Traditional Greek Baklava

Recipe by Chef Maria
READY IN: 1hr 45mins
SERVES: 8-12


  • 300
    g coarsely chopped walnuts (no substitutes)
  • 200
    g fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 250
    g fresh melted butter (not margarine)
  • 12
    cup sugar
  • 1
    teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10
    whole cloves, for decoration
  • 2
    cups water
  • 4
    cups sugar
  • 1
    small lemon, juice of (or 1/2 an orange, the juice of 1/2 finely grated orange rind, if you are using orange juice)


  • Mix the walnuts, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Butter your baking pan (large enough to lay out the pastry while lining the sides of the pan as well) and place 5 sheets of the pastry on the bottom, 1 by 1, buttering each individually as you place it on the bottom. Cover the remaining phyllo sheets with a slightly damp kitchen towel for the time being so they do not dry out.
  • With a large spoon evenly spread 1/2 the nut filling over all the pastry. Cover the filling with another 3 sheets of phyllo pastry, again individually buttering each as you place it. Evenly spoon on the remaining 1/2 of the nut mixture and place another 5 sheets of phyllo pastry on top, again buttering each individually as you place it. Pat the top pastry sheets down very gently and cut away any excess round the edges with a very sharp knife.
  • Cut the Baklava into triangle servings. Place a clove on every 3rd or so piece, puncturing the pastry with the stem of the clove. Bake the Baklava in a well preheated oven at 180ºC - 350ºF for 1 hour approximately or until the pastry is golden. Remove the Baklava from the oven.
  • Prepare the syrup by boiling the water, sugar and juice of your preference in a saucepan over a gentle flame, stirring with a whisk, for about 10 minutes and then allow the syrup to cool. Pour the syrup onto the Baklava (cold syrup - hot Baklava). When the Baklava absorbs the syrup it is normal for the top layer of pastry to remain crispy. Allow the Baklava to cool and then knock yourself out -- the edges are extra delicious --
  • *** Under no circumstances should an oven fan be used while baking the Baklava. It will burn the top pastry layers and edges within minutes.