Baking| Phyllo to Baklava with Daring Bakers …layers of fun!

“We must free ourselves of the hope that the sea will ever rest. We must learn to sail in high winds.”
Aristotle Onassis

Baklava BAKLAVA, importantly homemade phyllo pastry has been on my list of things to do forever. I am SO GLAD I made this exquisite dessert. It’s the best ‘from scratch fine pastry dessert‘ I’ve made of late, one I meant to do for ages. A Daring Baker challenge I had no intention of missing, yet I very nearly did! The process seemed intimidating, but was eventually a beautiful experience; the end result bowled me over!Baklava

Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

It was many years ago. Tweeting in 2009 with Peter @ Kalofagas got me inspired and I headed over to check out the first of his inspirational Baklava series. He’s also done one on making phyllo from scratch {his version uses yeast in the dough} ending in a delicious looking Spanakopita made under the watchful eye of his Mum. { This man is the Greek god of good food!This was one thing I had to master but life got the better of me, and time whizzed by, somewhat out of control.Sydney June 2011I haven’t been anywhere on the net for ages… no twitter, no face-book, no blogs and it’s all down to the kids summer vacations! Out of town for 2 weeks {a trip to HKG and Down Under} and many to-do’s have been lost – my ‘have to do macarons for Mactweets. I struggle to feed the blog, get a pup for the kids, reply to an infinite number of mails … I’m clearly beginning to feel the pressure!But this I HAD to make and the process was absolutely joyful. I love the rolling pin, and the dough was silky beautiful. As we are a country that makes fresh thin flat bread for practically every meal, rolling was fun and the only thing that took a little while. The trusted Thermomix kneaded the dough in a flash …thank heavens for it! It also chopped the nuts as fine as could be in nano seconds … a blessing in disguise.Baklava Baklava, a sweet rich pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and nuts sweetened with simple syrup. It is widely knows as a Greek dessert, but it’s origin has really never been pinpointed as many Middle Eastern countries also name it as their own. There are local versions from Iran, Turkey, Croatia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia and Cyprus.

BaklavaThe end product was as exquisite. The phyllo was easy to handle and layered to perfection. I made the whole portion of the dough {didn’t read the fine print} so fell slightly short of layers, but that wasn’t a problem. Layered deserts are always easy to fiddle around with! I halved the filling and the syrup.  This has been one of the best Daring Baker challenges I’ve enjoyed so far. The phyllo from scratch recipe was similar to the pastry we made for the earlier ‘Strudel‘ for Daring Bakers 2 years ago. The filling was an endearing blend of nuts, sugar and cinnamon all balanced beautifully… an Alton Brown recipe {I forgot the cloves… sigh}.  The soaking honey syrup with orange and cinnamon completed the Middle Eastern charm …. left us longing for more!BaklavaIt looked ever so pretty as well though I didn’t stray from the challenge recipe and typical appearance. I loved pouring the cool syrup over the hot, freshly baked baklava, the crackling sound music to the ears! I have to make this again one day, and try the many charming different versions at Kalofogas including Baklava cigars or Baklava Daisies.Baklava

Thank you Erica for an outstanding daring challenge; it was a beautiful one, very fulfilling. Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to see the beautiful baklava our other daring bakers have rolled from scratch!

Oh, I had to tell you that my friends at Ergo Chef are giving away a fabulous 13 Piece Guy Fieri “Battle Station” 13 piece block set. If you’d like to win it, do stop by soon as the contest ends 4th of July. Don’t miss a post
Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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  1. Now I really regret I didn’t find time to do this month’s challenge. Your baklava looks fabulous. Love the rose petals on top.

  2. Shweta j says:

    This looks so much appealing to the eye ! Thank you so much for the recipe : )

  3. Hi Deepa
    So glad to see this!! I spent three hours last night looking for an appropriate recipe for phyllo sheet !!
    This tops on my ‘to do’ list for the day!!!!

  4. When looking for a layer-friendly recipe for my recent video, I was very keen on trying the baklava, but was greatly intimidated by the phyllo. Especially because we don’t get it here. So ended up with the Bebinca. But this looks so do-able! I’m off to check my stores! Lovely pictures as usual, too!

  5. Deliciously done yummy dessert and that too homemade from scratch… Looks so gorgeous…

  6. Very well done! Your baklava look fantastic!



  7. The pink petals on the Baklava make it so pretty. Looks superb

  8. Absolutely sensational. After living in the Mid. East for a large part of my life – this is my absolute favorite sweet treat. It also reminds me that I made some baklava a while back and should post it soon. LOL! Nice one my friend!

  9. WOWOWOWOW OMG your photos are exquisite and so elegant you did a fabulous job on this challenge I can tell you REALLY enjoyed and loved this recipe so much. Bravo to you and kudos for an excellent result.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  10. Sorry if this is a double post but the first one didn’t go through I think.

    Marvellous results and your photographs are exquisite and I can REALLY tell that you enjoyed this challenge so much. Simply beautiful work kudos to you.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia .

  11. Thanks for sharing your experience with this dessert. It looks absolutely stunning! I decided not to participate to this challenge because I am traveling and in a very hot country. I would love to try this challenge once back home.

  12. Absolutely stunning pics, i luv the way you have topped some rose petals on the baklava. Jst lovely so very awed by your pics.

  13. Stunning and super gorgeous baklava, mindblowing..

  14. Wowo love yours and looks perfect and yumm. I love the dessert uthad to give it a miss this one as nobody is there to eat them adn making jsut for me alone well that would be too much.

  15. Phyllo dough from scratch? You’re my hero!

  16. So impressed that you made this from scratch. Another vote for your Thermomix too. Love the pink rose petals. You really are daring…

  17. So beautiful. Looks delicious and I love your styling and photos.

  18. I have tasted baklava at the Turkish shop in Saket but never attempted to make it. Only yesterday was I rummaging through recipes that required phyllo pastry but I relented. Anyhow, it looks so beautiful, my heart would hurt to eat it :)

  19. Sumanjit Kaur Tripathy says:

    WOW !!
    Have never tried these …

  20. Wonderful photos! The baklava looks yummie! Would you send me a slice please? :)

  21. Bravo Deeba, this is your first time making your own phyllo and I’m sure you had a great feeling of triumph! Cheers and thanks for the link-luv too!

  22. My own mom was not an accimplsihed cook and yet I couild watch her make strudel dough look easy. Filo is similar, only even thinner and I have neve attempted it!!!

  23. Gorgeous photos! You must spend ages getting so many lovely ones!

  24. Dee been missing you around! U r my hero – from scratch? Wow. And I have seen many baklavas around the web but yours look absolutely perfect!!

  25. Deeba, you are a true artist. It is a pleasure to come to your blog and see your amazing creations. Your baklava is stunning – you did an amazing job. Your photos, your writing, the care you take with everything you do – you amaze me.

  26. Gosh those are so pretty. Baklava is one of my all time favorite treats, but I’ve never attempted making it. I think when I do finally get around to it, I’d do the cigar shaped ones because I’m afraid if I tried cutting the little diamond shapes they’d totally fall apart all.
    *kisses* HH

  27. Absolutely beautiful! This is something I have on my list of things to make too. Sadly I missed the challenge. Maybe for the holidays…

  28. Oh my they looks so good. Baklava are one of my fav dessert. Great looking pics.

  29. Love your Baklava, and those rose petals! Perfect slices.

  30. Shilpa says:

    I love baklava…seems tricky but one one day will give it a try for sure…Amazing pictures as always…


  31. Your baklava is a work of art..and I can’t even begin to describe your pictures..
    amazing job on this month’s challenge

  32. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! I wanted to reach through my screen and grab a piece of your baklava, great job!

  33. Mmm that looks fantastic! I’ve been meaning to try this for a while.

  34. I cant decide whether your photography or your bakalava is more beautiful, so I decided on a tie!

  35. Stunning presentation! I’ve always wanted to make Baklava from scratch, too, but the home-made phyllo dough takes it right over the top! Lovely!

  36. Patri says:

    Wonderful presentation, and I agree, it is heavenly! Congrats on a great challenge

  37. Your pictures are just beautiful!!! Love the layers and the colors you used. SO glad that you got to fulfill one of your goals!

  38. Deeba, you are the only one who can probably make something as exquisite as the Baklava look even more exquisite :)…loved your Baklava, its perfect and makes me want to pick up one right away. Well done!

  39. Baklava from scratch?!! Amazing!!! The pictures are sooooooo delicious!!

  40. WOW!!!, incredible job, you are an artist

  41. Your baklava looks great! Very nice presentation.

  42. kudos on the gigantic attempt Deeba and this so soon after you’ve been back frm hols. i admire ur grit ur Baklava reminds me of my days in Dubai i loved these treats, and ur sweet just made me reminisce.

  43. A great recipe and a delicious and precious baklava!.

  44. Deeba, I am so impressed with your busy summer that you took the time to make this fabulous recipe! It turned out beautifully, but then everything you do is lovely. And the various ways you presented your baklava are both charming AND tempting!

  45. Samruddhi says:

    Deeba, you are a real artist,cant nelieve that you made this for the first time…seems like you are master of it already….and ofcourse your pictures make them so wanted..
    hats off to you.

  46. From scratch phyllo?! I am amazed at your baking prowess!

  47. The baklava looks great.

  48. Wow, your final result is gorgeous – so classic with the diamond shapes, and the rose petals! I love the “in progress” shots as well. Great job on this challenge!

  49. What beautiful baklava! I would have never considered making my own phyllo dough if I hadn’t read your encouraging words.

  50. This looks so beautiful. I love that you made the phyllo dough from scratch. Way impressed.

  51. Your take on the challenge looks fabulous as usual dear Deeba. The perfect diamonds look so refined. I love that photo of the kids facing off the seagulls! I’m guessing that was at Manly? Hoping you’re getting some time to yourself and things have calmed down a bit now. x

  52. I was waiting for a baklava recipe from you, as I wanted to learn to make it from scratch. It looks lovely.

  53. wow, your pictures are absolutely gorgeous! the dessert looks great, and the plating is beautiful! awesome post!

  54. Beautiful photos! The layers in your baklava look perfect, and I love the splash of pink color with the flower petals. Excellent job on the challenge.

  55. These are truly beautifull. Allways a pleasure visiting this blog.

  56. Your pictures are so breathtakingly beautiful! Excellent job on this month’s challenge, your baklava looks so delicious!

  57. Oh my Deeba, making phyllo dough from scratch how impressive!! I am not intimidated much but this yes! the baklava looks amazing!! Your vacation photos especially the beach line and the kids of course all stunning! So impressed and even more appreciative you taking on you know what considering all that going on in your life. You are the best! Shulie

  58. Deeba, your Baklava looks and sounds amazing! As always, your photos are stunning, and the pink petals are so charming! Love it!

  59. Deeba, I know this post is last week’s news, but the baklava looks like it really fabulous. Wish I had the practice of rolling dough thin. I was supposed to do this, and have been so numbingly absent from the daring bakers challenges…but things are settling and I so wanted to do this one. I think I’ll do it anyway, late. Anyway, thanks for making it look fun and easy (and delicious)!

  60. Oh Deeba – too gorgeous! You are far braver than me making the pastry from scratch – I am more of a baklava end-user hahaha! And I forget that yo ualso have a Thermomix. I want one when I grow up ;o)

  61. Stunning baklava, Deeba! So glad you were able to give this recipe a try in between all the fun it sounds like you have been having. Nice job on the challenge!

  62. Twinsy Rachel Abraham says:

    Impressive… Once again u have inspired me to do this though am still apprehensive.. anywayz great job :)

  63. These look so perfect, your pastry turned out wonderfully! I dont know if i would dare attempt the pastry myself, but I am definitely saving this for the filling and syrup which sound irresistibly yummy :)

  64. baklava is a Turkish dessert. but this is also very nice.

  65. Wow those look incredibly beautiful! And so perfect :) I love baklava but I’ve never made it on my own. I’m be a little afraid to make the pastry on my own, but these look so gorgeous.

  66. Erica says:

    I am so glad you enjoyed the challenge so much. Your baklava looks wonderful! Your post is amazing such beautiful photos as well

  67. Gopika says:

    Woww.. I love your Baklava.. Me and A are die-hard fans of Baklava at the Phoenicia Deli here. Yours looks just like those. I am going to try my hands on these.

    I have a question, is it possible to replace vinegar with anything else? Is it a very important ingredient for the Baklava?

    Love your blog :)

  68. Came across your page first time today. Love your photography, amazing.
    I tried making Baklava from phyllo dough sheets day before, didn’t put many layers (just 4 bottom, 4 middle, 4 top), but baked only 20 minutes @350F & the nuts were tasting burnt. My husband said I created a new dish “Smoked Baklava”. Hehe.
    Anyway, I’m surprised how come you baked for 30 + 30 minutes.
    And I’d love, love, love to see a video of you making this phyllo dough from scratch! Couldn’t guess from your photos that the thin sheets were homemade. This is perfection!

  69. Bernie says:

    Quick question. I want to (and plan on) making this very soon but if you leave on the syrup wont it get soggy? Especially overnight? I thought you always poured it on before serving. Please correct me if im wrong! :)

  70. Hi, I am crazy about baklava desserts and simply love to cook baklava at home for my family and friends. I really liked the above recipe and it is written and described in so simple way. And the pictorial representation for the Baklava Recipe is just awesome, one can easily depict his/her dish while making the above recipe and check whether moving in right direction.
    Thanks for sharing.. :)

  71. Hi Deeba,

    One small doubt…

    When you say rest the dough….it has to be rest at room temperature? How to decide that dough is ready for rolling….

    • Hi HIna, the dough in this case is rested for about an hour to allow the gluten strands to develop, and in turn elasticity. If it’s warm, you could place the dough in the fridge. Else just let it sit on the counter. After about an hour, when you roll the dough really thin, you will find it doesn’t keep shrinking back. Does this make sense?

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