Before starting to prepare baklava, it is necessary to clarify what baklava is. This dessert is made of thin layers of dough called “yufka”, similar to filo, which are layered on top of each other. Various fillings can be used, but the most common is crushed pistachios. Brushed with melted butter, the dish is baked and drizzled with syrup. This is the simplest and most popular variation of baklava, but there are many others, with other fillings, for example. B. with walnuts, hazelnuts or nuts. You can cut and even roll baklava into different shapes and sizes. Some variations can also be prepared with cream filling and milk. Here we present you the traditional baklava recipe and we hope you enjoy the delicious dessert!
The origin of the dessert
The complex baklava recipe we know today was developed in the kitchens of the Topkapı Palace and baked after the conquest of Constantinople. While cookbooks date the recipe back to 1473, the dessert’s origins go back much further. One of the oldest references to a dessert resembling baklava comes from the Assyrian Empire, VIII BC. around the century The dessert has been described as “a layer of unleavened bread with chopped walnuts and honey”.
The first Turks who came to Anatolia were nomads, so it was impossible to bake bread in a stationary oven. It is written in the 11th century that they discovered that the best way to bake the dough was to roll or stretch it as finely as possible and cook it on fire. A precursor that exists as a link to the early Anatolian Turks is “Baki pakhlavası” or baku baklava, made of eight sheets of dough with nuts between each layer.
Baklava recipe: ingredients
90 ml of butter
2 x 270 g packets of phyllo dough
500 g pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
For the syrup:
850 grams of sugar
50 grams of honey
1.5 liters of water
A few drops of lemon juice
Preparation: step by step instructions
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Prepare the honey syrup. Place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat on the stove, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves. Add honey and some whole grains (grains are optional here); stir Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. Remove the syrup from the heat. Add lemon juice. Remove the whole grain and let the syrup cool completely.
- Prepare the nut mixture. Place the pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Pulse a few times to mash. Place in a large mixing bowl and add the sugar and cinnamon. Mix well.
- Prepare the phyllo dough. Roll out the thawed dough slowly and place the sheets between two clean kitchen towels. This prevents the foliage from breaking as you work.
- Assemble the first layers of baklava. Prepare a 25 x 35 x 5 cm pan. Brush the inside of the baking pan with melted butter. To assemble the baklava, take a sheet of phyllo and place it in the mold. With this shape size, you usually fold the phyllo sheet in half, then it fits perfectly. (You can also cut a bit with kitchen scissors). Brush the top of the filo sheet with melted butter. Repeat this process a few more times until about 1/3 of the phyllo batter is used up, brushing each layer with melted butter.
- Now spread about 1/2 of the nut mixture evenly over the top layer of filo.
- Continue assembling the baklava, one sheet of phyllo dough at a time with another 1/3 of the phyllo dough. Again, brush each layer with a little melted butter.
- Spread the remaining 1/2 of the nut mixture evenly over the top layer of filo.
- Work the remaining 1/3 of the phyllo dough in the same way, placing one folded sheet at a time and brushing each layer with melted butter.
- Brush the top sheet with butter.
- Then, using a good, sharp knife, cut the dough into diamond-shaped pieces (between 24 and 36 pieces) about 1/4 inch deep.
- Baking: Place the baklava dish on the middle shelf of the preheated oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until the top of the baklava is golden and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
- After removing the baklava from the oven, pour the cooled syrup over the hot baklava. Make sure to distribute the syrup evenly.
- Allow the baklava to cool completely (several hours is best, but at least 1 hour for the soft phyllo layers to fully absorb the honey syrup).
- Cut the pieces you marked earlier and, if desired, garnish with some pistachios before serving.