Sunday, December 23, 2012

Taste Buds: Baklava


I have been wanting to try making Baklava for years but have always been hesitant. To make Baklava you need to handle phyllo Dough, and handling that finicky dough I had heard was difficult at best. With Mr. Rogue home and since we were having people over for Christmas dinner we decided to try to make some. I have to say that although yes, phyllo dough is a little temperamental, it isnt impossible to use. In fact with Mr. Rogue and I working together I think that we did a great job.

The key to making Baklava is to have all the ingredients ready before opening the dough, to work quickly and to keep the dough moist. Other than that it was pretty easy. Oh and by the way so super tasty!

14 sheets Phyllo Dough
4 cups rough chopped walnuts
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 stick butter, melted
2 cups honey
½ cup water
½ cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Phyllo dough can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store. Make sure to put the phyllo dough in the refrigerator at least 24 hours before you start making this recipe. Remove from refrigerator one hour before using.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3. Toss together the chopped walnuts and cinnamon in a large bowl.
4. Melt butter in a bowl and have a pastry brush on hand.
5. Get a large 13x9 baking pan and butter the bottom and sides.
6. Phyllo dough is a little tricky. It dries out quickly and it is so thin it is hard to handle. If you move quickly and keep the dough moist you have a better chance of success. Have all the ingredients ready before opening the phyllo dough. Have a sheet of wax paper and a damp kitchen towel as well on hand. When working with the phyllo dough only remove the sheets you immediately need, keeping the other sheets coved in the wax paper and covered with a damp cloth.
7. Butter the top sheet of phyllo with melted butter, grab this sheet and the unbuttered sheet below it. Set the two sheets in the pan buttered sheet facing down. Press lightly into the pan folding over the edges so they lay flat if the dough is larger than the pan. Repeat this twice more so you have six sheets of phyllo dough in the pan.
7. Sprinkle on a layer of walnuts about 1/3 of the bowl. Butter a single sheet of phyllo dough and place it on top of the walnuts butter side down. Repeat this again so you have two sheets of phyllo dough over the walnuts. Repeat this two more times with the top layer having four single buttered phyllo sheets.
8. Butter generously the final sheet on top of your dish.
9. Using a sharp knife cut the baklava in diagonal or straight lines to make individual sized portions. Cut all the way through the phyllo dough sheets until you hit the bottom of the pan.
10. Bake for 30-45 minutes until the top of the baklava is very brown.
11. While the baklava is baking make the sauce. Combine honey, water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan. Stirring constantly bring to a rolling boil, about 8-10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low. Stirring every five minutes simmer for 15 minutes.
12. Remove the baklava from the oven, drizzle half of the sauce over the top. Wait 3 minutes and then pour the rest of the sauce onto the top of the baklava. Make sure you try to get all the tops wet, I like to use a spoon on the second pour.
13. Allow baklava to cool, uncovered for 3 hours. Enjoy!

STORAGE NOTES: Keep baklava uncovered for storing (I like to use a paper towel gently draped across the top just to keep flying bits out of it). If you cover your baklava with tin foil or saran wrap just know that the phyllo dough will retain more moisture and start to get soggy and chewy. Uncovered baklava can sit on your countertop for about a week and a half. Just know that it will get more goey as time goes on and is best in the first few days. This recipe freezes well. Simply place your squares on a piece of wax paper. Wrap with the wax paper and then place in a freezer bag. These do get crushed easily so if you would like you can put them in a Tupperware as well.


paul peggy zeus said...

AMAZING!! Looks soooo good.

Jess said...

Wish I hadn't been cookie'd out so I would have tried some. I will definitely come starving the next time you make this! xx

Jennifer Arens said...

Glad you tried something new together, however, I have never liked it :-(

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