Baklava
Posted: 19 June 2009 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I made the Baklava from the “Pie and Pastry Bible” and had some
problems, but in the end it came out OK.
First, the recipe calls for using 12 sheets of phyllo dough and you list
it as 8 oz. I used Athens brand phyllo, but
8 oz is about than 18 sheets not 12.  Should I use 12 sheets or the 8oz which
is about 18 sheets?
Second the book says to simmer the syrup for 30 minutes and I ended up
reducing mine too much and got caramel. I poured it on but
it was too sticky. I realized my mistake and poured about 1/4 cup of
boiling water on too and this mostly fixed it.
Should the syrup just be boiled and poured on or reduced a little?  If
so how much?
I used clarified butter, but even using 1 teaspoon on every side of the
phyllo, I still had a lot left over.

I’m waiting for Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.

Thank you,

Mark

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Posted: 21 June 2009 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The number of phyllo sheets you use is flexible. It all depends on how much nut filling you like in relation to phyllo. Sometimes, when I don’t want to have phyllo left over, I increase the thickness and use the whole pound and simply layer it like this: phyllo - nut - phyllo -nut -phyllo. If you opt to do this, you may also have to increase the amount of filling.

If your syrup gets too thick, that means you have over-cooked it. Thinning with water, as you did, is a way to correct it. I simmer mine for about 10 or 15 minutes and check the consistency by spooning some onto a plate that has been in the freezer. It should be about the consistency of pancake syrup, maybe a tad thicker.

I often have clarified butter left over, because it is a real pain to have to re-clarify butter in the middle of assembling a phyllo-based dessert. You risk having the sheets dry out while you are preparing more butter, and therefore risk racking and breaking them when you resume using them. So, more butter than you need is better, it is insurance against running short and having to prolong the assembly. I use leftover clarified butter in bread, pancakes or as a sauteeing medium for chicken or vegetables.

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