Baklava from a few different sources.

This top recipe is what we would like to do next time. Originally this calls for walnuts, but we used pecans. We used 2 sheets in the middle while it could have used 4 instead. The nut mixture wasn’t flavorful enough, so I’d prefer to add some spices. I’d also like it not as dry, which may just come from the dough itself.

I really want to make fresh phyllo dough after reading David Lebowicz’s Spanikopita recipe. He waxes poetically at one point about “Scheherazade” a shop that closed in the mid-90’s that sold hand-made phyllo. They closed down the business since they wanted to retire and their children did not want to take over the business. D’oh! It was in San Francisco, too.

Oct 2016: I want to try making my own phyllo dough. Pasta maker? Check!


  • 3/4 cup water
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2T orange blossom water
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 8oz pecans or almonds
  • 8oz pistachio
  • 100g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 T cinnamon (maybe more? Oct ’16 people said not enough spice)
  • 1/4 t cardamom
  • 1 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 pound phyllo pastry (thawed, but still chilled)
  • 9×13 inch pan
  • brush for butter (Target example) (optional, but so much easier to clean)
  • towel at least 10×10″ big, slightly damp
  • paring knife
  1. Bring the syrup ingredients to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool 1+ hours (even overnight is good).
  2. Melt butter
  3. Unfurl the phyllo on your counter and lay the towel(s) on top. This will keep the phyllo easy to pull apart.
  4. Start warming the oven to 350°F.
  5. Chop nuts
  6. Mix the nuts, sugar, cinnamon, cardamon in a bowl.
  7. Brush the bottom of a 9X13 inch pan with butter.
  8. Brush butter onto the top of a sheet of the phyllo dough and place the sheet into the pan. Repeat until there are 8 sheets there. (Yes, eight. No sheet!)
  9. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture onto the phyllo in the pan.
  10. Add another 4 sheets of buttered phyllo onto the pan.
  11. Sprinkle 1/3 of the nut mixture on top.
  12. Add another 4 sheets of buttered phyllo onto the pan.
  13. Sprinkle the remaining nut mixture into the pan.
  14. Add another 8 sheets of buttered phyllo on top.
  15. Slice the baklava with a sharp knife in a horizontal fashion.
  16. Bake until golden brown on top, about 25-35 minutes.
  17. Add the honey and simmer for 2 minutes.
  18. Remove the spices, and peals from the syrup.
  19. Pour the syrup over the baklava when it comes out of the oven.
  20. Let the baklava cool for a few hours.

This is adapted from:

June 2012 notes

  • Needs more spices
  • dough a bit firm
  • Michelle remembers it needing more middle layers. It calls for 2, suggest 4.

Tasha’s notes

Ben, some hints: pour cold syrup over hot baklava, and pour it very slowly, to give it time to absorb. Make the syrup the night before if you can, to chill properly. Chop the nuts medium/fine – too fine and you’ll get mush, too coarse and the dough will rip. I use one whole lemon for the syrup. Squeeze in the juice and then throw the pieces in there while it boils to get some of the zest without the grittiness of grated zest. It makes it more lemony than most versions, which cuts the sweetness of sugar and honey a bit.

Next steps:

In the future I’d like to try it with pistachio, a la the following recipe:

Pistachio Baklava with Cinnamon Honey Syrup
Pistachio Baklava with Cinnamon Honey Syrup


Make phyllo (φύλλο) dough from scratch

Living the pie suggests vegetable oil while and suggest olive oil. That sounds better for savory treats. The first link seems to be more in line with what I want, though. Maybe a change with some whole wheat flour the next time?

  • 270g AP flour (2 2/3 cups)
  • 1.5g table salt (1/4 teaspoon)
  • 210 mL water (6 fluid oz, or 1 cup – 2 tablespoons), plus more if needed
  • 60 mL vegetable oil (4 tablespoons), plus additional for coating the dough
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cider vinegar


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