Azerbaijani cuisine has several varieties of baklava. Baku baklava is traditionally served at the Novruz spring holiday, together with shekerbura and gogal, but is also enjoyed throughout the year.
Preparation time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 45 min
- 250 g/10 oz wheat flour
- 60 g/2.5 oz melted butter
- 80 ml/2.7 fl oz milk
- 1 egg
- 8 g/0.3 oz yeast
- 200 g/8 oz walnut kernels or almonds
- 200 g/8 oz sugar
- a drop of vanilla essence
- a few threads of saffron
- 25 g/1 oz honey
- Take the butter out of the fridge to allow it time to reach room temperature.
- Warm the milk to 30-35 degrees Celsius/86-95 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Sieve the flour onto a large board or into a large bowl and make a hole in the centre. Pour the warm milk, yeast, egg, soft butter and salt into the hole and gradually fold in the flour from the outside.
- Knead well until the dough is smooth and soft.
- Cover with a clean teacloth and leave in a warm place to rise for 60 to 90 minutes.
- While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Remove the skin from the walnuts or almonds by heating them in a frying pan, then placing inside a clean teacloth and rubbing, but not too hard. Another way to remove the skin is to soak the nuts in boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes and then peel the skin off. If using the latter method, leave time for the nuts to dry. Crumble the skinned nuts and mix with the sugar.
- Take the risen dough and separate into 10 to 13 balls (one for each layer of the baklava). Roll the balls out until the pastry is very thin, 0.5 mm/0.02 inch thick.
- Butter a deep baking tin. Place a layer of pastry in the tin, making sure it covers the base completely. Brush with melted butter and place another layer on top. (The base of the baklava needs to be thicker than the rest.)
- Spread the filling over the second layer, 3-4 mm/0.12-0.16 inch thick. Place another layer on top and cover with filling. Continue until 8 to 10 layers are in the baking tin.
- Cut into diamond shapes, 10×4 cm/3.9×1.6 inches, before cooking.
- Coat the surface with egg yolk mixed with saffron.
- Place half a walnut or almond in the centre of each diamond.
- Bake at 180-200 degrees Celsius/350-390 degrees Fahrenheit/gas mark 4 to 6 for 35-40 minutes. Some 15 minutes before the baklava is ready, glaze the surface with honey.