Baklava may seem like an extremely challenging pastry to tackle in your kitchen at home. However, in reality, baklava can be made without too much difficulty. Although the process is somewhat time consuming, it’s a rewarding culinary project that can be sped along when made with a friend. Of course, if you’re hoping to cook the whole thing from scratch, you’ll need to learn how to make dough. Rolling homemade phyllo dough can be rather difficult, but it will also certainly add to the quality of your baklava. Otherwise, packaged phyllo dough can be purchased in the freezer section of your local grocery store.
Below is an simple baklava recipe courtesy of Food Republic:
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 lemon, squeezed
- 1 tablespoon orange blossom or rose water (optional)
- 1 16-ounce package phyllo dough
- 1 1/4 cups butter, melted
- 1 1/2 cup pistachios or walnuts, coarsely ground
Syrup: In a medium sauce pan combine water, sugar and honey. Stir and bring the mixture to boil over medium heat. Allow 15 minutes to simmer. Add in the lemon juice, as well as the orange blossom or rose water if desired. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Baklava: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Open only one stack of the packaged phyllo dough. Lay two sheets inside the pan. Spread a tablespoon of butter evenly on top of the sheets. Stack another two sheets and repeat the process. Continue layering phyllo and butter until you have 12 sheets. Evenly spread a layer of the ground nuts of your preference. Do not use both pistachios and walnuts. Brush the layer of nuts with butter. Continue layering the phyllo dough in the previous fashion for 10 sheets. Brush the top layer with butter as well. Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into 24 equal-sized squares. Only cut until you reach the nuts. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn the oven down to 325 and bake for another 30 minutes. Take out the baklava and allow it to cool for 10 minutes. Finish your initial cuts so that they go all the way through the baklava. Pour syrup evenly over the cut lines. Garnish with nuts to preference and allow at least four hours to cool.