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Traditional homemade baklava

200 C 1-1/2 hour preparing and baking ( plus two hours resting time for the dough) Makes two 25x35cm trays


For the pastry

1 egg

100 ml water

100 ml vegetable oil

100 ml plain yogurt

1 tea spoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

650-700 g Shipton Mill Organic white flour

For rolling out

200 g wheat starch

1 tb spoon white flour

for the syrup

700 g golden caster sugar

800 ml water

1/2 lemon jiuce

For the filling

300 g wallnuts, crushed

For the glazing

250 g melted butter


1.Prepare the baking dishes/trays with melted butter.

2. Crush the walnuts ( if you wish pistachios or almonds) and mix witha spoonful of sugar.

3. To make the pastry sieve the flour into a bowl, make a hollow in the middle.

4. Add the egg, water, oil, yoghurt, lemon juice, baking powder and a pinch of salt to make a soft dough.

5. Knead it for 10 minutes, cover and rest for two hours.

6. Make 16 equal size balls. Keep them under a damp clothe so that they dont dry.

7. Roll out each piece into a dinner plate size with corn starch sprinkled in between the layers.

8. Ideally on a marble surface roll out either one or four of the discs at a time into a very thin sheets.

(My grandmother used to say that one should see the hand through the rolled out sheet-- yes, that thin!!)

9. Cut a sheet into two halves, brush it with melted butter.

10. Take the straight edge and fold 3cm of it over and spread a spoonful of the filling along the strip.

11. Put your thin rolling pin (oklava- thinner is the better approximately 1.7 cm in diameter) on the near edge and roll away from you.

12. While the rolling pin still in, hold both ends of the pastry and push together along the rolling pin.

( It resembles a concertina- hence the name, caterpillar.)

13. Place it in the tray. Repeat the same for the rest of the dough balls.

14. Pour the melted butter over the baklava having removed the scum leaving no dry parts.

15. To allow the layers to absorb the butter, leave to stand for 15 minutes.

16. Bake 35-40 minutes (till the top turns golden brown).

17. Shortly after the trays out of the oven, prepare the syrup. (Luke warm baklava will meet the hot syrup !!)

18. Heat the sugar with water and the lemon in a pan till it boils.

19. Lower the heat and boil 2 more minutes then remove from heat.

20. Rest the syrup for 5 minutes and pour over the baklava leaving no dry areas.

Cool it and serve in the baking dish.