Baklava (Bok-la-va) is a very popular Greek dessert, and I’m so in love with it!
So, what is it?
Baklava is deliciously rich and gooey – loaded with sweet honey and nuts nestled between layers of crispy pastry dough called Phyllo. It’s a bite-sized, flakey dessert that leaves your fingers an absolute mess. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
You can find this delectable dessert in every small Cretan coffee shop, along with many other types of Greek desserts, Cretan Tiropita’s (cheese pies) and Spanakopita’s (spinach pies).
Baklava has a variety of fillings including walnuts, almonds, poppy seeds, ground sesame, honey, syrup and sugar. The Greeks use a walnut filling with tons of honey while the Turks use pistachios with a lot of butter. The Lebanese like a much drier version with sugar or simple syrup with rose-water, and a combo of pistachios and walnuts.
Where did it come from?
It’s hard to say exactly where Baklava originated. It has been traced to Turkey; however, it’s a very popular dessert all over the Middle-East and Near-East. It’s considered an Ottoman dessert, with old reports stating that it was consumed during ceremonies, banquets and in the mansion houses during the Ottoman Empire. It was known to be made for wealthy people, since such a simple pastry needed a lot of skill to make.
Baklava can now be found all over the world, including your own kitchen! And with modern baking technology, tools and this post – it’s super easy to make!
Print, bake and engulf my Traditional Greek Baklava recipe (found at the bottom of this post).
But before you do!
Finish reading for some worthwhile tips…
… and don’t do what I did; by starting to prep your mixture and coat the pan with butter, only to find out you need to defrost the phyllo dough for two hours before use! (slap in the face)
- Defrost your phyllo dough for two hours (or as instructed on the package).
- You don’t have to follow the “mixture” measurements perfectly, a little off and you’re A-Okay.
- By all means, you want pistachios or almonds instead? Go for it!
- Once the phyllo is defrosted, remove it from the package and check the length. I had to cut my large rectangle piece into two squares and overlap the layers a little.
- Don’t worry, if the dough tears a little it’s perfectly fine. Just keep layering the sheets (with sprinkled butter in between)
- You can use the “more honey/less sugar” ratio if you would like. I accidentally didn’t have enough sugar, so I opted for a little more honey and it came out just fine.
- Vegan? Try all sugar (and veggie margarine) and let me know how it comes out!
Make sure you put the baklava in the fridge for at least 15 minutes before cutting it. It’s tough to cut through if it’s not cold, and all your layers could get smooshed together because the dough is so thin!
Did you devour your Baklava right out of the oven? I pretty much did!
Let me know what you think of this delicious treat in the comments below!