Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daring Bakers' - Baklava

Erica of Erica's Edibles was our host for the Daring Bakers' June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

And so, I made baklava. I have to confess that I was less than excited about this challenge, partially because it seemed like a lot of work and partially because half my kitchen is in boxes.

Most of you know already, but I bought a house!! The Cooking the Books headquarters will be moving into our new official kitchen within the next week or so. In the meantime, I've been crazy busy with paperwork, loans, wire transfers, packing, organizing, and lots of boxes. I think I've found a cat in every box I pick up, so I feel like the boys are excited about the move.

That said, I've put minimal effort into this challenge. I made the baklava, swearing at the Greeks the entire time for coming up with such a difficult dough. I have to say that the dough rolling and stretching was not my forte. I had planned to use my 8 inch square pan, but after attempting a couple sheets I broke down and dug my 6 inch pan out of a box.

For my filling, I used pistachios and hazelnuts with cinnamon, cloves, and sugar. The nut filling was absolutely amazing. I had a lot of filling leftover after switching to the smaller pan and I've been slowly using it up on yogurt, oatmeal, quinoa, and anything else that needs some tasty nutty goodness.

I was disappointed in how tough some of the dough layers were, but I'm sure that was mostly user error on my part. My best guess is that I overworked the dough, but it still a tasty treat.

I would like to try my hand at baklava again sometime. Not anytime soon. But sometime in the future. I want to try the frozen pre-made sheets to compare to the dough I made. I also plan on hitting up the Greek Festival here in Reno over summer to perform a quality control check on the authentic stuff.

In the meantime, I have plenty of packing, cleaning, and sprinkler repair to get busy on. I'm hoping to post more on the house in the near future, but I make no promises!


  1. Luck with your home repair projects! You did a good job on the baklava, hopefully next time you'll get the phylo dough right :-) Congrats on a great challenge!

  2. Congrats on the new house! Looks great on the baklava. I used pistachio filling, too, and I think that was part of the great taste! I think I'd use frozen dough next time, too, and see if the homemade version was different/better.

  3. Congrats on the new house :) That's awesome, and I can't believe you made this dessert while in the process of moving! your bak looks great!

  4. Congrats on the new house. Sorry to hear your baklava didn't turn out as you had hoped. IT looks delicious