FROM PHYLLO TO BAKLAVA!! Along with Daring Bakers

Time to reveal the Daring bakers challenge for June.
This month’s challenge is hosted by Erica, from Erica’s Edibles.
She chose one of my fav middle eastern sweet..The Baklava , a sweet rich pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and nuts sweetened with simple syrup

It was indeed a challenge for me as I added a little extra water to dough and it was super sticky..!!
I somehow managed to roll about 10 layers and stacked each layer after dusting enough flour b/w layers
By the time I finished rolling the 11th layer..I got the shocker!! I saw that all 10 layers have been merged to one thick sheet!! Sigh Sigh..
So I had to do the dough all over again!! On second attempt the dough was just perfect
With little more exercise to my shoulders/hands I managed to get another 15 phyllo sheets!!
I am skipping gym for next week, had enough shoulder workout for a week:-)

So here goes the recipe

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)

1. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour and salt
2. Mix with paddle attachment
3. Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl.
4. Add water & oil mixture with mixer on low speed, mix until you get a soft dough, if it appears dry add a little more water (I had to add a tablespoon more)
5. Change to the dough hook and let knead approximately 10 minutes. You will end up with beautiful smooth dough. If you are kneading by hand, knead approx. 20 minutes.
6. Remove the dough from mixer and continue to knead for 2 more minutes. Pick up the dough and through it down hard on the counter a few times during the kneading process.
7. Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil
8. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best
Rolling your Phyllo
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. Wrap the dough around your rolling pin/dowel
5. Roll back and forth quickly with the dough remaining on the towel
6.  Rotate and repeat until it is as thin as you can it. Don’t worry if you get rips in the dough, as long as you have one perfect one for the top you will never notice.
7. 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
8. Set aside on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flour well.

For the syrup:
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) honey
1 1/4 cups (300ml) water
1 1/4 cups (300 ml) (280 gm/10 oz) sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 (2-inch/50 mm) piece fresh citrus peel (lemon or orange work best)
a few cloves or a pinch or ground clove
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.
Once boiled for 10 minutes remove from heat and strain cinnamon stick and lemon, allow to cool as baklava cooks.

For the Filling:
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
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
1 cup (2 sticks) (240 ml) (225g/8 oz) melted butter

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

Assembling the Baklava
Trim your phyllo sheets to fit in your pan
Brush bottom of pan with butter and place first phyllo sheet
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)
Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
Continue layering phyllo and buttering repeating 4 times
Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top
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.
Once you have applied the top layer tuck in all the edges to give a nice appearance.
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
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)
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
Allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled cover and store at room temperature. Allow the baklava to sit overnight to absorb the syrup.
Serve at room temperature


  1. Looks superb..beautifully made..

  2. Looks delicious ...though the steps seems to be very but worth it I guess

  3. Indeed a fantastic challenge, can see so many incredible baklavas today, well executed Ramya,they looks gorgeous..

  4. gorgeous! so lovely to see my fav sweet on everyone's blog!

  5. Looks delicious...yummy it looks

  6. Superb DB challege this time... Perfect treat...

  7. wanted to try for so long... ths luks awesome!!

  8. wow so tempting !! looks so wonderful !!

  9. Vow, absolutely delcious. Awesome clicks.

  10. Tempting superb recipe..real appealing one,love to have that!!

  11. wow well done dear !! looks so perfect and yummy !!

  12. Looks so yummy and tempting,simply superb.

  13. Wow ~ great work! I never ever thought phyloo can be made at home n you did a wonderful job here ~ the baklavas look decadent too!
    US Masala

  14. Home made baklava is always perfect. Looks awesome.

  15. Looks beautiful and feel like grabbing one to taste

  16. very nicely done..looks beautiful and delicious.

  17. Wonderful work dear....delicious sweet and beautiful clicks...

  18. WOW, I am SO impressed! Just beautiful! I passed this month as I'd have to eat the whole batch one likes nuts but me!

  19. super gorunuyor baklava turkiyenin meshur tatlisi elinize saglik

  20. Superb baklava. The details and tips almost convinced I can make it. Love it!!

  21. I can't imagine how horrible discovery it must have been for you that the layers had merged into one! I rolled out about 40 layers and was absolutely exhausted! However, your final result is spectacular and as always I'm in love with your photos!

  22. your baklava looks amazing!!! great job

  23. I am so impressed you made the dough twice, and with a rolling pin. I had a similar problem with the dough sticking together and ended up just baking the filing with only a few sheets of dough. Your second attempt looks perfect!



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