Monday, June 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers' JUNE 2011 Challenge: From Phyllo to Baklava


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 dough to make Baklava.

Thank you Erica. This is such a fun dessert to make. It is very easy and It is delicious. If you love nut, you will love this dessert so much that there will not have enough left to store or to freeze ^_^ I am so happy to have this chance, to try to make my own Phyllo. Before this, I never think that it is something you can make by yourself at home but after my first try, with such a nice result, I can say that it is easy and it is fun  ^_^  Thank you The Daring Kitchen ^_^ for this fun experience!

To make Phyllo Dough:

Ingredients: make about 12 sheets
  • 1 and 1/3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar


How to make the dough:
  1. In a bowl of stand mixer with Paddle attachment, combine together -- flour + salt --
  2. In a measuring cup, combine together -- water + oil + vinegar -- 
  3. Add water mixture into flour mixture. Mix until all combined. Add more water by tablespoon if the dough seem too dry.
  4. Change to Hook attachment, knead until the dough smooth, about 10 minutes. 
  5. Remove the dough from the mixer and knead by hand for about 2 minutes. Pick up & throw it down hard on the counter time after time.
  6. Shape the dough into a ball, lightly cover with oil and wrap with plastic wrap.
  7. Let rest 2 hours on the counter.


How to roll the dough:
  1. Unwrap the dough then cut into pieces, slightly smaller the size of a golf ball.
  2. On a well floured surface, take one piece of the dough, with a rolling pin (i use rolling pin for fondant .. a little bit too big but it works just fine ^_^) flatten out the dough >> wrap the flat dough around the rolling pin >> with your hand on top >> gently press then roll back and forth >> flat out the dough from rolling pin >> rotate and repeat: wrap the flat dough around rolling pin & roll back and forth again and again until thin enough that you can see the counter through the sheet. Make sure you keep flouring well the surface. You will never over-flour the dough. So, keep flouring.
  3. Place each sheet in a tray cover with a clean towel. Do NOT forget to flour between each sheet so that they won't stick together.


To make the filling, you will need:
  • 160 g. blanched almonds
  • 160 g. raw/roasted walnuts
  • 70 g. pistachios
  • 70 g. pecans
  • 150 g. sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional) 
  • 1/2 to 1 cup unsalted butter, melted 
Note: Butter will definitively make a better taste but I use vegetable oil cooking spray instead (health concern :D), it turn out prefect too ^_^

How to:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease the 8*8 inch baking pan all over with cooking spray.
  2. In a food processor, combine together -- nuts + sugar + ground cinnamon (if using) -- pulse until all finely chopped. Set aside.
  3. Take one phyllo sheet >> lay it flat on the counter >> brush with -- melted butter -- (or spray with cooking oil if using instead of melted butter) >> sprinkle nuts mixture all over the sheet (about 3-4 tablespoons depend on the size of your sheet ^_^ sprinkle just enough to make a thin nut layer) >> place the rolling pin on the edge of one end (the one closest to you) >> gently roll the sheet over the rolling pin >> continue until end of the sheet >> with both hands on each side of the edge of rolling pin, squeeze the sheet via the center of rolling pin (move left hand to right direction, move right hand to left direction, just like a caterpillar moving? :} what an imagination :D) >> grap the whole squzzed sheet with your left hand, hold still, then take oof the rolling pin with your right hand. one done!!!! Bravo!!Gently place the rolled baklava into a baking pan
  4. Now, 11 more times to go with all the rest of the phyllo sheets. Repeat: lay the sheet >> brush melted butter (or spray the oil) >> sprinkle nuts >> roll >> squeeze >> take rolling pin off >> place into the baking pan.
  5. Once done all the sheet, with a scraper (or a sharp knife), cut the rolled baklava into desired pieces. Brush the rest of melted butter (or cooking spray) all over the top.
  6. Bake until golden brown, about an hour.
  7. Pour in the warm syrup as soon as you take the baklava out from the oven.
  8. Allow to cool to room temperature. Best serve the next day.


To make the syrup, you will need:
  • 300 ml honey
  • 300 ml water
  • 300 g. sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
Note: As I prefer not to make this baklava too wet and too sweet, i only make only 1/2 the recipe for the syrup and i like it ^_^

How to: make this syrup while baking baklava
  1. In a small saucepan, over medium high heat, combine together -- honey + water + sugar + cinnamon stick + ground clove -- boil for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
  2. Remove for the heat, take away cinnamon stick, then let the syrup cool down slowly.
  3. As soon as the baklava come out from the oven, pour the warm syrup all over.
Storing and freezing: if there is any!
Store in an air tight container, at room temperature, good for 2 weeks
Freeze in freeze zip lock bag, lay in one layer, allow to thaw at room temperature before serving.

Now, let's go make some & Enjoy ^_^

1 comment:

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