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Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.
Let me tell you a secret,shshshsh … the last thing ever I was willing or imagine my self try to make at home, is the Phyllo Pastry. Hahaah…

I mean, I grew up in a country famous for Orient Sweets like Baklava, Konafa, Basbosa and other sweets, it considered as a famous street sweets there, and never think of doing the dough at homes, as its offered for almost free at the sweet stores.
At first, once I saw the challenge, I said I’ll  pass this month, then I though it might be my real challenge, so why not to give it a try!
The recipe of the phyllo dough is the same recipe given by Erica, and BIG THANK YOU ERICA for this beautiful challenge.
My inspiration for baklava is the one I always buy and like in my home country, it’s known as Bird Nest Baklava, I always do it but with the store-bought dough, this time from my home prepared dough.

The steps are easy, take one sheet of baklava dough, cut the circle into two half, put the filling beside the cut edge, you just need a skewer, put it behind the filling and roll, then squeeze the tow ends to the centre and try to pull the skewer out, you can leave it as is and cut it into finger length or even to a fingertip or roll it into a spiral shape that end into a rose like shape.

Mediterranean Bird-Nest Baklava

You can find the recipe here

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for coating the dough
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar

In the bowl of your stand mixer combine flour and salt, mix with paddle attachment. Combine water, oil and vinegar in a small bowl, add water & oil mixture with mixer on low-speed, mix until you get a soft dough, if it seems dry add a little more water.
Change to the dough hook and let knead about 10 minutes. You will end up with beautiful smooth dough. If you are kneading by hand, knead approx. 20 minutes. Remove the dough from mixer and continue to knead for 2 more minutes, pick up the dough and through it down hard on the counter a few times during the kneading process.
Shape the dough into a ball and lightly cover with oil, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let rest 30-90 minutes, longer is best ( I let mine rest 4 hours)

To roll the dough, you can use a wooden rolling-pin.
Unwrap your dough and cut off a chunk slightly larger than a golf ball. While you are rolling be sure to keep the other dough covered so it doesn’t dry out. Be sure to flour your hands, rolling-pin and counter. As you roll you will need to keep adding, don’t worry, you can’t over-flour.
Roll out the dough a bit to flatten it out.
Wrap the dough around your rolling-pin/dowel, Roll back and forth quickly with the dough remaining on the dowel, Rotate and repeat until it is as thin as you can it. Don’t worry if you get rips in the dough.
When you get it as thin as you can with the rolling-pin, carefully pick it up with well floured hands and stretch it on the backs of your hands as you would a pizza dough, just helps make it that much thinner.
Roll out your dough until it is transparent. NOTE: you will not get it as thin as the frozen phyllo dough you buy at the store, it is made by machine
Set a side on a well-floured surface. Repeat the process until your dough is used up. Between each sheet again flower well. You will not need to cover your dough with a wet cloth, as you do with boxed dough, it is moist enough that it will not try out.
To fill the sheets:
Cut each sheet into two half, brush the dough sheets with a mix of melted Crisco vegetable shortening and butter, put the filling in a raw along the cut edge (leave a little space at the edge), roll it once over the filling, put a skewer behind the roll and continue roll with the skewer inside, squeeze the two ends of the roll into the centre to make like folds shape in the roll, now slip out the skewer carefully , cut it however you prefer the length, or roll it to each other like a spiral.

Grease a baking sheet arrange the baklava and brush it with the grease mixer, put it in the oven for 20-30 min on 350 f.
Add the cooled syrup to hot baklava and let it soak.

Sprinkle some finely chopped pistachio on the top for garnish when it served.

The filling:

1 cup pistachio chopped in the food processor
1\2 cup almond chopped
2 tablespoon sugar
1\4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon rose-water

Mix all the filling ingredients together.

For the sugar syrup

3 cups sugar
2 cups water
2 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice

put the sugar, water and the corn syrup in a put and bring to boil, and let boil on low heat for 20 min, add the lemon juice boil for 1 min more. let it cool. you can made it a head of time and leave it at room temp.