It’s time to make your friends and family (& your sweet tooth) very happy with some delicious homemade baklava! Preparing baklava is very time-consuming and requires a little bit of patience (you will be working with many filo dough layers). We always bake baklava on the weekend because it does take over an hour to prepare and bake.
Baklava has a very rich and sweet taste, and of course is high in sugar and crisco, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging in this yummy treat on special occasions. Of course you can buy pre-made baklava but I know from experience that homemade baklava tastes so much better!
Prep time: 50 minutes to an hour
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
Filo Dough – 2 16 oz. packages (if you prefer less filo, you can use half a package for each section)
2 cups of Crisco (or butter)
1 32. oz bag of Walnuts
1/2 cup of Sugar
2 tablespoons Rose Water
Atyr (ingredients and recipe)
2 teaspoons of rose water
4 cups of sugar
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Mix sugar, water and rose water and bring to boil and let simmer for 5 minutes. Turn stove off and add lemon juice and let cool
12 x 16 baking sheet
1. Melt crisco in a pot on the stove on medium heat. You can also melt it in the microwave with a measuring cup (your preference).
2. Put your walnuts in a food processor and grind until fine and add to a separate bowl (also your preference, you can have it so fine that it’s like dust, or you can have it crunchier).
3. Add a half a cup of sugar (used to bind walnuts together while baking) and 2 tablespoons of rose water to walnuts and mix it all together and set aside
4. For your bottom layer of baklava:
– You will use one package of filo for your bottom layer and the other package for the top.
– Be sure to work quickly with filo, it will dry and get crispy
– Brush the bottom of your baking sheet with melted crisco, add a sheet of filo and brush over it, then add another sheet of filo dough and repeat with each sheet (you can do 2 sheets at once and while brushing hold down with the other hand to keep the filo from sliding). *Flatten sheet down with your hands before brushing to keep bubbles from forming
– Don’t worry about a piece of the filo dough being wrinkled or broken, patch it up with a brush of crisco and keep going, it is a forgiving dough & in the end you will not see the errors.
5. Add walnut mixture and spread evenly onto filo dough layer (amount added is your preference). We used all of our mixture in this size baking sheet. Pat down the mix with your hands or a spatula
6. Dip your brush into crisco and drizzle it over walnuts to give it a base for your top level
7. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
8. Add a sheet of filo dough over mixture.
– The first sheet will be a little more challenging, just gently brush it
– Depending on your pan size, one sheet of filo might not cover the pan, add your sheets starting on the right edge then on the left to cover the whole area (don’t be afraid to overlap to get it all covered)
9. Continue adding your filo dough and brushing the top of each sheet. *When brushing on crisco, try not to brush over the edge of your baking sheet as this could start a fire in your oven.
10. You can cut your baklava however you’d like. Here is how Eva does it:
- Using a ruler mark a halfway spot in your pan horizontally and then halfway vertically. The point is to make even size squares so that the squares can then be cut in half (see below).
11. Place on bottom rack for 35 minutes and 5 minutes on the top rack.
12. Remove your baklava from the oven and immediately pour atyr over it with a large deep spoon, Eva pours it down each row
Let it cool and enjoy!
Source: Eva’s Lebanese Cooking