The Best Baklava Recipes



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Up until now I have never attempted to make a baklava at home. I figured it would be really hard to make for some reason. Thing is, I LOVE baklava and there is no where to get it in Lillooet so if I wanted it, I'd have to bite the bullet and make it. 
Turns out it is not difficult at all just really, reaaaaaaally time consuming. I don't say that to scare you away from making it. It's totally worth the time you have to invest. I just want you to be forewarned that its going to take you a while. I think it took me about an hour from start to getting it in the oven. Then its only another 5 minutes once its baked. 
Baklava is very, very rich and goes a very long way. A small piece is all you need, which makes it the perfect dish to bring to a potluck where there is a lot of people. I believe I originally got about 18 - 20 pieces but then cut a lot of those in half (they were too big) so got around 36 pieces. 
You can make this a day or two ahead of time. In fact, it's best if it sits for a day. 
NOTE - I put you need 2 packages of phyllo pastry for this recipe. You will use one full one and only a couple of sheets from the second package. Just an FYI. 


Baklava

Ingredients
Syrup
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbsp lemon juice

Baklava
2 pkg phyllo dough (I used Tenderflake), thawed in the fridge overnight
1 1/4 cup butter, melted
4 cups walnuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions
Prepare syrup - Combine sugar, water, honey, and lemon juice in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to boil for 4 minutes more without stirring. Remove from heat and let cool completely - place in fridge to help with this. 
Prepare baklava - Let thawed baklava sit, in the package, on the counter to come up to room temp. About half an hour to an hour. This makes it easier to separate the sheets. 
Preheat oven to 325. 
Combine finely chopped walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 X 13 baking dish. 
Now, here is where needing patience comes in!!
Place 7 sheets of phyllo pastry in the bottom of the dish, brushing each sheet with butter as you place it in the pan. Sprinkle 1/5th of the chopped walnut mixture evenly over the phyllo. 


Repeat 4 more time EXCEPT with 4 sheets of phyllo instead of 7. Remember to brush each piece of phyllo with butter as you place it in the pan. Finish the baklava with another 7 sheets of phyllo, brushing each with butter. Brush the top of the baklava with butter as well. 
So it should go: 
7 phyllo sheets, brushed with butter between each sheet, then 3/4 cup walnut mixture
4 phyllo sheets, brushed with butter between each sheet, then 3/4 cup walnut mixture
4 phyllo sheets, brushed with butter between each sheet, then 3/4 cup walnut mixture
4 phyllo sheets, brushed with butter between each sheet, then 3/4 cup walnut mixture
4 phyllo sheets, brushed with butter between each sheet, then 3/4 cup walnut mixture
7 phyllo sheets, brushed with butter between each sheet and then on top of the final sheet. 
Carefully slice the baklava into 1 1/2 inch wide strips lengthwise, and then diagonally to create diamonds. (You can also just slice in squares, if you prefer)


Bake at 325 for an hour and 15 minutes, until top is golden brown. Rotate pan half way, if needed. 
Remove from the oven and immediately drizzle with the cooled syrup. Use all of the syrup, it will get soaked in by the phyllo. 
Place back in the oven for 3 minutes. 
Remove and let cool completely at room temperature - 4 to 6 hours, without being covered so the pastry can soak up all the syrup. Baklava can be stored at room temp or in the fridge for several days, covered loosely. 


One thing I learned about making baklava: it is very important that if your baklava is hot, then your syrup must be cold. OR, if your baklava is cold, then your syrup must be hot. This is to make sure the pastry does not get soggy. Made as written here, the pastry stayed delightfully crispy. 
I researched baklava recipes for a couple of days to find out which was the best way to make it. There is a bazillion variations of ingredients and techniques so it can be intimidating if you've never made it before. I kind of smushed a bunch of them together to come up with this recipe. I found, for a beginner, it was less scary than some of the other options!
I will definitely be making it again!

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