How to Cook Armenian Baklava (Pakhlava): A Recipe With Honey
After some introduction to Ukrainian cuisine in my previous articles, today I'd like to post a baklava recipe, a dessert that is popular in Central and Southwest Asia and the Mediterranean. Sometimes it's also called pakhlava.
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What Is Baklava?
Baklava is a sweet layered pastry with chopped walnuts, syrup or honey. I know it as an Armenian dessert, but baklava is not only Armenian it is very popular in many countries including Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and even Greece. According to the legend, baklava first appeared in Ottoman Empire, the first mention is from 15 century in a cookbook of Ottoman sultans. According to the book, the cook of sultan prepared this dessert and he liked it so much, that he ordered to save the baklava recipe. There are several variants of baklava recipe depending on the country, and I will post the Armenian variant of this dessert.
- 4 cups of flour
- 0.7 lbs (300g) of butter
- 4 eggs
- 0.7 lbs (300g) of sour cream
- 2 cups of sugar
- 0.7 lbs (300g) of walnuts
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 3-4 tablespoons of natural honey
How To Make Baklava
- Add flour in a bowl, make a small hole in flour with a knife, and put sliced butter into the hole.
- Mix everything with a knife until the flour crumbs.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to sour cream. Separate egg whites from yolks. Make a hole in flour once again and add 3 egg yolks (don't add whites, you'll need them in a little while), sour cream and water.
- Mix everything and knead the dough. The dough should be stiff and soft at the same time. Divide it into 3 parts (one of them a little bit bigger than the rest), and put them into the fridge for 0.5-1 h.
- While dough is preparing, make the filling. Chop walnuts with a knife (you can use blender or grinder, but I don't recommend it, as the taste will be slightly different).
- Mix chopped walnuts with sugar; whip the egg whites (4 eggs) lightly(!)
- When the dough is ready, take it out, roll each piece of the dough making it approximately 0.2" (0.5cm) thick.
- Put the dough layer into the baking pan and brush it with the lightly whipped egg whites, add half of the filling (put it evenly on the whole layer)
- Put another layer on top of it and repeat (brush with egg whites and put the rest of the filling evenly).
- Now roll the biggest piece of the dough, put it on top and wrap all the edges down.
- Brush baklava with yolk and cut it into pieces (don't cut all the way, just the top layer). You can decorate each piece with walnut halves
- Put baklava into the COLD OVEN. Heat the oven with baklava inside to 400-430F (200-220C). Once it's heated, bake for 30 min or until golden crust.
- Take baklava off and brush it with honey (especially the cuts and the walnuts).
- Put it again into the oven for 5 min.
- Cool it, cut to pieces and enjoy!
Step one: Add sliced butter to the flour.
Step two: Mix everything until flour crumbs.
Step three: Add 3 egg yolks, sour cream, and water.
Step four: Divide the dough into three parts.
Step five: Chop the walnuts and mix them with sugar.
Step six: Spread the filling evenly on the layer.
Step seven: Make light cuts, decorate, and put into the oven.
Step eight: Brush with honey, put into the oven once again, cool, and enjoy!
Questions & Answers
Do we put cinnamon in the staffing?
I do it without cinnamon usually, but it never hurts to try.