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Baklava – A Sweet Indulgence with Wheatgerm and Healthy Nuts & Fruits

27 June 2011 32 Comments

Baklava recipe

Never thought I would ever bake a Baklava and post it on Lite Bite, till I got to see the Daring Baker challenge of this month. A classic Greek specialty baked with flaky phyllo dough, stuffed with nuts and soaked in sugar syrup, yes I avoided it for all the good reasons, refined flour, loads of butter and the sugar syrup to name a few.

The Baklava I baked for the DB challenge has some of my favorite healthy ingredients.  Wheat germ in the phyllo dough, pumpkin seeds, Charoli seeds, black currents, pistachio, walnuts and honey, which of course does make me less guilty of baking a Baklava 🙂  To my surprise wheat germ gave a very crisp pastry and does not hamper the stretching property of refined flour.

Baklava

Wheat germ with the flour

Ingredients;

For the Phyllo Pastry

  • 1/4 cup Wheat germ
  • 1 cup All purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • A pinch of salt
Baklava

Healthy nuts and fruit combo

For the Filling

  • Nuts (pistachio, Charoili, walnuts)
  • dried fruits (black current or raisins)
  • Melon seeds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar/palm sugar
  • 2 tbsp. melted butter for coating

For the syrup

  • 11/2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon zest
Baklava

Ready to go in the oven..

Method; Take a large vessel and mix all the ingredients for the phyllo pastry and knead well. Make small balls of the dough and roll as thin as possible. I got 10 small phyllo sheets. Spread all the sheets on a plate or a paper, cover with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out.

Grind the fillings in a grinder to a coarse powder.

Boil water and sugar and make a thing syrup. Take off the flame and add honey and the lemon zest to it.

Take a flat rectangular baking tin and grease it with oil. Spread a phyllo sheet on it and brush it with melted butter, add another sheet. Brush again with a little oil and sprinkle a generous amount of the filling over it. Cover it with another phyllo sheet. Repeat the same process till all the sheets and filling is consumed. The top layer should have 5-6 phyllo sheets.

Make incision with a sharp knife as shown in the picture into diamond and square shapes. Bake the pastry at 180°C for 40 minutes or till the top sheet is golden and crisp.

Baklava

Baked Wheatgerm Baklava

Remove Baklava from the oven and pour the prepared syrup over it. Let it cool and serve the individual pieces in a cup cake liner or small bowls. Baklava without the syrup is scrumptious too. I am loving this delicate and nutty indulgence in Baklava and will be baking it more often with my favorite ingredients without compromising on health.

Baklava recipe

Melt-in-mouth Baklava!

Notes;

  1. Make the phyllo sheets using refined flour for more crisp and flaky pastry.
  2. Refined flour is important for the phyllo dough as it can be stretched to make real thin sheets. Wheat germ in the dough did not hamper this quality of the flour and can be replaced easily if you are looking for some healthy options for Baklava.
  3. If the whole process of assembling and rolling out the thin sheets seem intimidating you can purchase ready made phyllo sheets available in many specialty stores.

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