The Easiest Way to Make Turkish Baklava in Your Home with Ready-Made Phyllo Pastry

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When you think of baklava, does Turkey come to mind? Did you know that some of the world’s finest baklava comes from Turkey instead of Greece or the Middle East? Most baklava fans are familiar with Greek-style baklava. The baklava often features honey as the main sweetening ingredient. On the contrary to Greek-style baklava, Turkish baklava is sweetened with “şerbet”. Şerbet is a light syrup made from sugar, water, and lemon juice. This makes Turkish baklava much lighter and crispier than most Greek or Middle Eastern-style varieties.

Turkish Baklava is probably the most famous member of Turkish desserts.
Turkish Baklava is probably the most famous member of Turkish desserts.

Turkish Baklava is Indispensable Dessert of Turkish Cuisine and Culture

In every Turkish pastry shop, supermarket and household, you can find endless varieties of baklava. Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios are the most common ingredients of baklava. All in shapes and sizes you’d never dream of. Squares, diamonds, rolls and spirals. It’s a baklava-lovers paradise. Pistachio baklava is the most famous kind among other baklavas. It consists of bright green, raw pistachio nuts. Get ready to read the recipe for this simple, square-cut baklava. So, if you wish, you can substitute the pistachios with ground walnuts or hazelnuts for a more economical version of this recipe. Go ahead and experiment with different nuts to give you different flavours.

Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios are the most common ingredients of Turkish Baklava.
Walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios are the most common ingredients of Turkish Baklava.

No matter how it may seem intimidating, do not need to be a worry. Because you don’t have to go all the way to Turkey to enjoy good baklava. And moreover, you won’t have to roll out paper-thin sheets of “yufka” (phyllo), or pastry yourself. Baklava is actually very easy to make at home with ready-made, pre-packaged “baklava yufkası” (baklava phyllo). It is most and commonly famous as phyllo pastry. So, you can find phyllo dough in the frozen food section of your grocery store, or in Middle Eastern and Greek grocers.

Ingredients for Turkish Baklava

So, we are going to list the ingredients of Turkish Baklava. But before listing the ingredients, we must point out that there are several ways to make it. You can prepare your own baklava at home either with pistachio, walnut or hazelnut. It all depends on your taste!

Making homemade baklava is not as difficult as you think...
Making homemade baklava is not as difficult as you think…

Secondly, we are going to divide the ingredients into two sections. So the first one is for the “Syrup”, and the second one is for the Baklava itself.

  • Ingredient for Syrup

As for the syrup of the baklava, you mainly need just water, sugar and lemon juice. 4 cups of water, 3 cups of sugar and juice of 1/2 lemon would be enough.

  • Ingredient for Baklava

So, as for the baklava, the main necessities are pistachio, phyllo dough, unsalted and clarified butter and sugar. For the measure;

  • 36 leaves fresh or frozen packaged phyllo dough (14 x 18-inch size)
  • 1/2 pound (300 grams) unsalted butter, clarified
  • 1/2 pound (300 grams) raw, hulled pistachio nuts, ground to a powder
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Turkish baklava is much lighter and crispier than most Greek or Middle Eastern-style varieties.
Turkish baklava is much lighter and crispier than most Greek or Middle Eastern-style varieties.

And of course, there are also some materials you’ll need to make baklava. So these are 14 x 18-inch shallow metal baking pan, pastry brush and pastry cutter or sharp knife.

Steps to Easily Make Homemade Turkish Baklava

1- Begin by making the syrup which you’ll pour over the hot baklava later on. Combine the water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan, bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer slowly uncovered while you prepare the rest of the baklava.

2- The next important step is preparing your clarified butter.

3- Mix the ground pistachio nuts with 2 tablespoons of sugar. And then, brush the bottom of your baking pan with butter and sprinkle a few pinches of the ground pistachio nuts over the butter.

4- Take your first layer of phyllo and set it in place. Working quickly, brush the entire piece of phyllo with the butter. Repeat in the same manner with 18 leaves of phyllo.

In every Turkish pastry shop, supermarket and household, you can find endless varieties of baklava.
In every Turkish pastry shop, supermarket and household, you can find endless varieties of baklava.

5- Once you’ve buttered the 18th layer, use all of the ground pistachio mixtures to make an even layer going all the way to the edges of the pan.

6- Place another layer of phyllo over the nuts and butter it. Repeat until you finish the last layer. If you have extra butter left, set it aside.

Other Steps To Complete Your Homemade Turkish Baklava

7- Using a sharp knife or a pastry cutter, gently cut the baklava into even squares or diamond shapes. If you’re using a round pan, you can cut it into large, narrow slivers, if you wish.

8- Strew the butter you set aside over the top. Place the pan in a preheated 395° F/200° C oven and set the timer for 45 minutes.

9- Once the baklava is in the oven, remove the syrup from the heat and leave it to cool down.

Turkish people mostly make baklava at the end of the religious holiday Ramadan
Turkish people mostly make baklava at the end of the religious holiday Ramadan

10- Bake the baklava for about 45 minutes, or until the layers puff up high and the top layers are golden, crispy and translucent.

11- When ready, remove the tray from the oven. While it’s still piping hot, immediately pour the cold syrup evenly over the baklava. Let it bubble up then settle. Generously sprinkle more ground pistachios over the top. Leave your baklava to cool down to room temperature before serving.

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