My big fat Greek baklava
Baklava is a rich, sweet pastry popular in Middle Eastern countries made of layers of phyllo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey.
Baklava is normally prepared in large pans. Many layers of filo dough, separated with melted butter are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts—typically walnuts,pistachios or almonds is placed on top, then more layers of phyllo. Most recipes have multiple layers of phyllo and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry.
Greek version of baklava is made with 33 dough layers, referring to the years of Christ’s life.
How to cut it in diamond shape (4 steps)
Repeat the same procedure for all quarters
- 1 package phyllo dough
- 300 gr chopped nuts
- 200gr chopped almonds
- 300 gr butter (My choice is always the Greek award winning dairy products of “Flegga” Company. This specific butter gives not only a delicious fragrance but another dimension of taste to all dishes, sweets and savoury)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon clove powder
- 1/2 teaspoon nut
Ingredients or the syrup:
2 cup water
2 cup white sugar
1 orange peel
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup honey
- Preheat oven to 160° C. In a bowl, melt the butter .
- Butter the bottoms and sides of a 33×23 pan.
- Process the nuts until in small, even sized pieces. Combine with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves powder. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough.Place a sheet of phyllo dough into the pan. Using a pastry brush, brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Repeat more times until you have 10 sheets layered.Sprinkle 2 – 3 tablespoons of nut/almond mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go.Continue to repeat the nut/almond mixture and two buttered sheets of phyllo until the nut mixture is all used up. The top layer should be about 10 sheets deep. With a cuisine scissors cut out all edges of phyllo.
- Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake baklava for about 1 hour until the top is golden brown and crisp and the lower phyllo layers beneath the nut/almond mixture are thoroughly baked through. To test this, use a knife to lift up a corner of one of the pastry rectangles from the center of the pan so you can peek at the bottom layers . If the top starts to get too brown before the pastry is cooked through, lay a piece of foil over the top.
- .While baking, make the syrup.Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add orange peel, cinnamon sticks and honey. Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon syrup it . Serve at room temperature.
Saragli’ is a traditional Christmas Greek sweet with plenty of grated walnuts and crispy phyllo drizzled with sweet and spicy syrup.
It is basically “baklava” that is rolled instead of layered. Phyllo sheets are brushed with butter, covered in a seasoned walnut mixture, and rolled up.
If you like crispy pastries, dried fruits, an intense scent of cinnamon and cloves in your home, this is the right recipe for you! Merry Christmas!
This recipe has been adapted by Akis Petretzikis saragli recipe
- 500 g granulated sugar – 300 ml water – 4 cloves – 1 cinnamon stick – Rind from 1 orange – juice of half orange
- 400 g butter
- 100 g walnuts
- 100 g almonds
- 100 g pistachio nuts
- 2teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground cloves
- 2 packages phyllo dough (900 g)
- pistachio nuts, ground, for serving
- In a pot, add the sugar, water, cinnamon stick, cloves and orange rind.
- Place pot over medium heat.
- In about 2-3 minutes, as soon as the sugar melts, remove pot from heat.
- Add the orange juice, stir and set aside to cool.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
- In a food processor grind the walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and cloves together. You don’t want to finely grind them but you don’t want to have large pieces because they will rip through the phyllo dough.
- Transfer the filling to a bowl and transfer the melted butter to a separate bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 160° C (320° F)
- Spread out the phyllo dough on a clean working surface.
- Lay one sheet of phyllo dough separately on your working surface. Drizzle with melted butter, making sure not to let the brush directly touch the phyllo.
- Cover with another sheet of phyllo and drizzle with butter.
- Spread the filling over the entire surface.
- Place two wooden sticks in the middle of the phyllo and roll the smaller side towards the middle, leaving an empty space at the edge.
- Do not roll too tight and gently press the ends together towards the middle with your hands, creating folds in the phyllo and remove the sticks.
- Brush a 30×40 cm baking pan with butter and add the sargli.
- Drizzle with butter immediately and repeat the same process until the baking pan is full of saragli rolls.
- When the pan is full, drizzle any leftover butter over the sargli rolls.
- Bake for 70 minutes.
- When ready, remove from oven and immediately pour the cool syrup over the scorching hot saragli rolls.The temperature of the pastry must be always opposite than the syrup. This is the key for a successful baklava /saragli’
- Allow them to soak up the syrup for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle with ground pistachio nuts and serve