Saturday, December 19, 2009

Baklava, Bourma, and Kadayef


Just about every year at Christmastime, my mom and many of my other Armenian relatives make tons and tons of baklava assortments to gift to bosses, co-workers, friends, family, neighbors, etc. It's a time consuming process, which is why they usually wait until the holiday season to make the extra effort.


I recently helped my mom put together these delicious sweets, and am so excited to share the experience with my readers! Thanks, Mom!

Bourma

I'm including recipes for traditional Baklava (layers of phyllo dough, with a walnut-cinnamon-sugar filling, and soaked in clove-infused simple syrup), Bourma Baklava (a rolled variation of traditional baklava, with the same ingredients, but different assembly), and Kadayef (a pastry using shredded phyllo dough--or kadayef--with a creamy ricotta cheese filling, also soaked in clove-infused simple syrup).

Baklava

I would put these treats in that same order for level of difficulty. The Baklava is definitely the most complex to make, followed by the Bourma Baklava, and finally the Kadayef which is incredibly easy!

Kadayef

The all share basic components in common, whether in the form of phyllo dough sheets or shredded phyllo (kadayef), and either a nut/cinnamon/sugar filling, or simply whipped ricotta. The syrups are identical.


I love all three variations. They may be a lot of work to make all in one sitting, but with the help of an extra pair of hands, or spacing them out over more than one day of baking will definitely simplify this tedious process. Hope you all enjoy!

*Note* Photos have been updated as of March 2015!


Baklava
Makes about 5 dozen baklava

2 (1 pound) packages phyllo dough (approximately 14-by-18-inch)
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, melted and clarified

Filling:
8 ounces finely chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Syrup:
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
10 whole cloves

Grease a half sheet pan (12-by-17-inches) and set aside. Prepare the filling by mixing together the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Open one package of phyllo dough and lay it out on the table covered with a cloth when not using it. Place two sheets in the bottom of the pan and fold over the excess. Lightly brush/blot with melted clarified butter. Add another two sheets, this time folding the excess on the opposite side. Again, blot with butter and continue like this until the entire pound of dough has been arranged in the pan.

Spread the filling evenly over the dough. Open the second package of phyllo and continue as above, brushing every two sheets with butter, until you reach the last 5 or so layers, and then brush between each layer. For the last couple of sheets of phyllo, fold the overhang underneath so it is invisible from the surface.

Cut diamonds with a very sharp knife by cutting lengthwise into eighths, and then start at one corner with the diagonals until you make diamond shapes with the whole pan. Spoon the remaining hot clarified butter evenly over the top, using the back of the spoon to gently spread the butter, if needed, without disturbing the top layer of phyllo.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 40 to 45 minutes until nice and golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over high heat. Bring to a boil then add the lemon juice and cloves, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the baklava is completely cool, and the syrup is warm, but not too hot (about 160 to 165 degrees), ladle the syrup over the pan of baklava and let it soak in until mostly absorbed. There will still be some syrup left in the pan, but most of it should soak into the dough. Use a sharp knife and go over all the previous cuts, making sure the baklava is cut all the way through before serving, Store at room temperature.


Bourma Baklava
Makes about 40 center-cut pieces

1 (1 pound) package phyllo dough (approximately 14-by-18-inches)
12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, melted and clarified

Filling:
12 ounces finely chopped walnuts
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Syrup:
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
10 whole cloves

1/4-inch diameter dowel

Grease a half sheet pan (12-by-17-inch) and set aside. Prepare the filling by mixing together the walnuts, sugar and cinnamon. Set aside.

Open the package of phyllo dough and lay it out on the table covered with a cloth when not using it. Take one sheet of dough at a time and fold it in half width-wise (like a book). Brush/blot lightly with butter, sprinkle about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling over most of the dough, leaving about 2 inches free at the top edge. Fold 1 inch over at the bottom and place the dowel here. Roll up from this end, finishing at the filling-free end.

Set the seam side down. Push the two ends together toward the center using both hands, giving the dough a crinkled look. Remove the dowel and place the bourma on the greased sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough and then brush the tops of all of them liberally with melted clarified butter. Cut off the ends of each bourma and then cut the center part in half, creating two bourma baklava per roll with the trimmings on either side.

Bake at 350 degrees F for about 35 minutes until nice and golden brown. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over high heat. Bring to a boil then add the lemon juice and cloves, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the bourma baklava is completely cool, and the syrup is warm, but not too hot (about 160 to 165 degrees), ladle the syrup over the pan and let it soak in until mostly absorbed. There will still be some syrup left in the pan, but most of it should soak into the dough. Use a sharp knife and go over all the previous cuts, making sure the bourma baklava is cut all the way through before serving. Store at room temperature.


Kadayef

Makes about 24 to 30 (2-inch) pieces

1 pound shredded kadayef dough (aka shredded phyllo dough or shredded pastry dough)
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, melted and clarified

Filling:
1 pound ricotta cheese, lightly whipped

Syrup:
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 whole cloves

In a large bowl combine the kadayef dough with the melted butter and mix with your hands to coat thoroughly. Spread half the dough in a 8-by-12-inch or 9-by-13-inch baking pan or dish (the larger pan will yield slightly thinner pieces--I used a 10-by-12-inch pan), pressing down lightly. Spread the filling over the surface and then top with the rest of the buttery dough, pressing down firmly.

Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown, about 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cut into 2-to-2 1/2-inch squares. Meanwhile, prepare the syrup by dissolving the sugar in the water over high heat. Bring to a boil then add the lemon juice and cloves, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Set aside.

When the kadayef is completely cool, and the syrup is warm, but not too hot (about 160 to 165 degrees), ladle the syrup over the pan and let it soak in until mostly absorbed. There will still be some syrup left in the pan, but most of it should soak into the dough. Store at room temperature.

*Variation* To make a nut filling, combine 8 ounces finely chopped walnuts, 2 tablespoons sugar, and 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon. Follow the recipe as directed, substituting this nut filling for the ricotta.




7 comments :

Jessie said...

I love baklava and bourma, I'm bookmarking your recipe :)

Victoria K. said...

Thanks! The credit goes to my awesome mommy, haha :) She's been making it for years!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

Oh wow this looks so good. I am jealous! I love, love love baklava.

Karine said...

These look delicious! thanks for sharing :)

Angie's Recipes said...

Shredded kadayef dough looks amazing! Is it similar to the filo pastry?
These 3 layered pastries are truly tempting!

Victoria K. said...

It's kind of similar but a lot easier to work with! No worries about it cracking or falling apart. Just threads of crunchy goodness on the outside, with soft gooey goodness on the inside, haha.

Anonymous said...

I haven't made bourma in years and needed a refresher. Thanks!

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