Traditional Baklava

Phyllo dough was not born in Greece, but rather in Istanbul during the Ottoman reign. But the Greeks can lay claim to creating the paper-thin version. It is well known that the Turks brought Baklava to Central Europe.

Traditional Baklava


  • 5 cups finely chopped blanched almonds
  • 4 1 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 lbs phyllo dough
  • 1 lb unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 1 stick cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 300°.
  2. Combine almonds, one cup sugar, bread crumbs, and ground cinnamon in a large bowl; set filling aside.
  3. Unwrap phyllo and trim to fit in a baking pan.
  4. Grease pan with some of the melted butter.
  5. Place 1 sheet of phyllo in pan; brush with butter.
  6. Lay a second sheet of phyllo over first sheet, brush with butter, and sprinkle with two tablespoons of almond filling.
  7. Spread a sheet of phyllo out on a clean work surface, brush with butter, then transfer, buttered side up, to pan.
  8. Evenly sprinkle with almond mixture. Set aside two sheets of phyllo for the top, then continue alternating almond mixture with single buttered sheets of phyllo.
  9. Use reserved phyllo sheets, separated only by butter, to cover top.
  10. Brush top with butter.
  11. Cut across baklava with a serrated knife at about 2? intervals. You should have 8 equal strips.
  12. Sprinkle top with water, cover with two sheets of parchment paper, and bake until golden, about 1 1/2 hours.
  13. Heat remaining sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, and two cups water in a saucepan over medium heat; cook until sugar dissolves, about 15 minutes.
  14. Remove syrup from heat, and discard cinnamon stick; let cool.
  15. Remove baklava from oven. Discard parchment paper, then pour syrup over entire surface.
  16. Tilt pan so syrup reaches all corners, then set baklava aside to cool for 2-3 hours.
  17. Finish cutting baklava on the diagonal for a traditional diamond shape or cut into squares.
  18. Serve and enjoy!

Tags: Baklava, Desserts

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