In culinary school, we had an opportunity to make Baklava using handmade phyllo dough. It’s one of those experiences where you make it once and immediately develop a deep respect for the intricacies of the method. If you want to get a sense of how difficult it is to make super-thin phyllo dough by hand, check out some of the videos online where these masters are throwing and stretching out these huge sheets of paper-thin phyllo dough over a flat surface the size of a queen bed. It is absolutely incredible to watch.
This recipe involves store bought phyllo dough, which will make the entire process considerably easier and less time-consuming.
Mixed Nut Baklava Using Packaged Phyllo Dough
- 1 cup of walnuts, (chopped)
- ½ cup of pecans, (chopped)
- ½ cup of shelled pistachios, (chopped)
- ¼ cup of hazelnuts, (chopped)
- 10 Tbsp salted butter, (melted)
- ½ cup of white granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp honey
- 3 Tbsp warm water
- 1 package of phyllo dough
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Mix together the chopped nuts, white granulated sugar, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, Kosher salt, and vanilla extract in a large bowl until completely combined.
- Unwrap the phyllo dough, and roll out the dough on a large sheet of parchment paper.
- Brush the bottom of a baking dish with melted butter, and add the layer of phyllo dough to the bottom of the dish.
- Brush the top of the first layer of phyllo dough with melted butter.
- Add another layer of phyllo dough, and brush the top with melted butter.
- Continue to add layers of phyllo dough, brushed with melted butter, until you have used 50% of the phyllo sheets in the package.
- Spread the nut and sugar mixture that you combined earlier on top of the phyllo dough.
- Add another layer of phyllo dough and brush the top with melted butter.
- Continue to add the remaining layers of phyllo dough, brushed with butter, until you have used all of the remaining sheets.
- Use a knife to carefully cut the Baklava into squares or diamond shapes.
- Bake the Baklava at 350F for roughly 30-40 minutes, or until the phyllo is nicely golden brown.
- While the Baklava is baking, combine the warm water with the honey in a small sauce pot on the stove, and increase the heat to medium.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook on medium heat for roughly 6 minutes on the stove.
- When the Baklava is done baking and is still hot, remove it from the oven and carefully pour the hot honey syrup over the top.
- Let the Baklava cool completely, and gently re-cut the Baklava before serving.
Sometimes, I add a bit of ground cardamom to the nut mix—it imparts a wonderful flavor.