This Baklava recipe is the easiest one you'll find on the internet for crispy, delicious Baklava. It actually stays crispy for days! It features layers of phyllo dough, filled with crushed and chopped pistachios, topped with the perfect simple syrup that soaks in without making your Baklava soggy.
- WHAT IS BAKLAVA?
- WHERE DID BAKLAVA ORIGINATE FROM?
- DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OF BAKLAVA AROUND THE WORLD
- 🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED TO MAKE BAKLAVA AT HOME
- 🔪 HOW TO MAKE BAKLAVA STEP BY STEP
- 💭 COOKING TIPS
- 📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS OF BAKLAVA
- 🍲 MORE MIDDLE EASTERN DESSERT RECIPES
- 🌡️ HOW TO STORE BAKLAVA
- 📖 Recipe
Other recipes on the internet have extra steps to make sure your Baklava stays crispy, or make you prepare the simple syrup in advance to allow it to cool down before pouring it on top of your Baklava. That's so many steps and a lot of waiting!
My recipe has a secret method that I've learned from my Middle Eastern friends. It'll give you the perfect and most deliciously crispy Baklava you've ever had without any waiting or additional steps. It'll also ensure your Baklava doesn't have any extra syrup or ghee to give you foolproof results every time!
If you're not sure what Baklava is or its origin, you'll learn all that and more in my post. I'll also teach you the perfect method of making Baklava every single time and how to create variations to make this recipe your own!
Want to learn how to make Baklava? Then keep on reading!
WHAT IS BAKLAVA?
Baklava (pronounced bah-klah-vah) consists of layers of crisp phyllo dough filled with a sugary spiced nut mixture and soaked in a delicious sweet syrup flavored with lemon juice for a classic Mediterranean dessert.
This dessert is sometimes synonymous with a ton of labor and effort, but my recipe lays it all out straightforwardly. You will get the tastiest Baklava you've ever had without all the extra steps.
The secret to having the perfect Baklava is ensuring the phyllo dough layers stay nice and crispy instead of getting soggy. Other recipes call for extra steps to get this done and will also ask you to make the syrup in advance to allow it to cool, etc. But my recipe is so easy that even a first-time baker can try it!
My recipe comes with not only step-by-step instructions and pictures but also a video and has incredibly easy steps and a secret method that'll give you crispy, fresh Baklava for days after preparing.
WHERE DID BAKLAVA ORIGINATE FROM?
Baklava was introduced to the rest of the United States by Greek Americans, who carried the recipe with them when they immigrated to the United States from Greece in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
However, Baklava can be traced back hundreds of years in some form to the cooking traditions of many different nations. Thin layers of bread/pastry stuffed with different sweets were probably a regional tradition in the Mediterranean, Southeast Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East.
Food historians think that the modern version of Baklava might have been made in Turkey during the time of the Ottoman Empire. It was then adapted further in Greece and other former Ottoman countries.
But the Assyrian Empire in the eighth century BC was the first to layer unleavened bread with nuts and honey; many believe that's where this delicious dessert originated. This would place the origins of Baklava in what is now Northern Iraq.
The layered phyllo dessert with fillings of nuts, spices, sugar, and a sweet syrup that we are familiar with today is likely a mashup of versions from various cultures that traveled to each other and spread their culture as they went.
Today, it is a trendy dessert enjoyed widely in most Middle Eastern countries and across the Mediterranean, such as Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Iran, Azerbaijan, UAE, Iraq, etc., and in western countries like the United States.
DIFFERENT VARIATIONS OF BAKLAVA AROUND THE WORLD
As you've learned above, Baklava is a favorite in many countries worldwide, especially in the Middle East and Mediterranean region, where it's said to originate from.
For this reason, you'll find subtle differences in the Baklava everywhere. However, the main concept of the recipe and dish itself is almost identical: layers of phyllo dough filled with crushed nuts and topped with sweet syrup.
The traditional Baklava in Turkey is also known as fistikli Baklava or pistachio baklava, and is made using phyllo pastry, melted butter, and a simple syrup made using sugar, water, and lemon juice. In terms of nuts, finely chopped pistachios are most commonly used.
Greek Baklava includes walnuts instead of pistachios, and the dessert is commonly flavored with cinnamon. Baklava is very similar to Turkey's in the Middle East, but the syrup is often flavored with rose water.
Baklava in Azerbaijan features walnuts and almonds, while the one in Armenia is flavored with cinnamon and cloves. In this way, there are slight variations across the region, but they all taste incredible and are true baklavas in every sense of the word.
My recipe is the classic combination featuring pistachios, but you can easily modify it to include any nuts you want, even hazelnuts! You'll get the most delicious Baklava you've ever had in the easiest way!
🥘 INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED TO MAKE BAKLAVA AT HOME
Making this delicious Baklava recipe is easier than you think! In fact, this is the easiest recipe you'll come across that'll always give you foolproof results. Let's look at some of the main ingredients you'll need.
You can scroll down to the recipe card for further details and instructions.
Phyllo dough: First, we'll need some phyllo (filo) pastry sheets. You can buy store-bought frozen phyllo dough or fresh ones from your nearest Middle Eastern store. Either way, you'll end up with the best flavor ever!
Nuts: In this recipe, we'll be using pistachios. I recommend crushing or chopping some and grinding the others, as this will add a beautiful texture to your Baklava. Please check out my recipe variations section and cooking tips below for alternative nuts.
Ghee: We'll use some ghee in our recipe to get that perfectly crispy texture. Ghee is clarified butter; you can easily buy it in stores or make your own ghee at home. It adds a deeper flavor than just melted butter, but you can use it as a substitute if that's all you have at hand.
Sugar: We need granulated white sugar to make our delicious sugar syrup which we will flavor with some lemon juice.
🔪 HOW TO MAKE BAKLAVA STEP BY STEP
The full instructions are in the recipe card below, but let's look at the main steps to making this treat.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Then add the pistachios, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and water into a small bowl and mix it well with your hand. Keep it aside for now.
Cut your phyllo sheets to fit a 9" square or round pan, as shown in the video. Brush the bottom of the pan with ghee and place 11 layers of phyllo sheets at the bottom.
Top these sheets with the pistachio mixture you prepared earlier. Spread it evenly with your hand, and press it down gently. Place another 11 sheets of phyllo dough in the same way and press it down.
Cut the layered Baklava into equal squares. The knife should cut through the bottom sheets too. Then heat the ghee and pour it gradually and gently over the baklava sheets. Wait for 1 minute, then tilt the pan from all sides to ensure the ghee is distributed evenly and reaches the bottom sheets.
Now bake the Baklava in a preheated oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for 10 minutes. The Baklava should look golden brown and dry.
While baking, make the syrup by adding sugar, water, and lemon juice in a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil on the stovetop. Let it boil for 9 minutes.
Place the baked Baklava while hot on the kitchen counter and pour the piping hot syrup all over it evenly. The Baklava will sizzle, which is normal. After 3 minutes, place an empty bowl on the kitchen counter and carefully tilt the baklava pan over it. The extra ghee and syrup will pour out into the bowl.
Leave the Baklava to set for 4 hours, garnish with chopped pistachio, and enjoy it with coffee or mint tea. Your delicious Baklava is ready to be served.
💭 COOKING TIPS
- I have used frozen phyllo sheets. You must allow it to thaw completely by taking the frozen dough out of the freezer for 3 or 4 hours.
- You can also use freshly made phyllo sheets which, in my opinion, is much better. You can find it in Middle Eastern stores near you.
- I have ground some pistachios and crushed the rest because this is how we like it at home. You can ground all the pistachios.
- Many recipes online ask for the syrup to be cold and poured over hot Baklava. If you do it the way I show you in the video, you can eliminate the extra ghee and syrup. Also, the Baklava will stay crunchy for days.
- You have to rotate the pan after 20 minutes of baking. It is best not to open the oven door before that time.
- You can make your ghee at home following my recipe on this blog.
- Always cover the phyllo sheets with a damp towel while working, or the sheets will get dry and will break and wrinkle.
- If you want to go 100% authentic, add one and a half teaspoons of rose water to the syrup after taking off the heat. My family and I are not so fond of it, so I have skipped it.
📖 DELICIOUS VARIATIONS OF BAKLAVA
You'll get the most classic flavor by following my recipe. If you're looking for some variation ideas, here are some I recommend you try:
Greek Baklava: To modify this recipe and turn it into Greek baklava, replace the pistachios with walnuts and follow all the instructions in the same way.
Middle Eastern Baklava: Add half a teaspoon of rose water to your syrup for a traditional Middle Eastern version before taking it off the heat. Then soak your Baklava with it and follow the rest of the steps in the recipe.
Nuts version: You can make a mixed nuts version by combining pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, and even almonds. Cut it into squares or diamonds!
🍲 MORE MIDDLE EASTERN DESSERT RECIPES
🌡️ HOW TO STORE BAKLAVA
Storing Baklava is easy! Plus, what's best is that you can make this delicious dessert ahead of time because it stores really well. Store it for up to 2 weeks in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
Storing it at room temperature will help to preserve its crispy texture. You can also store it in the fridge. You'll know when your Baklava is at the end of its life when it starts to dry out.
You can even freeze your Baklava for up to 4 months! Just allow it to thaw, and then enjoy your delicious treat!
The Easiest Baklava Recipe
FOR THE BAKLAVA
- 22 sheets phyllo dough cut to 9” square or round depending on the size of the pan you are using
- 200 grams pistachio crush some and ground the rest
- 2 teaspoon sugar
- 225 grams ghee
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ teaspoon green cardamom powder
- 2 teaspoon water
FOR THE SYRUP
- 2 cup sugar
- 1 ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
TO MAKE THE SYRUP:
- In a small pan, add the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Mix well, and bring to a boil. Let it boil for 9 minutes.
- Pour it on the baked baklava while piping hot.
TO ASSEMBLE THE BAKLAVA
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- In a bowl, add the pistachios, sugar, cinnamon, cardamom, and water. Mix well with your hand. Keep aside.
- Make sure the phyllo sheets fit the 9” square or round pan. Brush the bottom of the pan with ghee.
- Place 11 layers of phyllo pastry sheets at the bottom of the pan. Top those sheets with all the pistachio mixture and spread evenly with your hand. Press it down gently.
- Place another 11 sheets of phyllo dough on top of the pistachio mixture and press down.
- Cut the sheets to equal squares using a sharp knife. The knife should cut through the bottom sheets too.
- Heat the ghee and pour it gradually and gently over the baklava sheets. Wait for 1 minute and then tilt the pan from all sides to make sure that the ghee is distributed evenly and is reaching the bottom sheets.
- Cut through the sheets one more time and now it will be easier to reach the bottom sheets.
- Bake the baklava in a preheated oven for 20 minutes and then rotate the pan and bake for 10 minutes. The baklava should look medium brown and dry.
- Place the baked baklava while hot on the kitchen counter and pour the piping hot syrup all over it evenly. The baklava will sizzle which is normal.
- After 3 minutes, place an empty bowl on the kitchen counter, and tilt the baklava pan over it carefully. The extra ghee and syrup will pour out in the bowl.
- Leave the baklava to set for 4 hours and then garnish with chopped pistachio and enjoy it with coffee or mint tea.
- The Nutrition value is calculated after draining the extra syrup and ghee.
- I have used frozen phyllo sheets. You have to allow it to thaw completely by taking the frozen dough out of the freezer for 3 or 4 hours.
- You can also use freshly made phyllo sheets which, in my opinion, is much better. You can find it in Middle Eastern stores.
- I have ground some pistachios and crushed them because this is how we like it at home, but you can ground all the pistachios.
- Many recipes online ask for the syrup to be cold and poured over hot baklava, but if you do it the way I show you in the video, you can get rid of the extra ghee and syrup. Also, the baklava will stay crunchy for days.
- You have to rotate the pan after 20 minutes of baking, and it is best not to open the oven door before that time.
- You can make your ghee at home following my recipe on this blog.
- Always cover the phyllo sheets with a damp towel while working, or the sheets will get dry and will break and will wrinkle while baking.
- If you want to go 100% authentic, add one and half teaspoons of rose water to the syrup after taking off the heat. My family and I are not so fond of it, so I have skipped it.
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