Baklava!

First of all, I really need to keep up on this blog better! I have at least three food stories to report. All in good time.

My second Daring bakers challenge was to make baklava. You might think, “Okay, that’s not too bad.” Then I would laugh at you. Part of the challenge was to make the phyllo dough from scratch. Yes, this mean that you must roll your own sheets!  This was fun, let me tell you!

My first try was a fail in multiple ways. Through different events.. That I had no control over.. cough cough.. I ended up rolling my first batch of phyllo dough with a watermelon. While you rolling on the floor at my stupidity, let me explain. I live with my dad, but also have access to my mom’s kitchen, so I usually cook there. But this time, I chose to switch things up and cook at my dad’s while everyone was gone to church. I thought it would be easy. Then I realized I didn’t know where anything was. After searching through every cabinet and drawer, I could not find a rolling-pin. So I look around, not wanting to put this off any longer, and catch sight of this huge watermelon on the counter. Yeah. So I sanitized it and got to work smashing my phyllo dough flat enough to read large letters through it. It was a work out, let me tell you! But, surprisingly, it worked quite well. But it was rather difficult, so I only got seven mini cupcake molds filled up before I gave up for the day, and stuck it in the oven. Now, there is a process to this. I got a little confused of what this process was, even though I had gone over the recipe multiple times. I was supposed to cook it for 30 minutes, take it out, pour the syrup over it and let it sit. Somehow I thought I needed to put it back in the oven for another 30 minutes after pouring the syrup in. Needless to say, it took a couple of days of soaking the pan to get the rock candy baklava out.

My second time was 90% more successful. This time I used a half loaf baking dish, a rolling-pin, and only cooked the necessary amount of time. For the nuts, I used walnuts, pecans and a little bit of almonds.  To avoid the extreme sticking, I used maple syrup instead of honey, a little bit of water and almond extract and let that simmer for a while with orange peels in it. It came out delicious! It did taste a little stale though, and I decided it was because I made the phyllo dough and layers a little to thick.

I finally got it right when I cooked it my third time. I got the phyllo dough very thin, only put three sheets for each layer, and used the same syrup, YUM!!! I ate about six pieces of it that day, and I still want more.

I will definitely  be making this again!

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7 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Erin said,

    Okay, I know we were supposed to promise not to laugh… but I am laughing… a lot!! A watermelon??? Love it!! And I also can’t believe you had the energy to try making it three times til you got it perfect. Great job! Your end result looks absolutely delicious. 🙂

  2. 3

    kouky said,

    bravo pour ta superbe réalisation!! on voit bien que tu es une perfectionniste!! kouky

  3. 4

    Amie said,

    Your pictures are BEAUTIFUL! I like that you cooked it in a loaf pan! Watermelon…. 🙂

  4. 5

    Wow! This is the best phyllo dough rolling story by far! I love that you tried it with a watermelon. Very creative.

    My husband always laughs at my non-traditional use of kitchen items as well. For example, my 1 lb weights for exercising are the cans of soup he buys for lunch. 🙂

  5. 7

    ericasedibles said,

    I am glad your final try turned out, it looks great! Hilarious that you used a watermelon!!! I would have loved to see that HAHAHA


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