How to Make Baklava in 15-Minutes, plus baking time 🙂

Some of the best Baklava recipes out there take almost an entire day to make. I have one question, “why?” Let’s make Baklava in 15 minutes instead. Sound good?  I’ve had the pleasure of making Baklava many times over the years all while using a simple technique. I think most people see making Baklava as labor intensive and overall hard to make Baklava. After today, you’ll see it’s not really hard to make great Baklava.

 Baklava is actually simple to make with my technique.

Quickly, What is Baklava? 

Baklava (/ˈbɑːkləvɑː//bɑːkləˈvɑː/,or /bəˈklɑːvə/[bɑːklɑvɑː]) is a rich, sweet dessert pastry made of layers of phyllo filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. It is characteristic of the cuisines of the Levant, the Caucasus, Balkans, Maghreb, and of Central and West Asia.

 

How to Make Baklava With Special Honey Syrup

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How To Make Baklava

Baklava is made from layers after layers of Phyllo dough with an assortment of nuts between each layer then finished with a honey syrup. ( We do not add refined white sugar).  The key is the order in which you layer the Phyllo dough. You do not layer a piece or two then just add nuts and repeat. If you do that you’ll be missing out on the grand texture experience. There is a system. You should watch the video below to see for yourself how the layers come together to create some of the best Baklava of a lifetime. 

Photo – Baked Baklava, waiting for the honey syrup 🙂 See how crispy it is? The technique we’ll be using allows us to build these layers only to turn around and pour warm syrup all over and, yes,  KEEP all the crispy layers. Sounds almost impossible, a true culinary masterpiece…

how to make baklava in 15 minutes plus baking

NO SUGAR ADDED –

How to Make Baklava in 15-Minutes

-Comparison –

Below you’ll find our full recipe card. and below that, you’ll find “Iron Chef” Michael Symon’s Food Network recipe for Baklava.

Super sorry sir, super awesome Iron Chef Michael Symon that I really like and respect a ton. In a taste test, if he had to make his exact recipe off Food Network he would get Chopped by the judges compared to Butter-n-Thyme’s Baklava recipe. Zero question. Zero 🙂 But I doubt that’s his personal recipe. Michael Symon is such an amazing Chef. Everything he makes is gold. 

  • How much sugar does Iron Chef Michael Symon add? –  3 cups –
  • How much sugar does Butter-n-Thyme’s recipe add, zero

Boom, natural ingredients verse sugar. We Win!!!

baklava recipe

Step by Step – How to Make (15-Minute) Baklava, Plus Cook Time

Watch Video For Full Technique

To start the Baklava process butter a 9 by 13 casserole dish. Try to cover every bit of the casserole dish.

baklava butter 9 by 13 casserole dish

Roll Out Phyllo Dough –

If you are not able to work quickly you’ll need to cover the Phyllo dough with a lightly damp towel. Reason: so the phyllo dough does not dry out. The drying encourages cracks in the phyllo dough. I did not cover mine this time and usually don’t.  I was finished in about 10 minutes. Not long enough to cause drying out issues.

baklava roll out phyllo dough

Lay out the first piece of phyllo dough on to a 9 by 13 buttered casserole dish

lay out first piece of phyllo dough into 9 by 13 buttered casserole dish

Cover phyllo dough with melted butter 

No need to overdo it with butter. This is KEY to success. You’ll be adding enough over each layer that complete coverage of the phyllo dough equals a mistake. – Watch the video to see the full technique. Just cover enough of each sheet of phyllo dough. Enough being about 70% of each sheet.

cover phyllo dough with melted butter

Add a second layer of phyllo dough

adding second layer of phyllo dough for baklava

Add the first layer of Pecans, Walnuts & Pistachios 

As we create the layers of stacked Phyllo dough here’s the idea. We want the lowest layers of the Baklava to have the most nuts. Think of it as creating the base. And as we move higher in the phyllo dough layers we’ll use less and less nuts. 

adding first layer of pecans to the baklava phyllo dough

adding the first layer of walnuts to the baklava

adding first layer of pistachios to the baklava

Repeat the process above until you have 4 sheets of phyllo dough left.

Lay the last 4 or 5 sheets on top of the other buttered phyllo layers. The last 4 or 5 sheets do NOT get a coating of butter. Yet

layer on the last 4 pieces of phyllo dough before cutting

After adding the last 4 or 5 sheets of non-buttered phyllo dough it’s time to cut the baklava into serving pieces. 

There are a few options with the way you decided to cut the baklava. 

cutting the phyllo dough into pieces before baking

  1. Image Below: Cutting three straight lines down the casserole dish running the cuts lengthwise.   Then making cross cuts. A more traditional cut  techniques for slicing baklava
  2. Second is making a crosscut starting from corner to corner, then making additional slices running parallel to the first cut. Then running cross cuts again the first cuts perpendicular. Crosshatch pattern.slicing baklava into pieces

Next, add butter to the tops of all the pieces of phyllo dough. This will ensure beautiful golden brown baklava.

add butter to the top of all squares before baking

Optional: Add pistachios to the top before the oven. Note: the pistachios will take on a bit of color and offer a nutty toasted favor note.

add pistachios to the top of the phyllo dough pieces

Into the oven. I cooked mine @ 350 degrees for around 25 minutes. You’ll want to read the instructions on your package of phyllo dough and monitor the cooking process. Make sure to check on it after 10 minutes. Keep looking to make sure you do not burn the phyllo dough. Baklava can go from perfect to burnt in only a short few minutes or two. So do not trust the package fully. You must keep an eye on the baking process until your familiar with your cook times. 

Making the Baklava Syrup Glaze

Add, high-quality butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey & salt

infographic of the ingredients for the baklava syrup

Once out of the oven, allow the baklava to cool for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then pour on as much or as little syrup as you like. While pouring be thinking about the syrup wanting to soak into the baklava and move to the bottom of the casserole dish. You’ll be surprised how the syrup doesn’t destroy the crispiness on top of the baklava. Be sure to pour enough to cover each piece. I like covering every piece once, then going over each piece a second time. 

Baklava fresh from the oven. The whole house smells so divine.

baklava fresh from the oven

After 5 to 10 minutes – Add the syrup.

pouring syrup over the baklava

pouring syrup over the baklava

 

5 from 5 votes
how to make baklava
Baklava in 15-Minutes
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Phyllo Dough Coming to Room Temperature
15 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Chef Pennington's baklava creation of flaky layers and a sweet honey syrup that is truly amazing.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: How to Make Baklava in 15-Minutes
Servings: 31 Pieces
Ingredients
  • 1 Package Phyllo Dough 1 roll/sleeve
  • 12oz High Quality Butter 3 sticks of butter
  • 3/4 Cup Walnuts chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Pecans chopped
  • 3/4 Cup Pistachios chopped
Baklava Syrup
  • 12 oz Best Quality Honey | You can use less than 12oz
  • 2 Sticks High Quality Butter
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp Vietnamese Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Indonesian Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
Instructions
  1. Melt one and half sticks of butter.

    Using a 9 by 13 casserole dish, using a brush, cover the bottom and sides of the casserole dish

    baklava casserole dish add melted butter
  2. Next, lay out one piece of phyllo dough and cover with melted butter. 

    Tip: you do not need to use a lot of butter on each piece. Just make sure to cover most of the phyllo sheets. About 70%

    cover phyllo dough with melted butter
  3. Then lay an additional sheet on top of the bottom piece and press it down.

  4. Next, layer a few of each of the nuts on top. The idea is to create a base, a thicker amount of nuts belong on the bottom, with the nut layers getting thinner each layer

    adding first layer of pistachios to the baklava
  5. Repeat with additional phyllo dough layer, brush on more melted butter, then add one more phyllo sheet on top of that one and paint on more melted butter. 

    Tip: I like mixing it up with the layers. On some of the layers, I like to use three sheets instead of only 2. Helps build texture

  6. On the last layer, the top layer, I like using 4 to 5 sheets. Lay them out and do not add melted butter, yet.

    adding second layer of phyllo dough for baklava
  7. Using a sharp knife make cross-hatch cut pattern. 

    cutting the phyllo dough into pieces before baking
  8. Now add the melted butter to the top presentation layer pieces. Be careful with each piece as the phyllo dough is fragile. Take your time.

    add butter to the top of all squares before baking
  9. Bake @ 350 for around 25 minutes. Read at your phyllo dough package instructions. Be sure to keep an eye on the baking process to make sure the Baklava does not burn. Start checking after 10 minutes.

  10. Once out of the oven allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then pour the syrup all over. The syrup will sink to the bottom, you may want to add a little bit more then it may look like. All personal choice. 

    -Syrup: Place all syrup ingredients into a small pot and warm on stove top. Do not cook, only warm and incorporate the ingredients together. 

    Enjoy

    pouring syrup over the baklava

Recipe Video

How to Make Baklava in 15-Minutes, Plus Baking – Better Than You Know Who’s

Baklava RECIPE COURTESY OF Iron Chef MICHAEL SYMON

Ingredients

For the Baklava:

1 pound pistachios and/or walnuts, coarsely ground, plus more for garnish

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste

1 cup ground zwieback crackers or breadcrumbs

4 sticks unsalted butter, melted

16 sheets phyllo dough (thawed, if frozen), cut in half

For the Syrup:

3 cups sugar

1 6-to-8-ounce jar honey

1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

 

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees F. Combine the nuts, cinnamon and ground crackers in a bowl.
  2. Brush a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with some of the butter. Layer 10 pieces of phyllo in the dish, brushing each piece with butter before adding the next (keep the remaining dough covered with a damp towel). Sprinkle a quarter of the nut mixture over the dough. Layer 4 pieces of phyllo on top, brushing each with butter before adding the next; sprinkle with another quarter of the nut mixture. Add 4 more phyllo pieces on top, brushing each with butter, then add another quarter of the nut mixture, 4 more pieces of phyllo with butter, and the remaining nuts.
  3. Layer the remaining 10 pieces of phyllo on top of the nuts, brushing each with butter; brush the top piece with extra butter. Cut into the baklava to make strips, about 1 1/2 inches wide. Then make diagonal slices, about 1 1/2 inches apart, to create a diamond pattern. Bake until golden, about 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, make the syrup: Bring the sugar, honey and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the lemon juice and boil 2 more minutes, then let cool slightly.
  5. Pour the syrup over the warm baklava; let soak, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with nuts.

Recipe Link: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/michael-symon/baklava-recipe-1972768

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