Making Baklava from scratch is a snap. This Baklava recipe has the best sugar syrup recipe as well. #lebanesebaklavarecipe

Baklava

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What is Baklava?

Baklava is a delicious crisp phyllo pastry made with layers of a sugary, cinnamon-spiced nut mixture. Baklava is a very popular dessert in Middle Eastern countries. 

Every summer I travel to Lebanon and bring dozens of Baklava back with me.  Unfortunately, as I’m sure many of you have experienced, our plans were canceled thanks to the COVID pandemic. Since I couldn’t restock during my annual trip, I decided it was about time to make my own. I have to admit, this pastry baking thing was a real success. 

Making Baklava from scratch is a snap. This Baklava recipe has the best sugar syrup recipe as well. #lebanesebaklavarecipe

I always thought that homemade Baklava was a big undertaking, but it was actually much easier than I expected.  This step-by-step baklava recipe will have you making homemade Baklava like a pro within no time!

What You Need to Make Baklava From Scratch? 

  • Sugar Syrup: water, sugar, lemon juice and a scent of rose water.
  • Phyllo Dough: I find those at my local grocery store, in the frozen section. 
  • Cinnamon Nut-Mixture: I like to use a mix of pistachio and walnuts together. But you can feel free to use a different combination of nuts.  Some people also use only walnuts, or only pistachios. baklava nut mixture

Tips for Making Baklava: 

  • Plan on making this recipe ahead of time, you need to thaw the phyllo dough according to package, usually in the fridge overnight.
  • Always start this recipe by making the sugar syrup, as you need to allow it to cool completely before pouring it on to your baklava.
  • Chop your nuts into coarse chunks, rather than fine pieces. This will give your baklava a great texture.   
  • Always keep your phyllo dough covered in a clean damp towel while assembling your baklava, as they tend to dry quick.  
  • Cut the assembled baklava into pieces before baking.
  • Add sugar syrup after baking, while it is still very hot. 

Making Baklava from scratch is a snap. This Baklava recipe has the best sugar syrup recipe as well. #lebanesebaklavarecipe

Baklava

Yield: 18-20 pieces
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

Baklava is a delicious phyllo pastry made with layers of a sugary, cinnamon-spiced nut mixture, and is a very popular dessert in Middle Eastern countries.

Ingredients

For the baklava:

  • 1 pound of coarsely chopped walnuts or pistachios- about 4 cups (I like the combination of both together)
  • 1 pound of phyllo dough, thawed
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Finely ground pistachios for garnish (optional)

For the syrup:

Instructions

    Make the Sugar Syrup: 

  1. In a small sauce pan, combine sugar and water over medium-high heat. Stir well until sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Add lemon juice.
  4. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for another 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the syrup from heat.
  6. Add rose water, if you'd like, give it a quick stir and set aside.
  7. Make the Nut Mixture:

    1. In your food processor, add your choice of nuts (I used 2 cups of pistachios and 2 cups of walnuts). Pulse a few times until nuts are coarsely chopped but not too fine.
    2. Transfer to a large mixing bowl, add cinnamon and combine well.

    To Prepare Baklava for Baking:

    1. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking tray and preheat the oven to 350 F.
    2. Roll out the Phyllo dough and cover with a damp towel to keep it from drying out. Don't soak your towel 🙂
    3. Trim phyllo dough to fit your baking sheet. I had to trim mine slightly. And remember to always cover phyllo dough back with a damp towel because they tend to try out quick.
    4. Place 8 phyllo sheets into your prepared baking sheet one at a time, brushing the top of each sheet with melted butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next one.
    5. Spread about 3/4 cup of the nut mixture over the butter brushed phyllo dough.
    6. Add another 5 sheets of phyllo,  brushing the top of each sheet with butter once it’s in the pan before adding the next one.
    7. Then spread another 3/4 cup of the nuts mixture. Repeat x 4. Finish off with 8 layers of butter brushed phyllo sheets. 
    8. Also Brush the top layer with butter.

So here how the order actually goes:

8 butter brushed phyllo sheets,

3/4 cup nut mixture

5 buttered brushed phyllo sheets

3/4 cup nut mixture,

5 butter brushed phyllo sheets

3/4 cup nut mixture,

5 butter brushed phyllo sheets

3/4 cup nut mixture

5 butter brushed phyllo sheets

3/4 cup nut mixture

8 butter brushed phyllo sheets

brush the very top layer with butter

    7.  Cut your baklava by making evenly spaced diagonal strips starting from one corner of the tray. Then make another set of diagonal strips to form diamond pieces. Or get creative and cut it into whatever shape you want.

    8. Place the baking tray on the middle rack of your preheated oven.

    9. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the top of baklava is golden brown.

    10. Spoon the cooled sugar syrup over the baklava right away. Try to cover all the diamond pieces evenly.

     11. Allow baklava to cool down before serving.

    12. Garnish with of chopped pistachios- If you'd like.

    13. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

If you’ve tried this popular Lebanese dessert or any other recipe on The Salt and Sweet Kitchen, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. You can also join my brand new Facebook group where you can share a picture of the recipes that you’ve tried 🙂 

More Lebanese desserts? Check out how to make this Knafeh recipe!

Knafeh is a very popular Middle Eastern dessert, that is made out of a layer shredded Phyllo dough, a layer of Mozzarella cheese and a layer of an awesome Knafeh filling mixture. Knafeh is then topped with rosewater flavored syrup. 

 

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