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Authentic Baklava Recipe: A Traditional Greek Pastry

Greek Baklava is a rich, sweet traditional pastry made from phyllo layers filled with crushed almonds. It is sweetened and held together with syrup or honey. For this reason, baklava falls under the category of ‘Siropiasta’ desserts. This authentic baklava recipe is easy to prepare and delicious to eat!

In Greece, almost everybody has a connection with a village. Being no exception to the rule, my parents live in a graphical village in the south part of the country near to historical Sparta. My village has a beautiful stone-built square with a bunch of plane trees that protect it from the sun during summer. Around the square, there are traditional cafes that serve, among other traditional desserts, baklava. This traditional dessert is so addictive that I spent my entire last summer vacations eating every day a piece of it (and the rest of the year to lose weight). It was then I decided that I need to learn how to make this authentic and traditional dessert.

Just like any other dessert recipe, the secret of making mouthwatering baklava lies in its ingredients. So, what is baklava made of? It requires phyllo dough, butter, crushed almonds, sugar, and cinnamon. In my village, the old ladies use good quality cow butter and make sure they use fresh almonds. Regarding phyllo dough, you can find it in the freezer section at any grocery store. Just make sure you defrost it before you use it. There are variations to this traditional baklava recipe as you may also create the filling with walnuts, pistachios or even a combination of almonds and walnuts instead of just almonds. Any way you decide to prepare this authentic baklava recipe, it is heavenly mouthwatering!

I recently discovered that this  Greek baklava recipe has its roots in ancient Greece, where ancients made a dessert named gastrin (γάστριν), a sweet that resembled current baklava (μπακλαβάς in Greek)!

Authentic Baklava Recipe

Authentic Baklava Recipe – Ingredients

  • ½ kg of phyllo dough
  • 1 ¼ cup of dairy butter (around 185 g)
  • 4 cups of crushed almonds (around 480 g)
  • A ½ cup of sugar (95 g)
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder (3 g )

Authentic Baklava Recipe Syrup – Ingredients

  • 4 cups of sugar (720 g)
  • 3 cups of water (570 g)
  • A ½ cup of honey (135 g)
  • 1 piece of cinnamon stick

Authentic Baklava Recipe Recipe – Instructions

  1. Start this authentic Greek baklava recipe by taking a bowl and adding the crushed almonds, sugar and cinnamon. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Preheat oven to 325 °F.
  3. Melt the butter and take a rectangular cooking pan.
  4. Take a cooking brush. Generously brush the pan bottom with some melted butter.
  5. Place 4 phyllo into cooking pan bottom. Brush each phyllo with butter. Take 4 more phyllo sheets. Place them in the pan allowing sheets to drape over its 4 sides. Brush these with melted butter.
  6. Cover the whole area with a wrinkled piece of phyllo.
  7. Evenly spread the almond mixture.
  8. Fold inside overlapping phyllo sheets.
  9. Top pastry with 6-8 phyllo dough.
  10. Generously brush the top layer with melted butter.
  11. Tuck in the buttered phyllo neatly around.
  12. Use a sharp knife to cut into pieces. Stud with a clove the center of each piece. This will keep the phyllo dough together. It also gives a great scent. It is not eaten when your baklava is ready.
  13. Lightly sprinkle baklava surface with some water.
  14. Bake for around 2-2 ½ hours, until nicely golden-brown.
  15. Make syrup just before traditional baklava is ready. See instructions below.
  16. Take baklava out of the oven when ready.
  17. Carefully spoon the hot syrup over baklava.
  18. Allow the baklava to absorb the syrup into its layers. Let it cool for at least 2 to 3 hours or overnight.
  19. Cut the baklava into scored pieces.
  20. Serve.

Authentic Baklava Recipe Syrup – Instructions

  1. Take a pot and add all ingredients.
  2. Bring to boil for around 3 minutes.
  3. Do not stir at all.

Baklava does not need to be refrigerated. If you like this authentic baklava recipe, you should definitely try this kataifi recipe as well!  Stay tuned for more Greek dessert recipes. Enjoy!

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