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Best Ever Baklava

Updated on March 6, 2016
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Perfectly Delicious Baklava

This is the 'Best Baklava' I have ever tasted! This is the response I usually hear whenever I give or serve my homemade treat.

This recipe is so perfectly delicious, I truly believe once you try it, your search will be over.

I usually make two batches at the same time. I give the majority away to family and friends for gifts. This is a good thing! Because, if left in my house, it will have to be eaten! It is addictive for those who "love" it. I find for the most part, either people love it, or just plain don't care for it.

I have been making this recipe for over thirty years. It has become a tradition to make it for Christmas.

I began eating this delicacy as a young person, while attending Greek family celebrations.
My Mom was not Greek, and my Dad was half Greek. Mom really didn't enjoy baking, so she never tried to make it.

Then, as my own children attended a few Greek weddings, they realized how delicious it tasted and began to request that I make it.

While making baklava is a process that does take some time to complete from beginning to end. It is so worth the time an effort. You will realize, that it is really not that difficult to make. You will also receive the bonus reward of pleasing all of the Baklava Lovers in your life.

When the holidays approach, your family and friends will be waiting and asking for their Special Holiday Gift and Treat. That is when you know you have started a Tradition.

Make the "Best Ever Baklava" soon. You will be so glad you did !


Baklava with Hot Syrup - PHOTO: Robyn Lee

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Baklava Syrup Instuctions

I like to make the syrup before assembling the baklava pastry.

This allows time for the syrup to cool down to room temperature.


Ingredients:

Wash and rinse all fruit skins well.

Combine following ingredients in medium saucepan:

* 1 ¾ cups Sugar

* 1 ½ cups Honey

* ½ cup Water

* ½ Lemon

* 2 Oranges - cut in half or quarters

* 3 Cinnamon Sticks or (½ teaspoon ground)

* 10 Cloves

Cut fruit in half and squeeze fruit juice into pot, place all

fruit rinds in pot along with juice, and other ingredients.

Bring syrup to a boil..... stir ingredients until well blended.

Lower heat.

Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn heat off.

Allow to cool at room temperature, while preparing the pastry.

When syrup is cool. Strain into separate container.

Press the fruit from the syrup with the back of a wooden spoon, to release as much of the syrup as possible.

Set syrup aside for when Baklava Pastry comes out of the oven. Cool pastry approximately five minutes before adding syrup.

Pour Room Temperature strained syrup "evenly" over hot baklava.

It will take time for the syrup to absorb into the pastry and nuts.

This absorption process will take several hours.


Please rate the syrup

3.5 stars from 11 ratings of BAKLAVA SYRUP

Simmering Baklava Syrup

Oranges, lemons, cloves, cinnamon sticks, sugar, honey and water make a delectable syrup.

Strained Baklava Syrup

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BAKLAVA PASTRY - Bake in 9x13 glass baking dish in 300° for 1½ Hours

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. box phyllo pastry dough

1 lb. Walnuts (finely chopped)

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

1 Tablespoon Sugar

Place ingredients into a bowl and stir together to mix. Set aside.

1 lb. Melted Butter

Melt butter over low heat

Brush bottom of pan with melted butter.

Begin to lay flat pieces of phyllo dough in bottom of baking dish. Lightly brush butter on each layer as you go. Continue to add 6 to 8 flat pieces.

Sprinkle 1/3 cup nut mixture.

Then begin to "crumple" 5 sheets phyllo lengthwise one piece at a time, laying each piece beside one another.

(This is a "secret" time saving tip)

Brush crumpled layer with butter, then add 1/3 cup of nuts.

Continue with crumpled layers of phyllo, butter, and nuts until there are only 6 to 8 sheets of phyllo left.

Layer last pieces of phyllo (laying flat), buttering each layer with butter as you go. Pour any remaining butter evenly over final top layer.

Place baklava in the refrigerator or freezer for 10-30 minutes. This will make the task of cutting the baklava much easier.

It is important to cut the baklava, with a "sharp" knife before baking it.

(Cutting Instructions Below)


Place baklava into 300 degree oven for

1½ hours, until golden.( the time and temperature may vary depending

on your oven) but this timing should work quite well.

Remove from oven when golden brown.

ALLOW BAKLAVA TO COOL FOR 5 MINUTES*

*(this is very important to prevent glass baking pan from cracking)

POOR COOLED (ROOM TEMPERATURE) STRAINED SYRUP OVER HOT BAKLAVA.

.


Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus DLC-2A Food Processor (White)
Cuisinart Mini-Prep Plus DLC-2A Food Processor (White)

Quickly chop nuts, and use for many other recipes to make quick work of chopping fruits nuts, and vegetables

 

Baklava Cutting Diagram - Cut Baklava Before Baking

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Beautiful Professional Looking

Once the baklava is assembled, before baking,

In order to make the task of cutting the baklava, a much easier job, you should

place the layered baklava in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes, or freezer 10-20 minutes.

Then remove and immediately use the following instructions:

1. Cut Baklava lengthwise first (heavy black lines) approximately 2 inches apart.

2. Then cut diagonally every 2 inches.

This is not a science, so don't worry if it's not exact. But, the more accurate

you are, the more professional it will look. Have fun!

Cutting Cold Baklava - BEFORE BAKING

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I have cut the Baklava diagonally first to demonstrate the approximate cutting pattern in an 9"x13" pan. But cutting it as in the diagram above is also fine.

This is to demonstrate that making Baklava is not an exact science. With the main basic ingredients, and with a general idea of how it is done, anyone can succeed at making this scrumptious delicacy.

When Baklava Pastry comes out of the oven, (cool approximately five minutes).

Pour "room temperature" strained syrup, "evenly" over hot baklava.

It will take time for the syrup to absorb into the pastry and nuts.

This will take several hours.


Source

Baklava Baking In Oven----Almost Done

 

The baklava syrup is now ready for pouring over the cooked crispy baklava.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I make the syrup first. Allow it to simmer approximately 15 minutes. Turn heat off, and allow to cool while you are getting the pastry process going.#2- The next thing I do is "finely" chop the nuts.  I use a food processor.  But any nut chopper will work fine.#3- Melt the butter. Do this over med low heat.  You don't want to burn it. Remove from heat or turn burner off when melted. You can reheat if needed.#4- Assemble the baking pan, the melted butter, the pastry, and the chopped nuts ( I have divided my nuts, because, I usually make two batches.#5- Butter the baking pan.  Lay the first Fillo sheets flat, spread thin layer of butter.  Repeat this, 5-6 times.  These are the beginning layers.#6- Add a thin layer of nuts.  Approximately 1/3 cup.  Then begin to lay crumpled layers of Fillo to fit your pan.  Usually, 4-5 fillo will work.#7- Once you layer the fillo, brush or spoon the melted butter over the layered fillo.  I try to make sure all of the fillo has some butter on it.#8- Continue to layer the nuts, fillo. and butter.#9- Finally layer another 4-6 layers of fillo(as many pieces are left). Spread melted butter between each layer. Now cool in refrigerator for 20 min.Baklava.  Ready to serve.Baklava on serving platterThe layers of Baklava.  That is what it is all about!
I make the syrup first. Allow it to simmer approximately 15 minutes. Turn heat off, and allow to cool while you are getting the pastry process going.
I make the syrup first. Allow it to simmer approximately 15 minutes. Turn heat off, and allow to cool while you are getting the pastry process going. | Source
#2- The next thing I do is "finely" chop the nuts.  I use a food processor.  But any nut chopper will work fine.
#2- The next thing I do is "finely" chop the nuts. I use a food processor. But any nut chopper will work fine.
#3- Melt the butter. Do this over med low heat.  You don't want to burn it. Remove from heat or turn burner off when melted. You can reheat if needed.
#3- Melt the butter. Do this over med low heat. You don't want to burn it. Remove from heat or turn burner off when melted. You can reheat if needed.
#4- Assemble the baking pan, the melted butter, the pastry, and the chopped nuts ( I have divided my nuts, because, I usually make two batches.
#4- Assemble the baking pan, the melted butter, the pastry, and the chopped nuts ( I have divided my nuts, because, I usually make two batches.
#5- Butter the baking pan.  Lay the first Fillo sheets flat, spread thin layer of butter.  Repeat this, 5-6 times.  These are the beginning layers.
#5- Butter the baking pan. Lay the first Fillo sheets flat, spread thin layer of butter. Repeat this, 5-6 times. These are the beginning layers.
#6- Add a thin layer of nuts.  Approximately 1/3 cup.  Then begin to lay crumpled layers of Fillo to fit your pan.  Usually, 4-5 fillo will work.
#6- Add a thin layer of nuts. Approximately 1/3 cup. Then begin to lay crumpled layers of Fillo to fit your pan. Usually, 4-5 fillo will work.
#7- Once you layer the fillo, brush or spoon the melted butter over the layered fillo.  I try to make sure all of the fillo has some butter on it.
#7- Once you layer the fillo, brush or spoon the melted butter over the layered fillo. I try to make sure all of the fillo has some butter on it.
#8- Continue to layer the nuts, fillo. and butter.
#8- Continue to layer the nuts, fillo. and butter.
#9- Finally layer another 4-6 layers of fillo(as many pieces are left). Spread melted butter between each layer. Now cool in refrigerator for 20 min.
#9- Finally layer another 4-6 layers of fillo(as many pieces are left). Spread melted butter between each layer. Now cool in refrigerator for 20 min.
Baklava.  Ready to serve.
Baklava. Ready to serve.
Baklava on serving platter
Baklava on serving platter
The layers of Baklava.  That is what it is all about!
The layers of Baklava. That is what it is all about!

Finished Baking

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When Baklava has Cooled, Cover pan with Plastic Wrap (or fitted cover) and allow to sit for several hours, or overnight.

The recommended time for flavors to mingle is 4 to 24 hours. It gets even better after a couple of days. (if you can wait that long)

Baklava, if covered, can sit at room temperature for a couple of days.

After that I prefer to refrigerate, or freeze any that is left.

When ready to serve it again, just remove from refrigerator or freezer,

allowing time for it to return close to room temperature before serving.

Before serving remove individual pieces of baklava and place onto cupcake papers.

Arrange baklava on a serving platter for a delicious beautiful presentation.

Baklava - It Is So Worth The Time!

Finished layers of Nuts and Pastry
Finished layers of Nuts and Pastry | Source

Helpful Tips

1. Completely thaw phyllo (fillo) dough before trying to use it, or it will fall apart. It will take up to 24 hours to thaw, (possibly even a little longer). So, if you have frozen the phyllo dough, put it in the refrigerator a day or two before making your Baklava.

2. Have all of the ingredients ready to make the baklava before you unwrap the dough.

3. Phyllo dough dries out very quickly, because it is paper thin. So it is very important to keep it covered with plastic wrap, and a slightly moistened, clean, dish towel.

4. You will unwrap the phyllo each time you use it to make the layers, then cover it while you are working with the butter and nut layers. When the dough is unwrapped try to work quickly.

5. It is not really necessary to cut the dough to fit the baking pan, just fold it to fit. The only exception, would be if you are using a "much" smaller baking pan than the size of the dough. You may need to cut it, just to make the process go faster. .

6. Don't stress if the dough rips, or starts to dry out, just get it in the baking dish, and continue layering. Once Baklava bakes and is drenched in sugar / honey water, most imperfections will not be noticed.

7. It will help to make the last few layers as smooth as possible, to make it look pretty. But it will taste wonderful, no matter what.

8. If you don't have a pastry brush, just use a tablespoon to drizzle the butter over the phyllo dough, then use the back of a spoon to gently spread the butter.

9. IMPORTANT: When possible, pour (room temperature) cooled syrup, over Hot baklava.

(This is how it is normally done). But it is also fine, to pour "Hot syrup over cooled baklava.

Perfect Dessert with Coffee or Tea

Baklava and Coffee for Breakfast, Anyone?

A Great Adult Breakfast Treat !

Very Satisfying and filling

Try it.....So Good.

If you decide to try to make this baklava recipe,

please let me know how well you liked it.

Also, if you found it easier to make than you would

have thought. Thank You.

Comments Welcomed - Thank You

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    • Trudy Hanley profile image
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      Trudy 6 months ago

      I find this amount of water works well, but each oven is different in temperature. Once you try this recipe, please let me know what your opinion is. If you believe that the Baklava is to wet or to dry for your taste, it is fine to adjust the amount of water a little. I have found, adjusting any part of the recipe to your liking will work, as long as you keep in mind, you need a certain amount dry ingredients. And enough liquid ingredients to cover and absorb into the Baklava.:)

    • profile image

      Armine 9 months ago

      Hello. Thank you for your recipe. Very similar to how I do it. For me the hardest part is always getting the consistency of the syrup right. I will try your syrup measurements. Wanted to confirm that 1/2 cup of water is correct?? Thank you kindly for your recipe!!!

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 2 years ago

      I use one - 1 pound package for each 9x13 inch pan.

      Thank you for asking that great question !

      I had not realized that I have not included that very important information,

      as filo comes pre-packaged. And I have always used one package per baking pan.

      I will be including this in the recipes.

    • profile image

      Rachel 2 years ago

      How much dough do you end up using

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 2 years ago

      Hi Shaun, Thank you for commenting on your experience using my Baklava recipe. I love that you were able to find a way to make this recipe work for your family. I hope someone else will use your suggestions for making a delicious treat that is nut free. Wow who knew.:)

    • profile image

      Shaun (Melbourne) 2 years ago

      Thank you, Trudy. I have always adored baklava and used your recipe to make it for my family yesterday. I varied it to make a nut free version using toasted bagel crumbs and crushed pumpkin kernels and sunflower seeds. I was stunned how nut-like and authentic it tasted. I am so happy with my first batch thanks to your incredibly helpful tips and pics.

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 2 years ago

      I am so happy that you found the recipe to be easy! I always say, "it is a process, it does take time, but it is so worth it." Thank you for sharing your experience. You proved what I try to explain, that making Baklava is not a science. Just make it your way, along with the basic ingredients and method, and it will be scrumptious!

    • profile image

      Misty 2 years ago

      My daughter and I made this today. It was easy, but took longer than expected. We didn't start until 4 pm, so next time we will have to start earlier in the day. YES, there will be a next time! So easy! We didn't crumble to save time, we did individual layers every 6-8 sheets then the nut mix. I didn't have enough walnuts so I combined with pecans. I was worried about working with the sheets of dough, but it went just fine! I think we used too much butter between the layers, because it took us a pound and a half......LOL Thank you for sharing your recipe! We love it! :)

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 2 years ago

      Thank you for making the point about the rose water. I have not tried using rose water myself (I love my recipe so much) But, I have read recipes using rose water, and found that those who use it, find it to be their favorite!

    • profile image

      pat 2 years ago

      I am greek so you did a great job ,I however never put oranges in my syrup every region in Greece adds different stuff in their syrups some people use rose water .

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 2 years ago

      Hi Pat,

      When my pages were transferred the A's popped up.

      Sorry for the confusion. I have been unable to solve the problem until now.

      Hopefully now, everyone can enjoy my Baklava recipe.

    • profile image

      Pat 2 years ago

      What are the As in the recipe I don't get it like 1A3/4

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 2 years ago

      @Arachnea: Thank You! I hope it will inspire other Baklava lovers to try to make it. I have found it really hard to find good Baklava. This recipe is yummy!

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 3 years ago

      @Arachnea: Thank you for looking at my lens. If you ever try to make it, let me know how it turned out:)

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      I so love baklava. Thanks for sharing.

    • Trudy Hanley profile image
      Author

      Trudy 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank You to everyone who has liked and commented on my lens! I truly appreciate your taking the time to let me know how you feel.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Just love Baklava, will have to try this recipe, thanks for sharing.

    • Keepingscore profile image

      Keepingscore 4 years ago

      Baklava is indeed a treat, although I think my appetite would decrease if I was having to make it myself. Even with your recipe it looks like a lot of work.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      I love baklava and have had it more than a few times. Never contemplated making it for myself. Thanks for sharing your recipe with us!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      Wow! What a nice recipe! :)

    • surfsusan profile image

      surfsusan 4 years ago

      Thank for sharing the recipe, I live on Crete at the moment and have had those on tavernas only.

    • profile image

      faye durham 4 years ago

      This looks so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe and tips. I'd love to try it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I absolutely LOVE Baklava! This recipe looks somewhat like ours except for the "crumpled" philo layers. I'll have to try that next time. Great recipe and pictures always a big help!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      very good and nice receipe.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Baklava is amazing, I've never even thought of trying to make it myself and now I've found the best Baklava ever by an expert. I would agree that its good to give as gifts and everyone would want the same thing again and again!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      My very favorite dessert! I like it best with pistachios!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Oh, yummy! Just reading this recipe makes my teeth ache! Baklava is so sweet and good!

    • profile image

      Sheppard12 6 years ago

      Love Baklava, wish I knew someone who makes it

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 6 years ago

      I make several Greek recipes from my husband's aunt but I've never tried her baklava. I'm afraid we'll like it too much and we don't need to be eating sweets.

      I just worked with phyllo dough for the first time this past week when I made Spanakopita and it was challenging! I don't think I let it thaw enough. Thanks for the tips on working with phyllo.

    • jennysue19 profile image

      jennysue19 6 years ago

      Hi and thanks for the comment about White Christmas Cake. I make it for other occasions too, just vary the decoration. I've never had the confidence to try making baklava at home, but this sounds easy! I'll have a go.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Love Baklava, I just am not going to make it... so next time you are cooking, call me, I be there.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Looks delicious. Can I come over?

    • profile image

      Beas 6 years ago

      Yummy!

    • reflectionhaiku profile image

      reflectionhaiku 6 years ago

      I love Baklava - delicious pastry and lens! Thanks for sharing