Erica of Erica's Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker's June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.
Baklava is a dessert made with phyllo dough, nuts, honey, sugar, and butter. The origin of this sweet is hotly contested but the most often claim is that it came out of the Middle Eastern region. This luxurious dessert was once eaten only by the rich. Today Baklava in its many versions are available for all to enjoy or make as is the case this month.
This was to be an interesting challenge as are all the challenges coming from the Daring Baker's. First, I am not usually a fan of Baklava. The commercial version is often way over the top sweet. Second, is sadly my honey cannot eat the nuts. However, I have thought about making my own phyllo but up until now never had the opportunity. I decided, hey why not just change the filling to dried fruit.
Making the dough proved to be the easiest part. Rolling it out super thin however was a bit of a challenge. But thankfully it did not stick to the counter. The filling was a mixture of raisins, plums, and dates soaked in orange juice then coarse chopped.
To assemble was simply layering the phyllo sheets brushed with butter in between. Adding the fruit anfter about 6 layers, then repeating. Using a sharp knife precut the Baklava. Into the oven for a slow bake at 350 degrees for one hour. In the meantime, a syrup of sugar, honey, water, ground cloves and a piece of orange rind was combine. Bring this to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. This must cool before the Baklava comes out of the oven. Once out of the oven pour the cooled syrup over the top of the Baklava. The syrup will soak into the Baklava overnight.
I was pleasantly suprised to find that I enjoyed this version very much. My honey enjoyed it as well. We all agreed that it was even better the following day! I shall have to work with this phyllo again!