How to Make Tasty Baklava at Home
If you are a pastry enthusiast, then you are probably not new to Baklava and its attractiveness. On the outside, the snack looks like a regular meat pie, but when you bite into it, you are left with a mouthful of goodness. The inside of this succulent, tasty and sweet dessert is filled with layers of delicate filo pastry and chopped nuts bound by honey or syrup. This delicacy is typical in areas like the middle east, Central Asia, and Greece, and so there are variations including Turkish Baklava and Arabic Baklava. The interesting fact about this pastry is the origin of its name and how nobody seems to remember where it came from. Different languages have their own pronunciation of the word with some similarities between them. Some argue that the name is borrowed from the Ottoman Turkish, while others associate it with Turkish and Arabic roots. There is also the idea that the actual word has Mongolian roots, originating from the word bayla which means ‘to tie, wrap up, pile up.’ It is combined with the ‘v’ that makes it a Turkic ending. On the Armenian front, it is believed that the word is related to the ‘Bahki-Halva’ which means Lenten Sweet. To fully appreciate the worth of this delicious dessert, you’ll have to know where it comes from and what goes into it. In this article, the details concerning making Baklava will be revealed, and your confidence in preparing the snack will be improved by the end.
A Little Background Information
As mentioned earlier, it is quite challenging to trace the real origin of the dessert since its evolution does not have adequate documentation. As the years have passed, many variations of the dish have emerged in different parts of the world with some countries claiming its origin. Turkey and Greece are some of the nations claiming to be the originator, partly because there is not much difference between both recipes. Several schools of thought exist about where the dessert emerged from. These are the Central Asian Turkic recipe, the Persian lauzinaq, and the Roman Placenta cake. The Roman times has the record of the oldest recipe characterized by layered baked dough covered in honey. This method went as far back as the Second Century BCE and was identified by Patrick Faas as the actual place of origin of Baklava. Baklava was often compared to lauzinaq because to some; they were similar. The lauzinaq, however, was this pastry wrapping little pieces of almond paste. The current form of Baklava is proposed to have originated from Instanbul from the Imperial Kitchens of the Topkapi Palace.
How to Prepare the Delicacy
The first things you’ll need are the ingredients. They include sugar, honey, water, lemon juice, light corn sugar, two cinnamon sticks, cloves, and cardamom for the syrup. For the fillings, nuts, sugar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, thawed phyllo dough, butter, and vegetable oil.
- Making the filling
First, put the lemon juice, water, sugar, honey in a saucepan on the stove. There is a chance that the mixture will crystallize and in order to prevent this, add a little light corn syrup. You can add spices if desired to give it a spicy taste and also add cloves to taste. Put the mixture on low heat and stir while it is cooking until it becomes a light syrup. It is better to mix with a wooden spoon so that the heat will not transfer. After the sugar has melted, allow the mixture to simmer and thicken, and then remove the spices. The syrup is probably ready when it is 225° You can use a simple blender to chop up the nuts for the filling. Put the chopped nuts in a bowl and add sugar and cinnamon. You can add cloves if you want it to be spicier. Stir until you have an even distribution of all the ingredients.
- Making the Baklava
Heat the oven before time to about 350°F and grease the baking pan. Then melt about one cup of butter in a microwave or on the stove if you prefer that and use vegetable oil as a healthier option. Unwrap a sheet of phyllo into a greased pan and use a brush to smear the melted butter into the dough. Repeat the process until you have multiple layers of the dough. Spread the nuts evenly over the stacked levels of the phyllo. Spread the same number of sheets over the spread nuts to make the cover of the baklava. Trim the edges of the to give it a neat look. To have it easy cutting and shaping the Baklava, use a serrated knife. The issue of how to cut Baklava is entirely up to you according to the shapes to like.
- Baking Baklava
Sprinkle the top of the dessert with water and put in the oven to bake. Cold water will keep the cover from curling while cooking. Bake the Baklava for 15 minutes under 300° Reinforce the cuts in the baklava after taking it out for a while. Pour the syrup over the phyllo to it up. Cover the baked goods with a foil and leave for 4 hours before serving. Baklava tastes best a day after cooking.
To Wrap It Up
Baklava is mainly known by its sweetness and exotic fillings, and not many dislike it. It is easy to buy the dessert from restaurants because of the quality. Coincidentally, it is equally possible to make at home. At some point, you will get exhausted from tasting someone else’s recipe, and it wouldn’t make it any better knowing you can make it yourself. The plus side of doing it yourself is that you can add or remove ingredients that your body or preference might not agree with. It is also inexpensive to prepare as compared to buying from outside because it can last for about two weeks. Also, you get to add one more specialty to your list of culinary experience: it is a win-win situation. The recipe is also fun to prepare because the dish is versatile and allows you to include your personal touches to it. Now that you have the information, you need to have a wonderful time trying your hands on it.