Homemade Crimean baklava: Try this crunchy honey delight (RECIPE)

Do you have a sweet tooth? Take a bite of this crunchy honey delight with the spirit of the Black Sea.

Do you have a sweet tooth? Take a bite of this crunchy honey delight with the spirit of the Black Sea.

Yulia Mulino
There’s such a range of various recipes of baklava in the world, and many regions have their own preferences. Check out how this Eastern dessert is made by Tatars in Crimea.

The main thing everybody knows about baklava is that it’s very sweet, consists of many layers and contains honey and nuts. The difference, however, is in the cooking technique of the dish.  

The idea of a dessert with a thin pastry dough has its origins in Assyrian cuisine. Baklava probably arrived in Crimea with the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Over time, it was mastered and transformed by the locals. 

Today, every tourist visiting Crimea is acquainted with this dish. Noisy vendors are constantly offering “medovaya pahlava'', or "honey baklava", on the beaches. Every cafe or restaurant includes it in their menu. Local housewives carefully conceal the secrets of its preparation. 

What’s so special about Crimean baklava? Like no other it is very crunchy. The secret is in the fact that it’s deep-fried and resembles a flower with many sharp petals. Each piece is soaked in a sugar-honey syrup and sprinkled with nuts. 

At first sight, it seems quite challenging to make it at home because the dough needs to become transparent. Traditionally, it is done with a long and slim rolling pin. The dough must be stretched out on a large surface which requires certain skills. However, there are some tricks like dividing it in smaller parts that helps to roll it out easier. 

The result is worth trying. Golden brown crunchy dough with a magnificent flavor of honey and walnuts will delight you.  

Ingredients:

For the dough: 

  • Flour – 265 g
  • Milk – 125 ml
  • Yogurt – 25 g
  • Melted butter – 30 g 
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • A pinch of salt 
  • Vegetable oil for frying – 500 ml 

For syrup: 

  • Sugar – 130 g 
  • Water – 100 ml
  • Honey – 1 tbsp
  • A handful of walnuts 

Preparation: 

1. Pour milk into a bowl of the kneading machine, add yogurt and melted butter. 

2. Add salt and baking powder to the flour. Install the hook attachment and start kneading the dough, gradually adding flour till you get a flexible ball.

3. Put the smooth, homogeneous and steep dough in a bowl to rest for about 15 minutes.

4. Divide the dough into four parts, form the balls and let them rest for another 10 minutes.

5. Take one ball and roll it with a rolling pin, evenly stretching the dough. Add a small amount of flour to prevent it from sticking to the work place. The dough should be transparent.

6. Bring a sheet of thin dough to a towel. It needs to dry a bit. Make sure it does not stick to your hand. But it should not dry out completely, otherwise it can break.

7. Bring the dough back to the table and make a flat roll. Don’t press it too hard. 

8. Add a bit of water on the edge in order to seal the roll.

9. Cut the roll into even diamonds and spread the petals.

10. Put them in deep hot oil. Fry till nicely brown. Turn your baklava constantly to prevent it from burning. Place each piece on a paper towel to get rid of the extra oil and cool it.

11. Put water in a pan and only then add sugar. 

12. Bring it to boil for 5-7 minutes. 

13. Take off the heat, add a spoon of honey and stir the syrup thoroughly.

14. Bath each baklava in hot syrup.

15. Sprinkle it with walnuts.

16. Enjoy!

READ MORE: Echpochmak: Fast food from Tatar nomads (RECIPE)

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