Baklava please!!! This Rolled Baklava recipe is from my mother herself and it is hands down, the best rolled Baklava I have ever tried. It is crispy on the outside, crunchy on the inside, and infused with a vanilla lemon flavor. Trust me, the hints of vanilla and lemon in my mom's recipe, makes this recipe different than the rest and I think you will love it too!
Why I love this Rolled Baklava recipe?
- unique, traditional flavor that's different than other recipes
- only uses a few ingredients
- made in less than half an hour
What is Baklava?
Baklava is a dessert made of phyllo sheets, crushed nuts, and a sugary syrup. The phyllo sheets are brushed with butter, layered with crushed nuts and baked. A cold sugar syrup is poured over the hot Baklava. Then, the Baklava sits at room temperature to absorb all of the sugar syrup. The result is a crispy dessert infused with sweet flavor and a crunchy center.
Where did Baklava originate from?
It is one of the most well known desserts all around the world and its origin is often a debatable topic. This is because Baklava is a very old dessert. Many believe Baklava is originally Turkish. Other countries however, have used this sweet dessert and made their own versions. It is a popular dessert in Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, other Balkan and Middle Eastern countries.
The Different Versions of Baklava.
Baklava comes in different shapes and flavors. Most common ingredients used crushed nuts (walnuts, pistachio, almonds, or pecans), cinnamon, lemon, vanilla, cardamom, and/or honey.
Baklava also varies in shapes. It can be diamond shaped, round, square, or even rolled. This recipe is for rolled baklava and in my opinion, rolled baklava is the easiest to make!
What you need to make Rolled Baklava.
- pre-packaged phyllo pastry sheets
- crushed walnuts
- bread crumbs (yes, bread crumbs. I will explain later on in the recipe)
- vanilla sugar (Amazon Affiliate link)
- lemon zest
Utensils and Bakeware:
- wooden skewer (Amazon Affiliate link)
- pastry brush (Amazon Affiliate link)
- baking pan (Amazon Affiliate link)
How to make Rolled Baklava.
1. Thaw phyllo pastry sheets per package instructions.
2. Make Sugar Syrup.
Add water, granulated sugar, and vanilla sugar to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to come to room temperature.M
3. Melt butter.
Melt butter in microwave or in n saucepan over low heat. Remember, melted but not sizzling hot!
4. Assemble rolled Baklava.
On a clean countertop, lay one sheet of phyllo pastry. Using a pastry brush, drizzle butter over the whole sheet, focusing on the edges. Brush with pastry brush until about 70% lightly coated with butter.
Add a second pasty sheet on top of the first and repeat the same process to lightly brush with butter.
After two buttered phyllo pastry sheets, sprinkle about 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs over whole sheet.
Place a wooden skewer along the bottom edge of the two sheets and roll one time just until the skewer covered.
Along the skewer, add 3-4 crushed walnuts. Using the skewer, tightly roll the phyllo sheet all the way.
Scrunch the phyllo pastry together and remove the skewer.
Place the rolled pastry in a baking dish.
Repeat this process with the remainder of your pastry sheets. You should use two sheets of phyllo pastry sheets for each roll.
Brush remains butter over top of rolled Baklava. To prevent from running out, I like to save about 3 tablespoons of butter off to the side to use to brush the top of the rolled baklava.
Cut down vertically along Baklava rolls. Baklava should be cut prior to baking.
5. Bake Baklava.
Bake rolled Balkava at 325F for 1 hour until golden brown.
6. Pour Sugar syrup over baked baklava.
First, add lemon zest to cooled syrup. Immediately after removing Baklava from oven, pour sugar syrup with lemon zest over Baklava. It should sizzle! Then, the rolled Baklava will slowly absorb the syrup.
7. Let it sit uncovered at room temperature for at least 6 hours.
Tips for making the BEST Rolled Baklava:
- Add lemon zest in cooled sugar syrup for optimal flavor.
- When pouring syrup over Baklava, syrup should be cooled and Baklava hot, right out of the oven..
- Use a skewer to roll and scrunch the Baklava. Taste is better when phyllo is bunched together.
- Work quickly to prevent phyllo sheets from drying out.
- Some say to place a damp towel over pastry sheets while working to prevent them from drying. I found that this makes the sheets way too delicate to work with and adds moisture to the rolled Baklava. I don't recommend doing this.
- They absorb extra moisture from nuts and lead to crispy rolled Baklava. You will not taste them but they will contribute to better texture.
How to store rolled Baklava.
In an air tight container, store rolled Baklava at room temperature or refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. To freeze, store in an air tight container, then in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. To defrost, simply place in refrigerator overnight or leave at room temperature to thaw.
- 1 wooden skewer
- 1 medium saucepan
- 1 pastry brush
- 1 8x12 or 9x13 baking dish
- 3 ½ cups water
- 2 ¾ cups granulated sugar
- 2 (8g) packets vanilla sugar
- zest of 1 lemon save for later
- 1 lb package phyllo pastry sheets
- 2 ¾ sticks butter
- ¾ cup bread crumbs
- 2 cups walnuts chopped
- Thaw phyllo pastry sheets per packaged instructions.
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a medium saucepan add water, granulated sugar, and vanilla sugar. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Once it begins to boil, lower temperature and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool completely. *Do not add lemon zest until just before pouring over baked Baklava.
- Place one phyllo sheet on a flat working surface and lightly brush with melted butter. Add another phyllo sheet on top and brush lightly with melted butter.
- Sprinkle about 3 tablespoons of bread crumbs over the second buttered phyllo pastry sheet.
- Place the wooden skewer on the shorter end of the pastry sheet and roll once, just enough to cover the wooden skewer.
- Along the edge of the rolled wooden skewer, add 3-4 tablespoons of crushed walnuts.
- Finish rolling the two phyllo pastry sheets all the way. Once rolled, scrunch the baklava roll tightly and remove the wooden skewer from the inside.
- Transfer the rolled pastry sheets into a lightly greased baking pan.
- Repeat process until you have used up all phyllo pastry sheets.
- Cut vertically down the baking pan into equal sections.
- Brush the remaining of the melted butter over the top of the baklava rolls.
- Transfer into a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. The rolled Baklava should be golden brown.
- Remove from oven and immediately pour cooled sugar syrup with lemon zest over the hot Baklava. It will sizzle.
- Allow rolled Baklava to sit in baking dish uncovered at room temperature for at least 6 hours. This will allow Baklava to soak up all of the sugar syrup and settle in all of the flavor.