Baklava In The Ottoman Empire
The dessert that we consume today was perfected during the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century after invading Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). And for over five hundred years the kitchens of the Ottoman Palace in Istanbul became the very essential part of the baklava making of the empire. The oldest records about baklava are present in Topkapı Palace kitchen notebooks from the Fatih period. According to this report, baklava was baked in the Palace in 1473.
Till the 19th century baklava was thought-of as a luxury; which only the very wealthy could afford. To this day, it is a very common expression in Turkey that “I am not rich enough to eat baklava every day”. People would bake baklava only on special occasions, and religious events or weddings. However, the times have changed so much now that giving a baklava gift basket or baklava business gifting is just a click away and you can buy baklava online anytime.
How To Make Baklava
Baklava is generally prepared in large pans. Many layers of filo dough, separated with melted butter and vegetable oil, are laid in the pan. A layer of chopped nuts—usually walnuts or pistachios, but hazelnuts are also sometimes used—is placed on top, then more layers of filo. Most recipes have multiple layers of filo and nuts, though some have only top and bottom pastry. Baklava is a vegan dessert.
Before baking, the dough is cut into triangles, diamonds or rectangles. After baking, a syrup, which may include honey or rosewater is poured over the cooked baklava and allowed to soak in.
Baklava is usually served at room temperature, often garnished with ground nuts.
Key Points to Tell if Baklava Is Well-made
- The sound – A crackling sound is what you should hear when you stick your fork into it. If you don’t hear it, then it is not fresh.
- The smell – The creamy fresh butter smell is what you should sense.
- The taste – If it burns your throat while swallowing, it means the sugar-dough proportion is not balanced.
- Digestion – In case you have heartburn after your baklava consumption, it means the ingredients were not of good quality. Ease your pain with some tea.