Monday, June 27, 2011

June 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 53: From Phyllo to Baklava

I needed to know how to make the phyllo, this thought happened suddenly when I saw this month challenge. Because buying it is not easy for me.
 But when I finished reading the challenge I knew that making the phyllo is the challenge haha!

I never made this kind of dessert before due to many reasons: my sister don’t like any desserts with a lot of spice ^^".
Anyway I have to do a lot of things lately, (and can't stay home) so my confession is I didn't have a chance to taste the finished Baklava (it's needed to rest overnight before eating, due to the syrup.)
And my sister is the one who took the photo for me ^^. She told me that the syrup is too much, so I reduce the amount of the syrup so you won't have to same problem. 
Rolling the phyllo is fun, you can use a lot of flour as long as it can be rolled (and it will become very thin too), I hate the fact that I didn't have much time to make it because I wanted to make it very very thin if I can, haha. 
So, thank you Erica of Erica’s Edibles, because of you now I know how to make the phyllo ^^. By the way I really want to try the recipe from this book : Kaffeehaus – "Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers, I didn't buy it when I had a chance and it's out of print now. I love the recipe for making Phyllo and it makes me think that the other recipes are worth trying too. 

Recipe Source:
• Phyllo Dough Recipe - Kaffeehaus – Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Cafés of Vienna, Budapest and Prague” by Rick Rodgers
• Baklava - Adapted from Alton Brown, Food Network
 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.

Phyllo to Baklava
Make 16 (from 8x8cm pan)

Phyllo dough
1 1/3 cups (320 ml) (185 gm/6½ oz) unbleached all purpose (plain) flour
1/8 teaspoon (2/3 ml) (¾ gm) salt
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) water, plus more if needed
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil, plus additional for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon (2½ ml) cider vinegar, (could substitute white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar, but could affect the taste)

Baklava Recipe
Adapted from Alton Brown, The Food Network
30 servings
For the syrup:
• 150 ml honey
• 1 50ml water
• 140 gm sugar
• ½  cinnamon stick
• fresh citrus peel 
• a few cloves or a pinch or ground clove
Ingredients for the Filling:
1 (5-inch/125 mm piece) cinnamon stick, broken into 2 to 3 pieces or 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (8 gm) ground cinnamon
15 to 20 whole allspice berries ( I just used a few pinches)
3/4 cup (180 ml) (170 gm/6 oz) blanched almonds
3/4 cup (180 ml) (155 gm/5½ oz) raw or roasted walnuts
3/4 cup (180 ml) (140 gm/5 oz) raw or roasted pistachios
2/3 cup (160 ml) (150 gm/ 5 1/3 oz) sugar
phyllo dough (see recipe above)
1 cup (2 sticks) (240 ml) (225g/8 oz) melted butter 

 Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl. 
Combine the flour and salt together in the bowl.
Mix both wet and dry ingredients together until moisten, mix until you get a soft dough, if it appears dry add a little more water.

 Take the dough out of the bowl and knead until smooth. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best.

 When you put your baklava in the oven start making your syrup. When you combine the two, one of them needs to be hot, I find it better when the baklava is hot and the syrup has cooled
1. Combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium high heat. Stir occasionally until sugar has dissolved
 2. Boil for 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
 3. Once boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain cinnamon stick and lemon, allow to cool as baklava cooks

 Rolling your Phyllo
** Remove all rings and jewelry so it does not snag the dough**
Use whatever means you have to get the dough as thin as you can. I have included a fantastic video at the end of the post on how to roll out your phyllo dough, using a wooden dowel, which worked perfectly for me. You may also use a pasta machine if you have one, or a normal rolling pin whatever works for you.
1. Unwrap your dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger then a golf ball. While you are rolling be sure to keep the other dough covered so it doesn’t dry out.
 2. Be sure to flour your hands, rolling pin and counter. As you roll you will need to keep adding, don’t worry, you can’t over-flour.
3. Roll out the dough a bit to flatten it out. 
4. When you get it as thin as you can with the rolling pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch it on the backs of your hands as you would a pizza dough, just helps make it that much thinner. Roll out your dough until it is transparent. 
NOTE: you will not get it as thin as the frozen phyllo dough you purchase at the store, it is made by machine
 5. Set aside on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flower well. You will not need to cover your dough with a wet cloth, as you do with boxed dough, it is moist enough that it will not try out.

 1. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4.
2. Combine nuts, sugar and spices in a food processor and pulse on high until finely chopped. If you do not have a food processor chop with a sharp knife as fine as you can. Set aside
 3. Trim your phyllo sheets to fit in your pan
4. Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo sheet
 5. Brush the first phyllo sheet with butter and repeat approximately 5 times ending with butter. (Most recipes say more, but homemade phyllo is thicker so it's not needed)
6. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
 7. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
8. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
9. Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
10. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top

 11. Continue layering and buttering phyllo 5 more times. On the top layer, make sure you have a piece of phyllo with no holes if possible, just looks better.
12. Once you have applied the top layer tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.
 13. With a Sharp knife cut your baklava in desired shapes and number of pieces. If you can't cut all the ways through don’t worry you will cut again later. A 9x9 pan cuts nicely into 30 pieces. Then brush with a generous layer of butter making sure to cover every area and edge
  14. Bake for approximately 30 minutes; remove from oven and cut again this time all the way through. Continue baking for another 30 minutes. (Oven temperatures will vary, you are looking for the top to be a golden brown, take close watch yours may need more or less time in the oven)

15. When baklava is cooked remove from oven and pour the cooled (will still be warmish) syrup evenly over the top, taking care to cover all surfaces when pouring. It looks like it is a lot but over night the syrup will soak into the baklava creating a beautifully sweet and wonderfully textured baklava!
 Next morning all syrup is absorbed
 16. Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cover and store at room temperature. Allow the baklava to sit overnight to absorb the syrup.
17. Serve at room temperature

Freezing/Storage Instructions/Tips: There are a few ways to store your Baklava. It is recommended that you store your baklava at room temperature in an airtight container. Stored at room temperature your baklava will last for up to 2 weeks. You will notice as the days pass it will get a little juicier and chewier. You may choose to store it in the fridge; this will make it a little harder and chewy, but does increase the shelf life. You can also freeze your baklava and then just set it out at room temperature to thaw.

June 2011 Daring Bakers’ Challenge # 53: 
From Phyllo to Baklava 


  1. Mmm...this looks so delicious and thanks for sharing the step by step recipe :)

  2. Omg, simply irresistible and wonderful baklavas..

  3. your baklava looks fantastic very yummy, Great job!



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