Preparation over two days to make these delicious baklawas or baklavas. These little treats consist of a superposition of several sheets of ultra-thin crispy pastry imprisoning a succulent stuffing composed mainly of almonds as well as a portion of walnuts. I like to lightly roast the almonds to bring out their flavor. These little cakes are bursting with flower honey flavored with orange blossom water, it’s just a pure delight, an explosion of flavors in the mouth.
The baklawa has its origins in the Middle East, originating in Turkey, it is found everywhere in the Mediterranean basin, Lebanon, Greece, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria… Each country prepares it in its own way, it can be made of filo dough , or homemade dough and the stuffing also varies according to country and taste, almonds, peanuts, walnuts, pistachios…
Today it is the Algerian baklawa that I share with you. I was inspired by two baklawa specialists, my dear Djouza from the blog “my cabin with delights” here and Nedra from the blog “Passion Culinaire by Minouchka here.
I prepared a very large quantity with a kilo of dried fruit (almonds and walnuts). I preferred to sprinkle it with flower honey and not glucose syrup.
For a mold 50 cm in diameter.
For the dough :
- 500g T45 flour
- 1 tsp salt (5 g)
- 100g melted butter
- 1 medium egg
- 50g orange blossom water + enough water to knead the dough
For the puffing :
- Provide clarified melted butter, about 200 g or even a little more (I used pastry margarine) to brush the baklava sheets.
Ingredients for the stuffing :
- 700 g blanched almonds, lightly roasted (I prefer!) and finely chopped
- 300 g walnuts
- 400g caster sugar
- 2 tbsp apricot jam
- Orange tree Flower water
Decoration and finishing :
- As many almonds as there are diamonds to decorate. These almonds must be peeled.
- 1.5 kilo of honey + 1/2 tea glass of orange blossom water to sprinkle the cake at the end of cooking
- In a large dish, pour the flour. Add salt and melted and cooled butter. Mix everything well.
- Add the egg and mix.
- Gradually add the orange blossom water then just enough water to make the dough.
- Knead until you obtain a smooth and malleable dough. Let the dough rest.
In the meantime…
- Prepare the stuffing by mixing the almonds and the walnuts with the sugar.
- Add the jam. Mix everything together and moisten little by little with the orange blossom water by sanding between the hands (you get a shortbread not a paste).
Take back the dough :
- Form a roll of dough, divide it in two and each half in 7, making a total of 14 small balls of identical size.
- Take a ball of dough, roll it out then pass it through the number 7 dough machine. You get a long strip that needs to be thinned further until it exceeds the diameter of the dish (“siniya” cooking).
- Sprinkle the work surface liberally with cornstarch. Place the strip of dough and generously cover it with cornstarch. Roll it out to stretch it. Sprinkle with cornstarch, put a lot so that the dough does not stick, rub with your hand and fold this dough. Turn it over to spread it again with a roller and always with the objective of stretching it as much as possible with the roller and refining it as much as possible.
- Gently unfold the sheet of refined dough as much as possible, avoiding tearing it. Take it with both hands and shake to remove the excess cornstarch.
- Roll out this first strip of ultra-thin dough in the middle of the large buttered mold beforehand. Roll out this strip of dough gently then with a pair of scissors cut on both sides of the dough to fill in the sides that have remained without dough. If the dough tears a little, it does not matter, it is enough to make a bandage by recovering a piece of dough from the falls which overflow from the mold. If there is too much cornstarch in places, remove it with a soft brush.
- Brush with melted butter using another brush, gently tapping over the entire surface. You have just laid down a leaf.
- Continue in the same way, overlapping the other 6 sheets. Brush each time with melted butter.
- Place the almond and walnut stuffing and level the surface well. Press down with your hand or a spatula.
- Sprinkle with a little melted butter.
- Cover again with the other 7 sheets of dough very finely rolled out as at the beginning.
- The secret to refining it to the maximum is the use of cornstarch which is sprinkled generously and thus you can stretch the dough by refining it with a rolling pin. Spread it in a long strip. We sprinkle generously with cornstarch to prevent it from sticking and then fold this strip of dough in half. Turn it a quarter turn. Sprinkle it again with cornstarch and stretch it as much as possible with the rolling pin until you get an ultra-thin sheet, almost as thin as fino dough. It must largely exceed the large mold of 5O cm in diameter. Then as for the first sheet, we place this long and wide sheet in the middle of the dish. With the hand make it marry the mold and what exceeds, it is cut with a pair of scissors. The cut parts are collected and the voids are filled in until the large mold is covered.
- Brush each sheet with melted butter.
- Draw diamonds using a large, sharp knife, without the blade touching the bottom of the tray.
- I cut the cake in the form of a rosette: cut the baklawa into two equal parts and then into four.
- Each quarter will be divided into two. (Make a diagram with the tracing, you will find on the internet and in particular in Djouza’s blog a tracing model).
- Cut strips parallel to the score line of the quarters, then cut strips parallel to the 8th. You will get your first diamonds. We continue with the other part of the quarter, always cutting parallel strips.
- Warning: the cut lines of the diamonds must join the first ones already drawn to have a nice rosette and do the same for all the quarters, and so on until you draw a nice rosette made of diamonds.
- Cut all the way around the excess dough that protrudes from the mold.
- Prick each diamond in the middle with a blanched almond.
- Drizzle generously with melted butter (with your fingers without touching the baklawa) and bake in an oven at 180°C. Bake for 45 minutes until the top is golden brown. If it sleeps too quickly, cover with aluminum foil. The baklava should be nicely browned.
- Warning: watch the cooking carefully because it browns very quickly.
- After cooking, remove the tray or siniya or mold from the oven and immediately drizzle with hot honey mixed with orange blossom water.
- Put the mold back in the turned off oven and leave for 24 hours or overnight so that the honey is well absorbed.
- The next day, cut out the diamonds following the tracing and present each small baklava in a pretty paper box.