Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Daring Bakers June 2011: Baklava

Okay people! I think I'm losing my mind over here!

Where the heck did Monday go???

I realized last night that it was Monday and that I was supposed to have posted this already.

But alas, Monday escaped me so it is now Tuesday and I'm going to share this awesome recipe with you.

I have loved baklava for many years now and have been considering making it for some time.

However, I never intended to make my own dough!

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

This recipe was super delicious. As all baklava is to me...

I feel extremely proud of the fact that I finally made this delicious treat...I just wish The Hubble could have been here to enjoy it with me.

I have to say, I will never be making my own phyllo dough again. This was tough. It took a lot of time and was super frustrating. I think I tore just about every piece of the phyllo. Except one...there was ONE piece I didn't rip. But what can you do??

It's about the experience right?? At least I can now say I made phyllo from scratch. Not many people can say that.

I did have to double the dough recipe to get enough to make all the layers I needed. I also had to piece together the trimmings to make more sheets. Either I didn't roll my dough thin enough or...well...I didn't roll my dough thin enough. I got annoyed and figured whatever. I needed three dough recipes to make all the layers...but I made due.

Also, the syrup I made was WAY too much. It didn't quite soak up and I had to pour some of the syrup out at the end. Only half the syrup was needed. I made the adjustments in the recipe I shared below.

No matter what, this was definitely a challenge that I am glad I stepped up to. The baklava was delicious and I'm so thankful to Erica for giving us this great challenge!

Here's what you can do to make your own phyllo and baklava at home! Let's get daring!!

With the paddle attachment of your electric mixer, combine the flour and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine the water, oil and vinegar.

With the mixer on low speed, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.

Mix until a soft dough forms.

Switch to the dough hook and "knead" until a smooth, elastic dough forms; about 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball, lightly coat with oil and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Allow to rest 1 1/2-2 hours.

While the dough rests, make the syrup.

And the nut filling. Set both aside.

Cut off a chunk of dough slightly larger than a golf ball. Use whatever means available to roll it out as thin as possible. Once it's as thin as you can get it with the rolling pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch on the backs of your hands like pizza dough.

Lay the sheets on a well floured surface, flouring between each sheet. Continue rolling the dough until all the dough is used up.

Trim the dough to fit your pan. Butter the bottom of the pan, place the first layer of phyllo in the bottom of the pan. Butter the phyllo. Continue to layer the phyllo and butter 5 more times.

Then layer with 1/3 of the nut filling. Continue to layer the phyllo and nut layers until all used up.

Tuck the corners of the phyllo into the sides of the pan to look nice.

Cut into the shapes you desire.

Bake, cut then bake some more.

When the baklava is done baking, pour the cooled syrup over the hot dough, it will crackle. Let it sit overnight to soak up the syrup.

Serve and enjoy!!!

Apricot Baklava

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Phyllo Dough
Retrieved from The Daring Kitchen


  • 1 1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup, minus 1 Tablespoon, water, plus more if needed
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for coating the dough.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar 
  • 2 cups butter, melted (for assembly of baklava)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour and salt with the paddle attachment.
  2. In a small bowl, combine water, oil and vinegar.
  3. With mixer on low speed, add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until a soft dough forms (add more water if dough is too dry).
  4. Change to the dough hook and allow to "knead" about 10 minutes (20 minutes if kneading by hand) until a smooth, elasticy dough forms.
  5. Remove dough from mixer and knead by hand about 2 minutes more (during this process, pick up the dough and throw it on the counter a few times).
  6. Shape the dough into a ball, coat with oil and tightly cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rest 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  7. While dough rests, make the syrup and nut mixture; recipes follow.
  8. Unwrap the dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger than a golf ball. (While rolling, keep the remaining dough covered so it doesn't dry out)
  9. Flour hands, rolling pin and counter (add as necessary, you can't over flour). Roll the dough as thin as possible (don't worry about tearing it but try to keep a nice sheet for the top layer)
  10. When you get it as thin as possible with the rolling pin, flour your hands well and stretch it on the backs of your hands like pizza dough. The dough should be thin enough to see through.
  11. Set the sheet of dough on a well floured surface, flour the top of the sheet and continue rolling the dough until you have rolled it all out into thin sheets.
  12. When the dough is rolled out, trim your dough sheets to fit the bottom of your pan.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  14. Melt the butter, butter the bottom of the baking dish. Lay a sheet of phyllo dough on the butter, butter the dough, place another sheet of phyllo, butter the dough. Continue in this manner until you have 5 layers of phyllo and butter, end with the butter. Then layer with 1/3 of the nut mixture. Then more phyllo.
  15. You should have several layers: 5 sheets phyllo, 1/3 filling, 4 sheets phyllo, 1/3 filling, 4 sheets phyllo, 1/3 filling, 5 sheets phyllo.
  16. When the layers are finished, poke the edges of dough into the pan. Cut the baklava into desired shapes. Butter the top layer of dough.
  17. Bake about 30 minutes, remove from oven and cut the shapes again, making sure to cut all the way through all the layers.
  18. Bake another 30 minutes. Or until golden brown.
  19. Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup over the baklava, it will crackle. Allow to set overnight to soak up the syrup.
  20. Serve and enjoy!
Apricot Syrup

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup apricot nectar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until sugar dissolves.
  2. Without stirring, allow the syrup to reach 225 degrees F. Set aside and allow to cool.

  • 8 ounces walnuts
  • 8 ounces almonds
  • 6 ounces pistachios
  • 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Pulse until finely chopped.
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