How-TO Make Baklava
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 easy to make using a good technique
What is Baklava?
Baklava (/ˈbɑːkləvɑː/, /bɑːkləˈvɑː/, or /bəˈklɑːvə/; ) 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 Honey Syrup
Baklava is made from layers after layers of Phyllo dough with an assortment of nuts between each layer then finished with a honey syrup.
(In this recipe, we do NOT add extra refined sugars WinWin/).
The key is the order of the Phyllo dough. Simply do NOT add Phyllo dough layers, then just add nuts and repeat. 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 ever.
Watch Our How-To Video: How to make Easy Baklava Recipe
Photo - Baked Baklava, waiting for the honey syrup 🙂 See how crispy it is?
This technique allows us to pour warm syrup all over the baklava and still be super crispy.
Step by Step - How to Make (15-Minute) Baklava, Plus Cook Time
To start the Baklava process, butter a 9 by 13 casserole dish and try to cover every bit of the casserole dish.
Roll Out the 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.
Layout the first piece of Phyllo dough on to a 9 by 13 buttered casserole dish
Cover the 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.
Add a second layer of phyllo dough
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.
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 another coating of butter. Yet
After adding the last 4 or 5 sheets of non-buttered phyllo dough then it's time to cut the baklava into serving sizes/individual pieces
There are a few options with the way you decided to cut the baklava.
- Cutting straight lines down the casserole dish running the cuts lengthwise. Then making crosscuts. A more traditional cut
- The 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.
Next, add butter to the tops of all the pieces of Phyllo dough. This will ensure beautiful golden brown baklava.
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. I suggest adding after the syrup is added and allowed to cool a bit.
Into the oven. I cooked mine @ 350 degrees for around 25-30 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 10-12 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 you're familiar with the cook times.
Making the Baklava Honey Syrup
Add, high-quality butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, honey & salt
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. Some people enjoy a thinner syrup. If so, just add a bit of water...
Baklava fresh from the oven. The whole house smells so divine.
( Photo: No Syrup added yet)
After 5 to 10 minutes of cooling down - Add the syrup
- 1 package Phyllo Dough 1 roll/sleeve
- 3 sticks High Quality Butter
- 1 cup Walnuts chopped
- 1 cup Pecans chopped
- 1 cup Pistachios chopped
- 12 oz Best Quality Honey | You can use less than 12oz
- 2 sticks High Quality Butter / 8 oz
- ⅛ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 2 tablespoon Vietnamese Cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon Indonesian Cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
- Phyllo dough sheets need to come to room temperature to be manageable.
- Melt one stick of butter. Start with one stick, just melt more if needed.Using a 9 by 13 casserole dish ( or what fits the phyllo sheets), using a brush, cover the bottom and sides of the casserole dish.
- Next, layout 3 or more pieces 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%
- Next, add a layer 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 moving up tothe top layer.
- Repeat with additional phyllo dough sheets layer, brush on more melted butter.One each layer you can use 3 to 5 sheets. Phyllo dough is usually packaged with two rolls. If you run out of roll one you're covered.
- On the last layer, the top layer, use 10 sheets. Lay them out and do not add melted butter, yet. The reason for so many sheets on top is to create an amazing texture layer. This is traditional.
- Using a sharp knife make cross-hatch cut pattern.
- 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. I usually spatter the butter around first without contact with the brush.
- 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 12-15 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Then pour the syrup all over. The syrup will sink to the bottom. After a few minutes if it looks like it could handle more syrup, go for it. All personal choice. -Syrup: Place all syrup ingredients into a small pot and warm on the stovetop. Do not cook, only warm and incorporate the ingredients together. Enjoy