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Baklava, your honor!

31 Mar

Baklava

My dear blogger-friend UL had requested me to make Baklava and post the recipe here. Making baklava is an easy but patient-demanding and time -consuming procedure. I have made it couple of times before, and I follow the recipe by Gretchen, the instructions here are concise and precise, with additional FAQs. She even has tips on how to cut the Baklava 🙂

You will need 1 package of Frozen Phyllo Dough, this contains 18 sheets. Thaw the phyllo dough preferably in a refrigerator for about 6 hours. Be very careful while handling these sheets – they are very fragile and break into pieces easily, especially when dry. It is also a good idea to cover them with a moist paper towel, so that they don’t get too dry. The size of these sheets is 13″ x 17″, so use an oven-proof pan (or aluminium tray) that is slightly smaller (around 11.5″ x 15″) in dimension.

Combine 1 lb of Walnut meal with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon & nutmeg, and divide it into 4 equal parts. You will also need 1 tbsp of lemon juice, 1 cup of honey, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract.

  1. Melt the butter and brush the bottom-side of the pan and layer 6 sheets on the bottom. You need to butter each layer, before placing the sheet on top. Don’t worry about the edges extending over to the sides.

    Baklava - stage 1

  2. Cut the rest of the sheets in half. Spread the 1 part of the quartered walnut mixture on top of the sheets.

    Baklava - stage 2

  3. Layer 8 half-sheets, staggering them from one-corner to the other and don’t forget to butter them as you go. It is a good idea to do this in a pattern – left-bottom, left-top, right-top and right-bottom, so you know how many sheets have been layered.

    Baklava - stage 3

  4. Do this repeatedly, till you get 4 layers of the nuts. Finally layer all the remaining sheets on top. Remember to butter them, very important! Brush the top with some butter as well. Baklava will be very fragile after baking, so cut it now before baking. You don’t have to cut it deeply.

    Baklava - stage 4

  5. Bake it at 300 degrees for an hour.

    Baklava - stage 5

  6. While the baklava is cooking, mix 1 cup of sugar and water, 1 tbsp of lemon juice and cook in medium heat for about 15 mins. Turn the heat off, add the honey and 1 tsp of vanilla extract. Remove the pan from the oven, cut it again to make sure it is evenly and properly cut and then add the syrup on top and let it sit.

    Baklava - stage 6

Never eat fresh Baklava and prepare it atleast the day-before if not earlier, as the longer it sits, tastier it becomes. Personally, I like it best when it is 2-3 days old.

Baklava Ready

Update: Although the original recipe uses about 3 sticks of butter, I used only a stick and a quarter. Start with 1 stick of butter and add more, if need be, as you go along.

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23 Comments

Posted by on March 31, 2008 in Cooking, Mid-Eastern

 

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23 responses to “Baklava, your honor!

  1. Laksh

    March 31, 2008 at 6:32 AM

    Oh my GOD! that looks sinfully delicious. When did you turn from this normal everyday person I knew into this gourmet chef?? 🙂 Am still shaking my head in disbelief…

    Thanks Laksh – that is the best compliment I have received 🙂 -A-kay

     
  2. sreelu

    March 31, 2008 at 6:59 AM

    no way home made Bhaklava, good job Ak. it always seems so complicated but your pics however make it look simple

    Believe it, it is very simple – but you need truckloads of patience 🙂 -A-kay

     
  3. Mythreyee

    March 31, 2008 at 7:00 AM

    I have tried bhaklavas and I feel home made is more delicious and fresh too. Your bhaklavas look fantastic.

    Can’t agree with you more on the home-made Baklavas. – Akay

     
  4. UL

    March 31, 2008 at 7:46 AM

    Akay, goodness gracious that was fast! Thank you so much, I love the whole process, just to read -let me assure you, and I would willing eat the end result too but only you can call it simple, I say ‘bravo and applause to your culinary skills’. The photography is awesome, the very looks are making me drool…why on earth did you have to be on the other side of the continent? You know East coast is in want of people like you…and would love to accomodate you if you decide to move 😉 Thanks again, still drooling :).

    I suggest you try making this and assure you, you will love making it. May be you can do it with Meera, let her help you with spreading the walnut mixture and stuff – turn it into you a mom-daughter thing 🙂 Not sure about moving to the East Coast but I sure I will be visiting there this summer, would love to meet you then. -A-kay

     
  5. ranji

    March 31, 2008 at 10:04 AM

    hey a-kay!!!ur baklava looks awesome..i have wanting to do it for a lng time..but coz of the thoughts of fat content in it i was holding back…but urs ismaking me droooll!!!:)..

    Totally hear you on the fat content. That is why I baked and took it to a party 😛 -A-kay

     
  6. Uma

    March 31, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Simply superb. So mouth-watering.

     
  7. Madhuram

    March 31, 2008 at 11:05 AM

    Hi Akay,

    Laksh mentioned about your post today while talking over phone. (Did she mention to you, we live 5-6 miles apart).I couldn’t wait to see what you have done. Wow! It looks DELICIOUS.

    Believe me or not I got phyllo pastry last week from the grocery store. I saw Sandra Lee preparing baklava roll ups in a recent episode. She had used a mixture of pistachio and almond powder. Maybe I’ll try to come up with my own version.

    Laksh did tell me that you both live very close-by. Will be interesting to read your version – let me know when you make and post it 🙂 A-kay

     
  8. Cham

    March 31, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Baklava looks delicious 🙂 great pictures

     
  9. bhags

    March 31, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Thats something i am looking forward to make now…….thanks for the pictorial recipe.

     
  10. TheCooker

    March 31, 2008 at 3:55 PM

    The next time we all meet….this is what you are bringing along.
    The baklava looks simply delicious.

    Sure thing. Btw, when are we meeting next? -A-kay

     
  11. rupa

    March 31, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Hey, I have never known what this is….but it sure looks yummy and very very temting….great job…

    Thanks so much Rupa. -A-kay

     
  12. sunita

    March 31, 2008 at 6:23 PM

    That looks perfect 🙂

     
  13. Shy

    March 31, 2008 at 11:39 PM

    Irresistable! after seeing these pics, it’s hard to focus on my work:).baklava has been in the talks-topics recently with UL. I should try making it someday!

    Came here from Laksh’s post about you wrt recipe.
    Shy

    UL’s post about Baklava is what triggered me into making one too. Thanks for stopping by – hope to see you more 🙂 -A-kay

     
  14. m's mom

    April 1, 2008 at 12:30 AM

    sorry for being silent for sometime;i was bc otw

    Akay I thing the Tamil quote,’Sol pudidu,porul pudidu,suvaiyum pudidu”-perfectly explains ur above pictorial recipe

    great job!Enru katranai nee idupol?
    keep it up

    Thanks maami. M sonna neenga konjam busy-a irukkelnu. Paati eppadi irukka? Katrathu ellam internet-la thaan. -A-kay

     
  15. UL

    April 1, 2008 at 1:00 AM

    Akay, hope you are kidding, cooking tries my patience like no other… if Meera gets involved a battle is likely to erupt… 🙂 and yes, would love to meet up with you when you visit, we could arrange an East coast bloggers meet like the one you do at your end…..minus cooking? 🙂

    May be you should wait for Meera to grow a lil older and then am sure it will be fun. Meet sounds like fun. Will let you know once my tickets are booked and let Laksh & UL to figure out the logistics 🙂 -A-kay

     
  16. Apar

    April 1, 2008 at 1:35 AM

    omg!! Akay…wonderful.Impressed!!!! I guess I will settle in for eating what somebody else makes 🙂 Don’t know if I will even get all the ingredients here 😀

    Thanks Apar -A-kay

     
  17. Lakshmi

    April 1, 2008 at 2:16 AM

    Wow Akay!

    Awesome presentation and explanation of the whole process. Totally drooling over the pictures 🙂 Like Laksh mentioned, when did you become so involved in cooking exotic stuff!! 🙂 Unbelivable! (Wish there was an icon of shaking head!!!!) 🙂

    Don’t know if I will ever have the courage to try to make this, but will defn come to the page and drool often 🙂

    Lakshmi

    That is a good idea – let me work on getting more smilies for the comments – then you can shake your head or bang your head 😛 Thanks Lakshmi! -A-kay

     
  18. Lakshmi

    April 1, 2008 at 4:34 AM

    A-kay,

    Your receipes are so good..that banging the head will never happen 🙂 Defn a lot of shaking happening though 🙂

    Lakshmi

    Ha ha… that is the hope 🙂 -A-kay

     
  19. SK

    April 1, 2008 at 7:13 AM

    Guess, I am the lucky one to not just see the pics but also taste your Baklava. Has come out very well.
    Keep up the good work and keep in mind that I am always there to taste all your recipes 🙂

    – SK (A-Kay’s sis-in-law)

    Thank you SK – that was so sweet of you 🙂 -A-kay

     
  20. Roop Rai

    April 3, 2008 at 1:37 AM

    oh my god, u must be kidding me. this is FANTASTIC! im totally blown away!!! literally! remarkable!! can’t say anything else. speechless.

     
  21. RV

    April 14, 2008 at 1:57 AM

    Kudos to your efforts! Very informative and awesome pictures!!! I have been following since you started, but this post seriously blew me away. Actually I did try this last week for a TNY’s potluck and I was the talk of the party. Thanks to you & Gretchen! I did not find walnut meal, so had to crush the walnuts just like Gretchen. A small twist I did was added some crushed toasted almonds and pistachios on the topmost layer. Finally once the honey syrup was poured all the over, I kept a toasted pistachio on each cut piece for festive look! Keep up the good work…:-)

    Now I know why you were asking me for walnut meal 🙂 Thanks RV and glad it turned out well. Yes, we can get creative with presentation, drizzle the honey syrup around the baklava in restaurant style before serving, add pistachios like you did – it is a nice canvas to get creative. A-kay

     

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