Delicious phyllo pastry dessert, with many layers of flaky, buttery layers. This dessert has a filling with walnuts and is soaked in syrup.
Cuisine Albanian, Mediterranean
Keyword baklava, baklava from scratch, baklava with homemade phyllo, bakllava, walnuts baklava
Prep Time 1hour
Cook Time 2hours20minutes
Rolling phyllo 2hours
Total Time 5hours20minutes
15 inch deep baking dish
8cupsall purpose flour, unbleached (about 1 kg)
1cupolive oilextra virgin
4sticksbutter (about 450 grams)
Sift flour (if it doesn't come sifted). Add salt to flour, mix then create a well in the flour. Add 5 egg yolks in it. Start mixing with your hands slowly from center to outer layers.
Slowly add olive oil and warm water as you mix. It can take few minutes to create the dough. Initially the dough will be sticky but as you work it, it will become elastic. Adjust with an extra tablespoon of flour or water if needed.
Transfer dough to a floured surface, knead it for about 5 minutes or so. Place dough on a plate, cover it and let it rest for about 30 minutes or so.
Add sugar, cloves and lemon slice on a pot. Pour water and set to medium heat. Don't mix it as it will become grainy. Once it boils, lower heat and let the syrup cook for 15-20 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it cool while you work the phyllo.
Melt 4 sticks of butter in a sauce pot, make sure to keep heat medium or medium low. Once butter is all melted, you'll notice there's a white layer in the bottom of the pot. Skim that layer as that will stain the phyllo sheets.
Pulse on a blender walnut halves with sugar, mix it well and place on the side.
Dough should be ready to work with after half an hour. Separate in small pieces and roll each of them. Place the rolls of dough over parchment paper.
Butter the bottom of a round baking dish.
Start rolling each dough roll with a rolling pin. Use cornstarch to avoid the dough sticking. Open and stretch each dough roll in a circular shape as much as you can. It has to be very thin. Place it carefully over baking tray. Cut on the sides so it stays flat on the tray. Leftovers can be used as middle layers or completely different dish on the side.
Continue rolling the phyllo dough rolls one by one. Sprinkle with butter as you add to the baking tray in between layers. I personally brush with butter with frozen phyllo layers, but just sprinkle with butter with homemade phyllo.
Once you are done with half the layers, add filling in one layer. Keep it even and cover the whole surface.
Roll the rest of the layers, one by one and layer them on top. Once done, cut the baklava in desired shape. Then pour the remaining butter over evenly.
Bake baklava initially at 350 degrees F, for 15 minutes or so. Then lower the temperature to about 310 degrees F. Keep baking at this temperature for at least 2 hrs. Check occasionally and even add an aluminum foil to prevent the top layers from getting burnt. Mine took 2 hrs and 20 minutes to bake.
Add cold syrup on hot baklava (or the other way around, let baklava cool overnight and pour hot syrup on it). Let the baklava rest and absorb the syrup.
Cover and let it rest in room temperature. It can be kept in room temperature for few days (covered) then refrigerate for about a week. Enjoy it:)
Video - I made a video for this recipe as I realized that for those reading this for the first time, it is hard to even image how to roll the layers of phyllo. Please keep in the mind with the video that it took me at least 6 hours from beginning to end to make the baklava and the video is condensed to about 30 minutes so it can show the most important key points of this recipe. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions!!
Nutrition Label - please note that nutrition label provided is an estimate and it takes into account all the ingredients used. For example, I use 2 cups cornstarch in the process of rolling the phyllo layers but not all of it is used. Also, I add syrup to baklava but there's syrup left in the baking tray when you serve the slices, you don't end up eating the whole syrup. So technically, the values should be a little less however, yes it is a calorie dense dessert!
Skill- I mention this in person to anyone wanting to make baklava. Baklava requires a little bit of skill that is acquired through practice. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty with the dough, practice makes perfect. Try smaller trays, experiment with the phyllo. Try to make it with frozen phyllo sheets first. Break down the process and little by little it will all fall in place:). Good luck!