In celebration of Greek Easter here is my Yiayia’s world famous Baklava recipe. I promise it is way easier to make than you think. And each bite is a taste explosion.
Make at least one week before you plan on assembling your Baklava. You can keep a jar of this in the fridge for a year or more.
4 cups sugar
3 cups water
1 stick cinnamon
Boil 30-45 minutes, cool and store. Syrup should be cold when poured over Baklava.
For the Stuffing:
7-8 cuts chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
a dash of ground cloves
1/2 cups sugar (optional, I usually use about 1/4 cup)
For the dough:
I buy two boxes ( I think they are one pound each) of pre-made phyllo dough sheets (from the freezer section next to the pie crust). You can make your own if you have a special roller. I’m not quite there yet.
At least one pound of butter, melted, have more on hand though. Butter is the secret ingredient in Greek cooking.
- Let dough box thaw on the counter.
- Carefully unroll dough.
- Take one sheet and lay it gently on the counter.
- Butter it well with a brush and melted butter.
- Take a second sheet, lay it on top of the first and butter it as well.
- Repeat until you have four sheets buttered on top of each other.
- Then take about 3/4 cup of your nut mixture and spread it in a line along the long edge of your buttered dough. Leave about an inch of dough on each end and along the long side so that you can wrap and seal it.
- Carefully lift up the edge of the dough and begin to roll starting on the side where you spread the nuts. It may tear a little bit or be sticky with butter. That’s okay. Just do your best to roll it and keep it as intact as you can.
- Roll up the dough until you have a long tube with the nut mixture in the center.
- Transfer roll onto a baking sheet (I line mine with parchment).
- Softly press on the roll to remove air.
- Then press down the ends so that the roll is sealed on both sides.
- Repeat this for as many rolls as you want to make.
- Generously butter the top of each roll.
- Put rolls in the fridge until firm.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Remove from fridge, if you plan on freezing any go ahead and remove those, wrap well and freeze. To use later, remove them from the freezer, let them thaw until soft enough to slice, they don’t have to be all the way to room temperature. Then continue to follow directions.
- Take the chilled rolls and slice them at an angle about every inch. Slice them all the way through, they are easier to cut now than after they bake.
- Place sliced rolls in the oven until brown and crispy.
- Remove from oven. While hot take some of the cold syrup and pour it over rolls, about a half cup per roll.
- Let Baklava sit on the pan soaking in the syrup for at least 30 minutes until all syrup is absorbed.
- Transfer cookie onto a plate, we often put them in little muffin papers to make them easier to handle.
- Serve and enjoy.