Recipe and photos courtesy of Najmieh Batmanglij’s book Food of Life: Ancient Persian and Modern Iranian Cooking and Ceremonies

The dough can be divided into 3 layers with 1 layer of pistachios and 1 layer of almonds . You can also substitute honey for the syrup

You can get rose water at Middle Eastern stores.

Makes 1 full sheet ( 17x11x1-inch)

Ingredients:

Syrup

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup rose water

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Dough:

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup canola oil

1 tablespoon syrup (prepared below)

1/4 cup rose water

1 egg

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, sifter

Filling:

2 lb. ground blanched almonds

2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons ground cardamom

1 tablespoons rose water

Baking:

1/2 cup canola oil for baking

Decoration:

2 tablespoons slivered raw pistachios

2 tablespoons dried rose petals

Directions:

 1. Prepare the syrup by combining the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil (do not overboil), add the rose water and lime juice, and set aside.

2. For the dough, combine the milk, melted butter, syrup, rose water, and egg in amixing bowl. Add the flour and mix well for 5 to 10 minutes to form a dough that does not stick to your hands. Divide the dough into 2 balls of equal size and immediately wrap in plastic. Set aside.

3. For the filling, finely grind the almonds, sugar, cardamom and rose water in a food processor. Set aside.

4. Brush a 17x11x1-inch rimmed baking sheet with 1/4 cup oil. Place the oven rack in the center and preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

5. Prepare and dust with flour a large, wide surface for rolling out the dough. Unwrap 1 ball of dough and roll out into a very thin rectangular layer with a thin wooden rolling pin (the rolled dough should be thinner than a pie crust). Roll dough from the center to the outside edge in all directions, giving it a quarter turn occasionally for an even thickness—dust the dough with flour as necessary. The finished dough should be larger than the baking sheet.

Baklava

6. Roll the thin layer of dough around the wooden rolling pin and transfer it to theoiled baking sheet and unroll the dough until it covers the whole baking sheet. Do not cut off the excess dough; let the dough hang over the edge of the baking sheet, 1 inch on all sides.

7. Spread all the almond-filling mixture on top of the dough. Spread, press down, and smooth it out using your hands. Use a small rolling pin to even it out and to pack it down firmly (this is important to achieve a tight, firm baklava when baked).

Baklava

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