June 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' June 2011 Challenge - Baklava

Sweet, sweet Baklava
This months Daring Bakers Challenge was called "From Phyllo to Baklava". We had to prepare this turkish/moroccan/eastern european treat from scratch, the main difficulty being to roll the dough as thinly as possible.

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. The detailed recipe can be found here.

I was amazed at how well the recipe worked. I didn't think it would be possible to make such a simple dough that can be stretched out so thinly. But it worked flawlessly. The only downside was that I had sore muscles for about three days after preparing the Baklava. First, the dough had to be kneaded for 20 minutes by hand. After letting the dough rest for a while, rolling the individual sheets took me about 1.5 hours. The next day I had sore muscles not only in my arms and shoulders, but even in my abdomen and fingers…

Techniquewise the recipe was rather simple. I more or less stuck to the suggested filling (omitting the allspice berries, because I couldn't find any) and varying a little on the weights for the various nuts. I basically tried to use up, what I already had in my cupboard. Unfortunately I can't give you the exact measurements as I'm currently on vacation in Sweden and my notes are still in my flat in Zurich, even though I knew I was going to write up this post here. I need a better checklist next time…

I might have overbaked the Baklava a little because I expected them to get a darkbrowner colour on top. This might have also been due to the fact that my oven only works with bottom heat as it is a rather old gas oven.

The other thing that went slightly wrong was the soaking in sirup. Not thinking about the whole procedure very much, I used a springform pan to bake the Baklava. Since springform pans are put together from two separate parts, they are not closely sealed and so, when I poured the sirup over the hot Baklava, it leaked from the underside of the pan… I ended up transferring the Baklava to a lower pan and soaking in in there. Of course this meant that only about the lower half of my Baklava was actually soaking in the sirup, with the upper half remaining dry. I poured some sirup over it every now and then, but obviously this never could have the same effect as soaking over night.

Ah well, the end result was pretty tasty anyway and everybody at work loved it!

Thanks for another exciting challenge, Erica!


  1. You did a great job! Love the photos with the flowers!

  2. I agree, I never though I would get my dough very thin, but it does stretch rather well. Great job!

  3. I love your presentation. I used too much syrup so mine were very sticky and could have done with having their own little paper cases to hold them.

  4. Beautiful! I am glad you liked them. they look delicious! I love the presentation in the individual paper cups

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