Don't get intimidated by all those layers — making your own baklava is easier than you think. All you need is a handful of ingredients, a little sense of adventure for handling that phyllo dough, and a genuine love of butter. Sound like you? Go forth and bake!
Simple Baklava Recipe
- One 16-ounce box of phyllo dough
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- 1 lb walnuts
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
For the syrup:
- ⅓ cup water
- Juice from one lemon
- 1 cup sugar
- ¾ cup honey
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. The phyllo dough should be defrosted over a few hours in the fridge, then placed in room temperature for an hour before unwrapping and using.
- Using a food processor, pulse the walnuts to your desired size. Alternatively, you can use a knife to chop the walnuts to bits.
- In a large bowl, stir together the walnuts, brown sugar and cinnamon.
- Cut the phyllo dough sheets in half and trim to fit a 9″ x 13″ pan. After cutting, you should have about 40 sheets. Cover your phyllo sheets with a kitchen towel so they don’t dry out.
- Using a pastry brush, butter the bottom and sides of your pan. Place one sheet into the pan and brush butter over the top. Repeat with 10 sheets.
- Spread 1 cup of nut mixture over the stack. Repeat the phyllo stacking and buttering process with five sheets. Spread another cup of nut mixture over the top. Repeat two more times and finish with a top layer of 10 pyllo sheets.
- Once you’ve assembled all your layers, brush the top with butter. Cut the baklava to your desired serving sizes and bake for one hour.
- Pour water, lemon juice and sugar into a saucepan and place over medium heat. Do not stir. Wait for it to simmer and for the sugar to dissolve, then add the honey. Simmer for 15 more minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Once the baklava is done baking, remove it from the oven and ladle the syrup over it right away. It should sizzle as your pour. Before serving, let it sit for several hours for all the flavors to meld together.