I’ve been obsessed with making baklava since I had a late-night school-induced baklava binge last month. I figured, the ingredients are so simple it must not be hard to make. Most recipes brag that it only takes an hour of prep and then 45 minutes of baking, but they’re all liars. First you have to thaw dough overnight or for up to a full day. And for the prep, I watched exactly three 45 minute shows on Netflix while making this, so it took fucking forever. Also, I brought this to a work potluck, so I basically spent an eternity making a dish and only ate four or five pieces.
Overall, I don’t really recommend that anyone make baklava. Yeah, it’s expensive to buy baklava, but you probably aren’t going to do that very often. Mine was by far the best tasting baklava I’ve ever had, and I’m still probably never making this again. But, if you are under house arrest and someone is willing to get the ingredients for you, it might be worth it.
Recipe adapted from http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/12/21/baklava-recipe/
1 package of filo dough
2 sticks of butter
1.5 pounds of nuts (I used a mix of almonds and pistachios)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup sugar
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 cup water
½ cup honey
Thaw filo dough for 8-24 hours in the fridge and then take out about an hour before you’re ready to start making baklava
Make syrup first so it has a chance to cool. Boil water, honey, sugar, and lemon juice for about 4 minutes and then set aside to cool.
Melt butter and then butter the sides of a 9×13 pan.
Pulse nuts in food processor until they are coarsely ground, then stir together with cinnamon.
Set up a fairly large workspace (you actually need to clean your kitchen before you make baklava or you’ll end up yelling a lot, which will make your baklava taste angry).
Trim filo dough to about 9×13 or 9×14.
To butter the filo dough, I found that it was best to drip a lot of butter on the dough and then brush it around a little. It doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t want to miss an important part of the show you’re watching since doing this without a distraction would be boring.
Buttering every other sheet, place 10 sheets of filo on the bottom of the pan. Then add a thin layer of nut mixture (about ¾ cup). From there, alternate 5 sheets of filo (buttering every other sheet) with ¾ cup nuts. When you are out of nuts, end with 10 sheets of filo on the top, but butter every sheet so these stick together better. Cut the baklava before baking either in squares or diagonals. Use a very sharp knife because it is easy to fuck up the filo dough. Bake for about 45 minutes, then immediately pour the syrup over the baklava. It sizzles in a very satisfying manner. Cool uncovered for several hours or overnight. Cut again before serving.
I can’t tell you what to do with your life, but if you have like three hours to dedicate to making baklava, you should probably re-evaluate your priorities.