Baklava not only in Turkey, but in most of the Balkan countries, is a famous dessert in the Middle East and Arab countries. There are many varieties of baklava, but the most common ones are made from peanuts in Turkey. You can find baklava in almost every corner in Turkish streets. Although it is a very famous sweet dessert, it is not the cheapest.
What is Baklava and how it is made?
Baklava is made by brushing thin, paper-made leaves with butter and folding them with nuts, sugar and spices. Baklava is topped with a sweet honey-based syrup that is allowed to soak in stacked layers. It tastes sweet and wet and you can feel the flavor and richness of layers in every bite.
Recipes for baklava vary, but they always include the following basic properties: sheets of yufka (or filo), sweet syrup (usually honey mixed with juices and spices), hazelnuts (usually pistachios; walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, among other versions), and butter.
The origin of the baklava is uncertain because many countries claim that the baklava comes from its own country.
One of the theories says that the Assyrians were around the 8th century BC. They were the first to bake several layers of thin bread dough in primitive wood ovens by adding chopped hazelnuts between these layers, adding honey. The oldest known version of baklava was cooked only on special occasions.
It is undeniable that the dessert consumed today was perfected after the Ottoman Empire occupied Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) in the 15th century. And for more than five hundred years the kitchens of the Ottoman Imperial Palace in Constantinople became the empire’s ultimate dining center. The oldest reports about baklava are found in Topkapı Palace kitchen notebooks from the Fatih period. According to this report, baklava was cooked in 1473 in the Palace.
Baklava has been transformed from a simple pastry into an ingenious dessert to please the dignitaries and the rich. Other claims about the origin of baklava include the following: It dates back to ancient Mesopotamia and mentions walnut dishes in the Mesopotamian cookbook.
One of the earliest known recipes for a type of proto-baklava is found in a Chinese cookbook written under the name of güllaç in 1330 under the Yuan (Mongolian) dynasty. “Güllaç” is found in Turkish cuisine. Layers of dough are put one by one into the sugary heated milk. It is served with walnuts and fresh pomegranates and is usually eaten during Ramadan.
According to a belief, Gaziantep is the first settlement that brought baklava to Anatolia. Whether it’s true or not, Gaziantep’s version is famous for the fact that the peanuts grown there are really delicious. It varies according to geographical region in Turkey nuts used for baklava. In Southeastern Anatolia, börek is made with peanuts, hazelnuts in the Black Sea region, walnuts in Central Anatolia, and almonds on the Aegean coast.
Until the 19th century, baklava was considered a luxury; Only the very rich could afford it. People would cook baklava only on special occasions, religious ceremonies or weddings.
There was a special reason why Baklava was a favorite of rich families and Ottoman sultans with its large harems. Pistachio and honey were the two main ingredients and were believed to be an aphrodisiac when consumed regularly. To enhance the aphrodisiac effect of the pastry, two spices cloves were added – cinnamon for females and cardamom for males.
So far, a very common expression in Turkey “Every day I’m not rich enough to eat baklava”
Origin of the word
The word baklava was borrowed from Ottoman Turkish in 1650 and entered English.
Turkish etymologists claim that it is of Turkish origin (broad bean or broad bean); some say that “baklava” can come from the Mongolian root, “to tie, wrap, pile up”. Bayla himself is a Mongolian Turkish quote. Although the suffix –Va suggests Persian origins; however, the word ‘broad bean’ is not Persian, it is of Arabic origin which means bean.
According to another source, “Armenians say that the word itself – baklava – reveals its Armenian origin as the word appears to be associated with the Armenian word bakh (Lent) and helvah (sweet).”
The name Baklava is used in many languages with minor phonetic and spelling differences. Baklawa / baklawa is used in the Arab world; The Greeks call it baklava.
There are many types of baklava with various filling, different shapes and different cuts … We will talk about a few you can find together in every patisserie.
This is most common in Turkey, the only means pistachio baklava. It is usually cut into squares or small rectangles and sprinkled with peanuts on it and sprinkled with chopped pistachios inside the dough layers.
“Kuru” means dry, so it’s a “dry baklava”, without water with syrup and sugar on it. This brings out the flavors of the nuts and the filo dough itself is already sweet. Instead of being cooked in watery syrup, it’s made with a thicker syrup that makes baklava sweeter and drier than regular baklava. Although pistachios are the most common and popular, they can also be made with any nuts.
It means walnut, so this is simply baklava with walnuts. Because walnuts have a bitter flavor than pistachios, they are less sweet than peanuts, and create a nice balance for most of the dessert varieties if you are ordering more than one variety at a time.
These peanut rolls are perhaps the most decadent of all baklava, as they are almost entirely made up of peanuts and sugar. It is less sweet than other baklava and it is not made with layers of filo dough. Standard sugar water syrup is still sprinkled on top, and the richness of peanut flavor in these breads is different from other desserts in the world.
Another type of baklava, this time is divided according to its shape. Put several layers of very thin dough on top of each other, wrap nuts between the layers, wrap around the pin by wrapping and pushing the rolling pin. It is then covered with butter, baked in the oven and flavored with syrup. Since it has a hole in the middle, you could tell that some of it is a little more guilty without calories.
Bülbül Yuvası is a Turkish dessert and baklava version that takes its name from the circular shape of phyllo dough containing hazelnuts with peanuts. The preparation is almost the same as with the twist, but the difference is that the rolls are formed into rings and the pistachios are placed in the cavities of the rings after the dough is baked.
Milk is added to Nuriye with Milk, the lightest and rainiest of baklava, instead of syrup, giving baklava a different color and a lighter feel. Because it’s made with milk, it bursts faster than other types of baklava, so eaten fresh that it’s heavenly thing when you just take it out of the oven (which is also good because its name means “Milky glow”).
It is the only Turkish baklava filled with cream made by boiling a mixture of milk and semolina into a thick coagulated cream called kaymak. To make a chive, sheets of dough are cut into squares, smeared with melted butter, laid on top of each other, filled with cream and chopped walnuts, and folded into triangles before cooking. As with most baklava, a syrup with lemon flavor is sprinkled when cooked and walnuts or peanuts are sprinkled on it.