Shushanik enjoys sharing recipes of dishes from her home country. She also likes discovering new dishes and sharing them with her readers.
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.
What Is Baklava?
Baklava is a sweet layered pastry with chopped walnuts and 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 of it is from the 15th century in a cookbook of the Ottoman sultans. According to the book, the cook of the sultan prepared this dessert, and he liked it so much that he ordered the cook to save the recipe. There are several variants of the baklava recipe depending on the country, and I will post the Armenian variant of this dessert.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 30 min
40 servings (baklava pieces)
- 4 cups of flour
- 0.7 pound (300 grams) of butter
- 4 eggs
- 0.7 pound (300 grams) of sour cream
- 2 cups of sugar
- 0.7 pound (300 grams) of walnuts
- 1 teaspoon of baking soda
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of natural honey
- Place flour in a bowl. Make a small hole in the flour with a knife and put the sliced butter into the hole.
- Mix everything with a knife until the flour forms crumbs.
- Add 1 teaspoon of baking soda to the sour cream. Separate egg whites from yolks. Make a hole in the 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 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- While dough is resting, make the filling. Chop walnuts with a knife (you can use a 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, and roll each piece of the dough, making it approximately 0.2 inches (0.5 centimeters) 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 add the rest of the filling evenly).
- Now roll out the biggest piece of the dough, then 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 the baklava inside to 400°F to 430°F (200°C to 220°C). Once it's heated, bake for 30 minutes or until the crust is golden.
- Remove the baklava from the oven and brush it with honey (especially the cuts and the walnuts).
- Put it back in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Cool it, cut it into pieces, and enjoy!
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Questions & Answers
Question: Do we put cinnamon in the staffing?
Answer: I do it without cinnamon usually, but it never hurts to try.