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What is the best pastry dough for baklava?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I often bake baklava at home and I like to make the parallelogram geometric shapes. I find some pastry dough sheets tear more easily than others. Does anyone recommend a good brand of Filo dough that does not tear much?

post #2 of 16

I use Athens brand.  For two(2) reasons. First off, it's what the major stores by where I live carry, and secondly, it hasn't failed me yet (although I have no experience with any other brand)

700

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

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"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #3 of 16

It can really be hit or miss I've found.  My step family is Greek, so we go through a lot of it. All depends on how fresh it is.  I've found Fillo Factory is pretty good, but don't get the organic one at Whole Foods, it was the worst I've ever used.

Athens is pretty good, never tried Pepperidge Farms, and Apollo can be hit or miss.  Freshness is the main thing you are looking for.  If you can find a Mediterranean market near you, probably the best bet, somewhere they have a fast turnover and it hasn't been frozen forever.

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thank you greatly for the feedback. The other thing I struggle with is that sometimes the baklava is not crisp. Am I making the pastry too hot or the syrup too hot? The other thing is that my husband likes a baklava that is not overly sweet. I am seeking suggestions on how to get a crisp baklava that is not too sweet. His birthday is coming up. Thank you again.

post #5 of 16

You're trying to make baklava that's crisp...where?  In the middle?  Or it's not even crisp on top?

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

What I mean is that I am trying to get the pastry to be crisp as opposed to wilted and I think the syrup may be where I am getting in trouble.

post #7 of 16

The pastry where?  Throughout the entire baklava?

post #8 of 16

Pepperidge makes Puff Pastry in sheets . Thats not the right dough. Talk to any Greek and they will tell you use Filo Sheets available in most supermarkets.(Athonis brand is good) 

The key to the crispness is make sure every layer is brushed with butter and watch the oven temp. Also use honey to make it as they do in Med. regeion

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #9 of 16

Martisa, Welcome to Cheftalk,

 

 

 

Some tips:

 

Once you have found the right phyllo ( some good name brands mentioned here) and you have assembled your baklava, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm up. Remove and proceed to  cut & score your diamond shapes.

 

If the baklava is too soggy maybe from not being baked long enough OR too much syrup was added.

 

If you do not want an overly sweet baklava then I would use a mix of syrup and honey , add your usual spices, heat for 10 minutes until dissolved.

 

The syrup should be hot when applied on baklava and  baklava must be fully cooled.

 

Petals.

Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Baby Cake
(4 photos)
Victorian cupcakes
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Petals
Réalisé avec un soupçon d'amour.

Baby Cake
(4 photos)
Victorian cupcakes
(10 photos)
Reply
post #10 of 16

First off all Baklava have nothing to do with Grece...i dont know all the people why they think that is coming from Grece!!!!

 

In 2008, the Turkish patent the recipe ...and officialy oring from there... or more specific from the cusines of ottoman empire...

 

all my life i use homemade stretch dough for baklava...and is the best...that how my gran gran mother use to do it in that time ( ottoman empire)

 

now i use that and is not bad...Cheers

 

63_2.jpg
 

post #11 of 16

I know it is not originally Greek inspired but I believe the Greeks kind of adopted it as any Greek rest. I ever went to had it . When I visited Greece in the 80s everyone had it their also.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #12 of 16

I'm an amateur baklava baker and baking almost every week for recipe perfection. When it comes to baklava it's mostly about the quality of ingredients you're using. So I started searching for the best possible ingredients in US. For fillo dough it's best if you can stretch freshly but if not possible you need to go with the ready to use ones sold in the stores. I've experimented with over 20 different brands of fillo dough. I used Athens for a long time until I found Pegasus Fine & Silky. Pegasus is the closest to the homemade fillo I've ever worked with with only one drawback: It tears a part really easily. But if you're baking baklava this is not a concern as long as you save couple of good layers for the top. If you won't feel good with working this type of fillo then go with Athens. Athens is thin as Pegasus and besides stronger. The only issue with Athens is that it has a starch taste which doesn't quite fit well with baklava.

 

Butter is another important ingredient to a better taste (actaully it's the most important one). For baklava it's a must to use sheeps's milk butter but in US sheeps are show animals :) they are not used to milk or milked rarely. So only option is cow's milk butter. First of all use unsalted butter. I experimented with over 30 different types of butter, not only with US brands but also with European brands. So far Strauss Organic is the best I've ever used. Remember that the butter is always best during spring because the grass caries a lot of keratin which gives the yellow color and distinctive taste.

 

For crispiness, wait around 10 minutes before you pour room temperature syrup. Reducing the amount of water in the syrup may also help. Remember you need the sweetness more than the water in the baklava. I currently prepare the syrup with 2.25/1 sugar to water ratio, just letting to boil couple of minutes and cooling it ASAP with the lid closed. This way the sugar to water ratio doesn't change much by evaporating because of the humidity and temperature levels in the kitchen. Clarified butter is another key point to crispness. Never bake baklava with butter containing milk particles. If you don't want to work on butter clarification use ghee. Nanak brand has ghee that you can find in any Indian stores.

 

Always go with one size of pan and develop your recipe with that. Stay stick to your pan once you have a good recipe. Currently I'm using a pan which is 169 square inches and I know how much syrup and butter I need to use.

 

For the origins of baklava, it's mainly from Ottoman and Middle East then it moved to Greece from that region. Greece people for sure loves baklava a lot as we do in Turkey. But the recipes are silighlty different. For example we do not use honey and cinnamon in the syrup as Greek friends do. I think both nations use sheep milk butter which is almost impossible to find here.

post #13 of 16

Borders are an artificial construct that culture and cuisine doesn't necessarily respect. There's a lot of crossover and fertilization and shared history between what we now call Turkey and Greece.

post #14 of 16

WOW. Nice first post.      Welcome to the community. 

 

 

 

I was talking to Serkant Karaca,   not phatch.  LOL @ Me. 

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply

"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.

Reply
post #15 of 16

Buonasera, Good Evening,

 

PHYLLO DOUGH ... Please do not forget the eggwash ...

 

I have lived in Greece for one year and have a fab no fail recipe. If interested, please let me know and I shall post it.

 

Ciao, Margi.

post #16 of 16

I've made Baklava recently with Kontos #5.  I was very very happy with it (and so were the client and guests).

I was very very impressed with Kontos when researching because they actually produce different types of Fillo, depending on your preference and what you're making.

AND they describe how each type will bake off - Soft or Crunchy or Flaky - and what each of their ideal uses are!  Those are the details that I really appreciate!  http://208.64.161.54/kontos/Pages/products_fillo_dough.lasso?markets=foodservice


Edited by ChefDave11 - 8/7/12 at 3:39pm
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