One for the baklava lovers (Daring Bakers)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

(Malaysian Monday has been postponed until tomorrow due to a clash in programming)

When I first met Mr. Kitchen Hand, I had some doubts over the longevity of our relationship. A lot of it had to do with food. I love seafood, he won’t eat oysters, mussels, squid or octopus. I love congee, bak kut teh and slippery rice noodles in eggy sauces. He squirms at the thought of all that “sloppy Chinese food”. I am a sugar addict, he doesn’t have that much of a sweet tooth.

Then one day, on a short trip to Australia to visit his parents, he very excitedly introduced me to sticky baklava, and I knew all would be well.

To say he loves baklava would be something of an understatement. So he was obviously very excited when I told him about our Daring Bakers challenge.


Which brings me to the blog-checking lines. 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.

Little did I know that rolling phyllo pastry sheets is an excellent way to work out the triceps! I didn’t even realise my muscles were being worked until the next day when I woke up with aching arms.


I tried taking a photo to show how thin the dough was, but it's pretty tricky carrying dough around and photographing with one hand.


Apart from the exercise, the challenge recipe was very easy to follow, and the dough was quite robust too. I’d let the dough rest overnight in the fridge (the recommended resting time was a couple of hours). Then I left the well wrapped rolled dough sheets in the fridge for a couple of days before getting some time to attempt the baklava proper.  This waiting around time didn’t seem to affect the final product too much, although if you intend to store the rolled out dough for a while, I highly recommend flouring  each sheet very well and slipping a piece of baking paper in between every second piece. Otherwise, the dough sticks together and has to be re-rolled.



Another shot.


We could either follow the given baklava recipe or use our own, so I went with one by Belinda Jeffery. It was quite similar to the given recipe except her version used different spices, and had lemon juice added to the syrup.



Syrupped and waiting to be removed. Each square topped with a clove

Did it pass muster with the baklava fan? “Perfect except it’s the low-res version, it hasn’t fully downloaded yet. The flavour is there, the syrupy texture is there, but the solid components weren’t quite there yet.” Huh? He meant the nuts weren’t fine enough (my bad, I like chunky), and the dough not as flaky. Well, understandable really, we hand-rolled this dough! It was never going to be as thin as a machine-made phyllo.





 Filling of pistachios and pecans, spiced with cinnamon

I was very proud of myself for making this baklava entirely from scratch but honestly, in the future, I’m just going to buy phyllo ready made. Unlike puff pastry where the flavour is noticeably better in the home-made version, I just couldn’t taste that much of a difference with the home-made phyllo.

If you’d like to hand roll your own phyllo, check out the recipe at the Daring Kitchen. While you’re there, do check out what the other Daring Bakers have made. And before I go, here’s a neat video showing a lady rolling phyllo using a length of dowel.

Thanks for visiting, have a great start to the week and come back tomorrow for the postponed Malaysian Monday :)

25 comments:

ericasedibles said...

Your baklava looks wonderful!!

Dawn said...

Your baklava looks amazing. I agree that the more flour the better!

Jennifurla said...

gorgeous, you did great. I am inpressed.

kouky said...

bravo!! ta baklawa est superbe!!

muppy said...

Looks amazing, I am very impressed. I am glad to hear you recommend bought phyllo as a good option!!!

cikmanggis said...

clap clap!clap! tepukan gemuruh buat shaz kerana berjaya menghasilkan baklava dengan bergayanya!..rasanya belum bersedia nak try buat sendiri baklava ni..nampak sukar...Tahniah:)

WizzyTheStick said...

I am always so in awe of you daring baker girls! hand rolled phylo you are absolutely fearless!

Cakelaw said...

Your baklava looks beautiful - and think how it won your heart!

Mary @ ohmykitchenaid said...

Wowie!! They look amazing! I love baklava! Good job!

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

To be honest, I still need convincing with baklava:). I don't have sweet tooth and most of our dish will be sugar free, although I am married to a pantai timur. Wah I thought at first someone help to take photo for you.

Hungry Dog said...

Totally impressive! Phyllo dough from scratch seems impossible to me--so of COURSE you could do it!

Jo said...

Beautiful baklava! I love the shots showing just how flaky your phyllo was.

Rylan Ty said...

Wow! I love your baklava! I actually have a sweet tooth for baklava. There are a lot of places that makes them tooooo sweet. However, there is this one Greek place where they make the most amazing baklava. They are just sooo good! I love their hummus too, hehe. Anyways, I have yet to try making one myself. Ooooh! Thanks for sharing, Shaz!

INMA said...

Your baklava looks so yummi, I just love it!!!

joe and stacy said...

Wow! That looks wonderful! And the bright green pistachio nuggets are beautiful - even if they were a bit on the large side. :) s

Keely aka The Richest Girl in Bondi said...

Well done on rolling your own phyllo pastry! It's kind of nice to know there's not much difference between that and the ready made variety though. The baklava looks delish!

Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Your baklava looks awesome, and lol, I can definitely empathise on the difficulty of one-armed photography with prop in the other!

Beth said...

What a gorgeous baklava! You should be proud of your amazing results (even if they are low res).

Barbara said...

What a marvelous job, Shaz! That looks delicious. Quite an undertaking! It's always fun to check out all the Daring Bakers and see what they did!

shaz said...

Thanks everyone!

My Little Space said...

Shaz, the pastry dough look awesome and so is the baklava. I want to try this out one of these days. Thansk for sharing & have a great day.
Kristy

Bourbonnatrix said...

that sheet of phyllo looks perfect! i'm very impressed!

grace said...

i love everything about baklava, from its name to its texture to its flavor. that said, i've certainly never made it completely from scratch, so hats off to you! tis a workout well worth it, i'd say! :)

Lisa said...

No idea why, but I thought I left a comment for you on your baklava. Then I popped in to see what else you've been up to 'since', marveling at your gorgeous lime curd filled macarons, and as I flipped back, I saw I hadn't even seen this post! Geesh! In any event, gorgeous baklava, and your phyllo is outstanding! Each sheet could be a bride's veil!! Totally amazing, shaz!

shaz said...

Thank you, thank you :)