Sacrife feast has just finished few days ago... It was happy holiday for me and family. Just like in Ramadhan bayram (Eid al-fitr) as tradition, we visited families and relatives and some close friends.... Ate a lot of baklava and chocolate candies! :)
Yes, in Turkey baklava is served traditionally during major Islamic feast like Eid al-fitr or Eid al-adha together with turkish delight, chocolate and candies.
Baklava is a rich sweet pastry made of many layers of fillo dough filled with finely chopped nuts between few layers soaked in thick sugar syrup (or honey)
Every people of Middle East, Eastern Mediterranean, Balkans, Caucasia; Turks, Arabs, Jews, Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians introduce baklava as their national dessert. When we consider that all of these regions once belonged to the Ottoman Empire, it is possible to think of Baklava as an Ottoman dessert.
Well, I won't talk about baklava history... it could be such a long long writing and we must read many valid sources you can googling or go to local library. I need rest and you need recipe, right? (^,^)
For Kurban bayram (eid al-adha) last week beside I made this cevizli baklava (baklava with walnut filling) I also made Şöbiyet baklava. Both turned to be great bayram's treats (^,^)
Here I will share my easy recipe how to make baklava at home. Why I call it easy? cause I use ready bought phyllo dough for baklava. Some people (including my mother in law) still made their own yufka, but for me, rolling the dough into such a veerrryyyy thin and looks transparent is not my skill (YET) ^,^
Indeed.. homemade baklava mostly have slightly thicker layers than store bought baklava in patisseries..it's all about "ROLLING" the dough..hehehehe..
First for making baklava you'll need yufka or phylo sheet. This is easy way to make baklava with very thin layer. If you can not find baklavalık yufka below I write you recipe from my Turkish dessert Book. Phylo sheet (dough) for making baklava dessert is different for making börek pastry. Phylo sheet for making baklava we call it baklavalık yufka, it has very much thin, dry and almost transparent layers while phylo sheet for making börek pastry has thicker and slightly moist layers.
So here I write for you how to make baklavalık yufka / phyllo dough for Baklava. This recipe I took from Şeker bank Tatlı Kitab (Turkish dessert book from Şeker bank) translate by me.
Ingredients for baklavalık yufka / phyllo dough for Baklava:
- 1100 gr flour
- 3 eggs
- pinch of salt
- about 250 ml water
- about 1 Tbsp melted butter
- about 250 gr wheat starch (from me; you can use potato starch)
|baklavalık yufka very thin and has transparent sheet|
How to make:
- Over clean working table, put flour, make a well in the middle. Pour in eggs, salt and melted butter. Start to mix that mixture with your fingers. Slowly add water small amount at a time while start mix the liquid with the flours.
- Knead until you get smooth and elastic dough. You might need less or more water, just do it carefully until you get right consistency dough.
- Divide the dough into 10~15 small balls, cover with damp towel and rest for about 10 minutes.
- Start working one ball at a time. With rolling pin, open and roll the dough as thin as you can. Do to all balls. Spread generously wheat starch over each sheet/ dough then start roll them together until you get thinner and wide layers. Note: I saw my mother in law make it, you can do 5 dough at a time. Use thin and long rolling pin/ phyllo rolling.
- After you get your phyllo ready, continue as method to make baklava above.
Note: you will get approximately 15 layers (depending how many dough you divide) of baklava instead 44 layers if you make your own phyllo dough.
You can see this video for illustrationIngredients and how to make baklava:
Thick sugar syrup (make it ahead):
- 1800 gr sugar
- 900 ml water
- juice from 1 lemon ( zest also)
- 2 tbsp corn syrup (optional)
Note: For making baklava the sugar syrup must have right consistency, if too much thick, your baklava will be hard like stone, if too thin the layers will be soggy, not crisp as should be.
Ingredients for baklava:
- 1 pack (800 gr) ready bought baklavalık yufka (44 sheets), or you can check how to make phyllo sheet above
- 400 ~500 gr unsalted butter, melted
- about 500~600 gr finely chopped/ground walnuts (you can use pistachio)
- 400~500 gr kaymak/ smilar to clotted cream (it's optional but it'll make different yummy taste)
- ground pistachio for serving
- Lightly brush baking pan (mine 40 x 25 x 4 cm) with melted butter. Pre heat oven at 150 deg C.
- Cut your phyllo dough (sheets) according to your pan size. If you have some left over from that cutting, you can use them for Şöbiyet baklava .
- Now working one sheet at a time; take one phyllo sheet and lay over baking tray, then take another sheet, lay over 1st layer, that's 2nd layer. Take another sheet lay over 2nd layer, that will be 3rd layer. Brush lightly with melted butter. Do another 3 layers and brush again with melted butter until you get 15 layers.
always cover your phyllo dough with damp towel
- When you get 15th layer,no need to brush with butter but spread half portion of kaymak (if use) evenly over the phyllo sheet then spread half portion chopped walnut/ pistachio evenly.
- Cover with another 3 layers, brush with melted butter. Do same method until you get 30 layers, spread another half portion kaymak and another half portion chopped walnuts/ pistachio again.
- Continue layering baklava but this time you should brush with melted butter every 1 layer until you finish 44 layers. 44 layers of baklava is common traditional Gaziantep baklava.
- With very sharp knife, cut baklava layers into rectangle shape (or diamond shape). Generously spread the rest of melted butter over cut baklava, especially between the cutting part.
- Bake in oven until golden brown on surface. I use low temperature (140~150 deg C) so can cook thoroughly to bottom layers to give crisp layer to the bottom side.
- Take out from oven once it's brown golden on surface then soak with sugar syrup.
Serve at room temperature.