Greece. Turkey. Lebanon. Syria. Baklava is treasured by a wide array of cultures and countries, and for good reason. The combination of flaky phyllo and sugary walnuts is almost irresistible, and even if you can resist Baklava…why would you want to?
Baklava, by the way, just so happened to be the first pastry Steve ever learned to make. Although this recipe went on to become a Steve’s Backroom classic, Steve’s foray into baking had humble beginnings. “I burned six trays of Baklava because I forgot them and they kept cooking at the bakery,” Steve recalls of his first attempt at baking Baklava by himself. “The temperature was 300 degrees and I put six pans in a pizza oven. I came back the next day and they looked beautiful…but they were all black.”
With that said, keep a steady eye on your oven’s timer to avoid disaster! Now, a few words on the ingredients you’ll see listed below. Ghee, a Persian word for butter, is simply butter that has been clarified through boiling. This recipe requires quite a bit of fillo dough (also called “phyllo”), which you will need to pull, fold, tuck, and press at various intervals. We recommend using fresh fillo if at all possible to keep the dough from sticking together. Don’t be afraid to get handsy with your dough, by the way—it’s stronger than it looks. We’re particularly partial to Athens Fillo, and that’s not just because Steve used to distribute it. Stop by The Pantry to learn more about the Athens brand and story.