Erica of Erica’s Edibles challenged the Daring Bakers to prepare Phyllo Sheets from scratch and prepare the famous Baklava. I have always wanted to prepare baklava, but as we don’t get phyllo sheets here, I skipped it. But when I came to know that phyllo sheets can be made at home, I was the happiest person on earth. Preparing the sheets was really a challenging job. I got severe back pain after doing it, but after seeing the end result, I just forgot the pain. The baklava was so tasty and the phyllo sheets were so flaky.
I am very sorry for the length of the post and number of picture. Please bear with me, if I test your patience. But to give you a clear picture it is really important..
We tasted 2 pieces each and I packed everything for my hubby’s colleagues. It has so much butter, nuts and sugar, I was afraid of eating more than two pieces. My H told that they were all gone in a minute. Appreciation is what we need at times to be happy. Okay, let us get on to the recipe..
For rolling the phyllo sheets we need a sleek, long rolling pin. But I have only the usual pin used for rotis. While I was thinking of a perfect rolling pin, I got this idea. My daughter has a tent in which she plays. This can be constructed with some rods. There are rods with varying lengths. I used one such rod for rolling. My daughter was afraid that mommy will not retun her tent rod. So as soon as I finished with rolling, she took it away from me to save it. At least she allowed me to use it.
APF/ Maida-1 1/3cups
1. Mix all the ingredients and prepare a soft dough.
2. Apply oil on dough and place it in a bowl. Cover with cling wrap and set it aside for 2 hours.
3. Knead the dough for 5 minutes. Divide it into equal portions. I made 20 balls out of the dough.
4. Dust the counter with flour. With a sleek roller roll out the dough into a small circle.
5. This process need lot of flour for dusting to avoid sticking of the circle.
6. Roll the circle on the rolling pin as shown in the photo.
7. With both palms, apply pressure on the pin and roll it.
8. Now unwrap the circle from the pin. The circle will be little thinner and little larger.
9. Again roll the circle on the pin and roll the pin applying pressure on the pin. Unwrap the circle.
10. Repeat this process until you get a very thin sheet without tearing the sheet.
11. Place it on a butter paper and cover with another paper to avoid drying of the sheet. As the sheet is very thin it tends to dry faster and will become brittle.
12. When placed on a news paper, the prints should be seen. The sheets must be very thin.
13. You can also prepare these sheets and roll it on a parchment paper and cover with cling wrap and freeze it till further use.
|Divide into small pieces.
|Roll each ball into a circle
|Roll the circle on the rolling pin
|Use both palms and apply pressure on the circle while rolling the pin
|Roll it as thin as possible
|The prints should be seen through the sheets
Brown Sugar-1 1/4cup
1. Take all the ingredients in a sauce pan.
2. Mix it well and bring it to boil.
3. Switch flame to low and allow it to boil for 10minutes.
4. Strain the syrup in a metal strainer and allow it to cool.
|Take all the ingredients in a sauce pan
|Boil it on low flame for 10minutes and strain it
1. Add hot water to almonds and set it aside for 20minutes. Remove skin.
2. Roast peanuts on medium flame till golden brown.
3. Remove skin after cool.
4. Roast walnuts till golden brown. Let it cool.
5. In a mixer grinder grind all the nuts to a coarse powder.
6. Add brown sugar and cardamom powder and mix well.
|Mix all the roasted, powdered nuts with sugar and cardamom powder
Clarified Butter/ Ghee-1/2cup
1. Cut all the sheets to the baking dish’s size. I used a square cake tin which is 6″*6″.
2. Apply ghee on all the sides of the tin.
3. Place a sheet inside the tin and apply a coat of ghee.
4. Keep another sheet on it. Apply a coat of ghee.
5. Use 5 sheets to layer finishing with the ghee layer.
6. Add 8tbs of the filling (the filling layer should be 0.5cm high)on top of the sheet.
7. Repeat another 5 layers of the phyllo sheets with ghee in between the sheets.
8. Totally there should be four phyllo sheet layer and three filling layers in between.
9. After finishing with the layering, apply generous amount of ghee on the top.
10. With a knife, cut out desired shapes. This need not be fully cut now.
11. Preheat oven to 180C.
12. Bake the baklava for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cut it till the bottom.
13. Bake for another 15minutes or until the top is golden brown.
14. Remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup on the hot baklava.
15. You will hear a sizzling sound when the syrup meets the baklava.
16. Add syrup inbetween the cuts. The baklava will absorb the syrup immediately.
17. The amount of syrup depends on personal preferences. If you want a flaky baklava, add little syrup. If you want a juicy and sweet baklava, then add the syrup untill the baklava is fully immersed in syrup.
18. Allow it to cool overnight.
19. All the syrup will be absorbed by the inner layers by this time.
20. Now slice it and serve.
21. I had the pieces of phyllo sheets remaining after the trimming process. I also had extra filling and syrup.
22. So I prepared another baklava in a small circular cake tin. I just patched the pieces to make layers.
23. The final product was very nice and you couldn’t distinguish between the two. So I avoided wasting those cut out pieces of the phyllo sheets.
|Cut the sheets to the size of the baking dish
|20 sheets ready
|Apply ghee and place a sheet on it. Make 5 layers of phyllo sheet and ghee
|Add a layer of the filling
|Cut to desired shape and apply generous amount of ghee
|These are the pieces left out after trimming the sheets
|Patch it to form a layer
|This is the baklava prepared by patching
|Bake till golden brown
|Syrup poured until the top layer is immersed
|Patch worked baklava. You couldn’t see the difference
|Serve it after 12 hours