Baklava a famous Turkish pastry originally from the Ottoman cuisine. The original name of baki-halva translates as "Lenten sweet". Originally the baklava had forty sheets of pastry sheet. Each for the days of Lent. There are so many versions in preparing this dessert, resulting in a rich and sticky pastry studded with assorted nuts and oozing butte and drenched with sugar syrup.
I always love to prepare things from scratch. When I was looking for recipes for Baklava online I found Farida's recipe, which was simple and the step by step pictures were very helpful. Some times its not lot of fun to follow the same steps so I modified a few and gave a little twist. And the result was yum. The quality of the home made pastry was equal and tasty to the ones made with the store bought sheets. So take advantage of this simple yet tasty recipe. I am sure you wont be disappointed.
For the Dough:
3 cups unbleached flour
1 tsp baking soda
8oz/2 sticks butter,
1 cup sour cream
2 egg yolks
For the Filling:
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1 cup walnuts,chopped
1 cup pistachio
1 egg yolk
200 ml water
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1. In a large bowl,combine flour,baking soda and butter. Press the butter and mix it with the dough until it crumbs.
2. Add sour cream and the yolks. Combine until you get a soft dough. Wrap in a plastic wrap and chill in refrigerator for an hour or 2.
3. For the filling, whisk the egg whites until fluffy. Combine the sugar and the nuts.
4. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a rectangular pan with oil.
5. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. The dough will be very easy to work. I din have to dust my work pad either. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll each one into a rectangular shape sheets. Shape it in such as way that it should fix your pan.
6. Layer one sheet then spread a small portion of the filling then layer another.
7. Repeat until you cover the top with the finally pastry sheet. Cut the baklava into diamond shapes using a knife. Brush this layer with egg yolk.
8.Bake in the oven for about 35-40 minutes or until the top turns golden.
9. Meanwhile make the sugar syrup by boiling the water, then add sugar and cook until it dissolves. Then add cinnamon and lemon juice.
10. Strain the syrup; arrange a pistachio on each baklava and pour the syrup on top.
11. Serve them warm or cold.
THINGS THAT I WOULD CHANGE: I might skip using egg white for the filling and substitue it with 1/2cup honey.
NOTE:Baklava are lot more softer when stored.
VARIATION: I prefer using unbleached flour. But you can use the normal one too.