious! I will definitely be attempting to make it! :)

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens - is that your kid? I pinned it to my board "cooking and food" - tweeted, facebook and google plus liked. I love baklava.

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      I like it depending on the recipe. I need to try yours.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      really a great new recipe. going to try this one. ~blessed~

    • profile image

      WeirdStuff 5 years ago

      I Love baklava! But never tried to prepare it...

    • jlshernandez profile image

      jlshernandez 5 years ago

      Love it to death. Thank you for the recipe. I will need to try this. Blessed.

    • ShariBerry profile image
      Author

      Sharon Berry 5 years ago from Michigan

      @straw-hut: I think Baklava is one of those foods you either "love" or "hate", there is no in between. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • straw-hut profile image

      straw-hut 5 years ago

      mmm....yes I really like baklava.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      Oh definitely I love baklava. But bake it myself? I don't think I could do a good job of it. This is one recipe I'll leave to the pros. Great lens.

    • BusyQueen profile image

      BusyQueen 6 years ago

      Yes, I love baklava the taste and texture.

    • ShariBerry profile image
      Author

      Sharon Berry 6 years ago from Michigan

      @anonymous: I hope you give it a try, then let me know what you think. Thanks for the visit.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yummy! Thanks for the wonderful lens - I have always wanted to know how to make baklava!