Traditional Baklava Recipe
Baklava is one of those traditional Balkan desserts that every housewife needs to learn to make before calling themselves that.
Every home in that part of the world has a secret to making baklava their way and making it taste memorable for the house guests.
Most family reunions, celebrations, and other special occasions need a pan of baklava to feel appropriately celebrated.
But if you aren't familiar with this delicacy, you're most likely wondering what is in baklava that makes it so delicious.
We'll explain the process and give you the traditional baklava recipe so you can make it yourself. Once you try it, you'll see why so many people consider it special.
Traditional Baklava Recipe - What Is in Baklava?
The traditional baklava recipe doesn't require many ingredients, but you still can't put it among the most difficult desserts to make.
It helps to sort the ingredients into three different categories. Check them out below:
- Phyllo pastry
You'll have to visit the freezer section at the supermarket to get phyllo pastry. It's most likely next to the pies and pizza dough.
- Nut mix
Usually, walnuts or pistachios are the way to go, but you can go with the nut mix you prefer. There are rules in learning how to make baklava, but baking is an art form, so let yourself improvise when you have a chance.
No, the store-bought version will not be as good as the homemade miracle. So, use honey, water, sugar, and lemon juice to make your edition of the syrup. You can also add orange extract or whole cloves, but that's up to you.
How to Make Baklava - Step by Step
Check out our step-by-step guide and learn how to make one of the most famous traditional Balkan desserts.
- Preheat the oven
As usual, start by preheating the oven. Set it to 350 degrees F and give a couple of minutes to heat up.
- Prepare the honey syrup.
Get a saucepan with water and sugar, and heat it on the stovetop. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves, then add the honey and the orange extract.
Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat and let everything simmer for about 25 minutes. Once it's done, remove the syrup from the stove and let it cool off and thicken a bit.
- Mix the nuts
Using a food processor to chop the nuts slightly will be helpful for this step. But if you don't have one, use a knife to create smaller nut pieces.
Then, get a large mixing bowl, put all the nuts inside, add sugar, ground cloves, and cinnamon.
- Prepare the pastry
Unroll the phyllo pastry and place it between two kitchen towels, so they don't break during the preparation.
- Assemble the first layers
Prepare a baking pan and brush the interior with melted butter.
Then, start placing the phyllo sheets in the pan. It's best to have a pan that resembles the dimensions of the pastry, so you won't have to cut the sheets.
Proceed by placing the sheets and brushing each one with melted butter. Do this until you have used about a third of the pastry.
- Distribute the mix
Spread half of the nut mixture across the pan.
- Keep assembling
Now, repeat layering the sheets and brushing them with butter. Once you spend another third of the pastry, spread the remaining nut mix, and finish with the remaining sheets of baklava.
- Cut it
Cut the baklava into diamond-shaped pieces.
- It's time for baking.
Place the pan in the oven and let the delicacy bake for about 35 to 45 minutes.
- Pour the syrup
Once the baklava is golden brown, take it out of the oven and cover it in syrup. The only thing left to do is let your dessert cool and enjoy!
Get Baklava in the States
If you'd like to try traditional baklava in the United States, visit the BalkanFresh website and order a box!