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10 Facts About Baklava and a Sweet Baklava Recipe

Indulge in the sweet layers of flaky phyllo, nuts, and honey syrup with this irresistible baklava recipe.

Baklava has an extensive and captivating history that can be traced back to the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BC. During that time, it held a prestigious status as a luxurious dessert savored exclusively by the aristocracy and wealthy individuals.

Baklava is phyllo dough stacked with honey and nuts to make a sweet traditional North African dessert. Learn how to make an easy North African Baklava recipe while eating and exploring our way through Africa one country at a time.

North African Sweet Baklava Recipe

North African Sweet Baklava Recipe

Ingredients

One 16-ounce package phyllo dough
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups chopped walnuts
1 cup melted butter

Baklava Syrup
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
½ cup orange blossom honey
¼ teaspoon orange blossom water

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 9x13 inch baking dish.

Mix cinnamon and walnuts in a medium bowl set aside.

Unroll phyllo cut into two equal halves. Cover phyllo with a slightly moist cloth while assembling to keep from drying out. 

Place 2 sheets of phyllo in the bottom of the prepared dish, brush generously with butter, and sprinkle cinnamon and walnut mixture on top.

Repeat layers.

Cut baklava into desired serving sizes bake 45-50 minutes.

Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low.

When the baklava is removed from the oven immediately evenly pour syrup over the finished pastry. Allow cooling before serving. 

10 Interesting facts about  North African Sweet Baklava.

Baklava is a delicious and popular pastry that originated in the Middle East and is enjoyed in many countries around the world. 

1. Baklava has a long history, with roots tracing back to the Assyrian Empire in the 8th century BC. It is believed to have been a luxurious dessert enjoyed by royalty and the wealthy.

2. Baklava is commonly associated with Turkish cuisine, but it is also enjoyed in various forms in many other countries, including Greece, Lebanon, Iran, Armenia, and many others. Each region has its own unique twist on the recipe.

3. Baklava is made using layers of thin phyllo dough, which is paper-thin unleavened dough. The phyllo sheets are brushed with butter or oil and stacked with a nut filling in between the layers.

4. The most traditional filling for baklava is a mixture of chopped nuts, such as walnuts, pistachios, or almonds, combined with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes other spices like cloves or cardamom. The nut mixture adds a delightful crunch and flavor to the pastry.

5. After baking, baklava is typically soaked in a sweet syrup made from honey, sugar, water, and lemon juice or rosewater. The syrup infuses the pastry, making it moist, sweet, and flavorful.

6. Baklava is often cut into diamond or triangle shapes before baking. This allows the syrup to penetrate the layers more effectively, and it also creates an attractive presentation.

7. Baklava is sometimes associated with celebrations and special occasions. In Middle Eastern cultures, it is often served during festive events like weddings, birthdays, and religious holidays.

8. While baklava is undeniably a rich and indulgent treat, the nuts used in its filling provide several health benefits. Nuts are a good source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and various vitamins and minerals.

9. Baklava has gained popularity globally and can be found in many countries beyond its Middle Eastern origins. It is a beloved dessert in Turkish, Greek, and Armenian communities, as well as in many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern restaurants around the world.

10. In 2008, the largest baklava ever made was created in Turkey. It weighed over 3.5 tons and measured 2 meters wide and 50 meters long.


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