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Easy Baklava

I’ve been wanting to post the recipe for Azerbaijani baklava for a long time. So, for the first time in my life I dared to make baklava myself, but …. it didn’t turn out the way I wanted. It tasted great (we had guests and they loved it) and it had all the right flavors, but I was still not satisfied. And since I do not post a recipe if I haven’t tested it a hundred times and if I didn’t like it, I decided to postpone making the real thing until later.

But there was no stopping me. So, the next day I decided to make baklava again, the easy one. The result is what you see in the picture. If you are pressed for time to spend long hours in the kitchen rolling the many thin baklava layers, roasting the walnuts and preparing the syrup for luscious Azerbaijani baklava – this recipe is what you need. My friend Emel helped me work on the recipe, too. Thank you, Emel!

So… it is still a baklava, but a lazy one (or for lazy cooks?). No kidding. The name from Azeri translates as Lazy Baklava (Tenbel Pakhlava). In Azerbaijan, this baklava is also known as Sochinskiy Pirog (Pie a la Sochi). It is comparatively easy to make, is close in taste to the real thing and is also delicious in its own special way. Perfect for your Novruz table. Enjoy!

Easy Baklava

Makes 22-24 baklava pieces

For the Dough
3 cups all-purpose flour
8 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
2 egg yolks

For the Filling
2 cups sugar
2 egg whites
3 cups (10 ounces) walnuts, ground (they should be somewhat crunchy in the pie, so do not grind finely)

For the Top
1 egg yolk, to glaze
Handful of walnut halves, to decorate

Method

Prepare the dough. In a large bowl, combine the flour and butter. Using a pastry blender or a knife or a fork, cut in the butter until coarse meal (pea size crumbs) forms.

In a small bowl combine the sour cream and baking soda and add to the butter mixture. Add the eggs yolks. Toss with your hands until the mixture comes together in a rough mass then knead briefly until you obtain smooth and gentle dough.

Divide the dough into 3 equal parts, forming each one into a thick disk. Wrap each disk in a plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

Prepare the filling. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites. Using an electric mixer, beat until until well blended, 3 minutes. Add the walnuts and stir with a spoon to combine.

Butter the bottom and the sides of a 8 x 12-inch baking pan.

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Using a rolling pin, press firmly to roll out the dough into a rectangle the size to fit the pan. Carefully transfer the rectangle to the prepared pan, gently pressing the dough against the bottom and the sides of the pan. (Also, slightly stretching the dough to the sides and sealing the edges will keep the releasing juices inside.) Repair any tears in the dough.

Spread half of the filling over the dough layer. Roll the second disk in the same way and place on top of the walnut filling. Spread the remaining filling over this layer.

Roll the third dough disk and cover the walnut filling with it. Press slightly on top.

Brush with the egg yolk. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut the baklava in cross-hatching diagonals to make diamond shapes (first cut 4 parallel lines lengthways, then several across and at an angle) , cutting through the filling all the way to the bottom. If you wish, you can also cut the baklava into squares. Pace half a walnut into the middle of each baklava piece and press slightly to adher to the dough.

Bake on the middle rack of the oven until golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from the oven. The baklava will will appear puffed up – this is normal; as it cools off it will settle. Allow to cool completely (Important!) in the pan, then carefully lift out the baklava pieces from the pan. Store in a covered container.

117 Comments
  1. Wow, this is very helpful recipe. I may try to cook Azerbaijani food. Thanks.

  2. Kebelle, thanks for visiting. Azerbaijani food is delicious. Enjoy!

  3. Mmmmmm….. I LOVE baklava! I will certainly try this one. This is a great introduction to Azerbaijani cuisine for me, sweets speak to my soul. Thank you for sharing!

    xoxox Amy

  4. Amy, thanks for visiting. Let me know how your baklava turns out. This one is simple, there is another, so-called real Azerbaijani baklava that is even yummier. I yet have to polish the recipe. Please stop by again.

  5. Hi Farida,

    Thank you so much for visiting my blog and leading me to yours! What a treasure find this is. You bet I’ll be hanging out here often and learning all I can about your cuisine.

    I too am currently writing a cookbook :)

    So nice to meet you. I’ve just subscribed to your feeds/posts and have added you to my blog roll as well.

    See you around.

  6. Cynthia, thank you so much for vising mine! It’s great knowing you! You have a lovely blog! You are now in my blogroll too and I am looking forward to new postings from you, too!. Good luck with your cookbook! Cheers.

  7. wow, the baklava look so delicious. I wish I could reach into the monitor to help myself for a few. :) And I like your step by step photographs. I will surely check back on your blog often!

  8. Mandy, thanks for stopping by. I am glad you like my baklava, at least from the picture:) It is an easy recipe, and I am sure with your baking talent you can handle it in no time:)

  9. wow, even I could make this. Thx for the shortcut recipe.

  10. Nine, welcome to my blog! Yes, this baklava is easy to make. Wait for the real Azerbaiani baklava which is a bit more time consuming to make, but the result is worth your efforts and time! Please visit again!

  11. Hi,

    I went to Turkish Kitchen in the city and had a nice meal. As dessert, I had something made of sesame. It was very sweet. I don’t know the name of it, but it was brownish, and the texture was almost fudgelike. Do you know what it’s called by any chance?

  12. Wow, I’m amazed by this wonderful baklava! Ever so tempting and scrumptious!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  13. This makes baklava so easy. This looks really delicious.

  14. Yum, these look great! Nice pictures!

  15. Farida, I just looked at your tandoori bread and loved it. And I saw this easy baklava recipe by accident, it’s you again caught my attention. I can tell that you’re talented on cooking.
    Thanks for sharing this one too.
    Max

  16. Emily: Hmm, I wonder what Turkish desert you had. It could be one of those flan-type desserts that are popular in Turkey, but they don’t have sesame in them. I even asked my Turkish husband and he had no clue as what it could have been:) I need more hints to identify that mysterious sweet:)

    Rosa: Welcome to my blog! Enjoy Baklava and visit again!

    Aparna: Nice to have you back:) Glad you like the recipe.

    Stacie: Thanks for visiting! You traced me back to your blog and looks like you like baking. Baking this baklava will be super easy for you!

    Max: Thanks for your nice words. I am flattered. Not sure about the talent but I simply like looking and honestly, I love eating even more:) The bread is easy to make. Please visit again!

  17. Gorgeous dessert! Your blog is amazing!

  18. Oh your baklavas look so good, I have just prepared a selection of different kinds of baklava, took the photo and will publish the post soon, but I will defenitely try this one cause it easy to make and looks so delicious :) Thanks a lot!

  19. Chriesi: Thank you for your nice words! Glad you like it here:)

    Mag: What a great idea! Let me know when you post it so I can take a peek at your baklavas:)

  20. ooooo….this really takes the cake (excuse the pun), but really! This is a MUST try!

  21. well this is certainly easier than the phyllo dough recipe for baklava, yet i’m sure it’s equally delicious! your pictures are amazing, and as a fellow baklava lover, i commend you! :)

  22. Dear Farida:

    As a fellow Azeri I am proud of you for promoting our rich Azeri cuisine. I have been baking sochinsky pirog for years and have always introduced it to Americans as “easy baklava”! What a coincidence!

  23. Dear Farida,

    I am originally from Azerbaijan but presently live in Canada. I used to help my mom and grandmother to bake baklava and all other azeri pastries but since we came here this is the first time I tried to prepare baklava on my own using your recipe. All I have to say that this recipe is amazing, easy and delicious. Just like Arifa I am proud of you for promoting the blog with Azeri cuisine. Its great to know that someone has ability to show what Azeri cuisine is all about. I will be checking your website all the time for more great recipes. Goodluck.! Its fabulous!!!!

  24. This looks great. Even if it’s tenbel (in Turkish it’s tembel) baklava. That’s a funny name. I’ve never tried to roll my own baklava as it would take probably a good part of a day to make. I always use the packaged phyllo dough.

  25. Thank you, friends, for all your lovely comments. Please check your emails for individual messages from me:)

  26. Hi Farida,
    I just came across your recipe while goggling for some soft kind of baklava.I must say it looks great and seems really easy so i’ll definately give it a try.I made baklava with an algerian recipe making my own phyllo pastries with a pasta machine.It turned out great but it was too crispy for my taste..I like it the sheets to be a little thick and soft..I don’t know if my dough was too thin but i’d be glad if you can tell me some tips over how to make it like that..

  27. Hi Habiba, welcome to my blog. Glad you like the baklava recipe. It is really easy to make. Since I did not use pasta machine for this recipe (i have never used it for anything really), I don’t want to give you wrong answers. You will need to roll this dough with a rolling pin. It will be very easy to make . The sheets will be soft and slightly thick. Just follow the recipe. If you have a specific question regarding this particular recipe, please do not hesitate to ask me. Will gladly help. Good luck and thanks again.

  28. Great recipe!!im surely going to make this one
    i had two questions on my mind.firstly,can there be a substitute for sour cream??can i use the normal whipped cream instead? and i also wanted to know if the suger should be grinded first?..im amazed over how you don’t need syrup in this recipe.will the pastry layers be sweet enough without it?

  29. Hi Dina, welcome to my blog. So glad you like the recipe. This baklava is really easy to make. At least compared to traditional Azerbaijani baklava which is much trickier. To answer your questions.

    1. Sour cream is really what makes the dough special. I personally have not substituted it with anything else, but I think you can use plain yogurt instead. Mix 1/4 cup melted and cooled off butter with 3/4 cup plain yogurt and refrigerate for at least one hour. That’s your sour cream right there. But then again you will end up using a lot of butter in the dough. I think using plain yogurt without butter wouldn’t do much damage to the dough, but not sure if it will be as good as sour cream in this particular recipe. Hope this helps.

    2. I use granulated white cane sugar.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Have fun baking:)

  30. This is absolutely stupendous!!! Beautiful dough whether lazy or not, I love it and would very much like to attempt it!

  31. NAZARINA: Glad you like the recipe. I would be flattered if you tried it. Let me know if you do. I am curious:)

  32. this is a nice Baklawa…. Also in my site I have the original recipe for the Baklawa…. using a dough and not Phyllo.
    thanks for sharing
    Arlette

  33. ARLETTE: Welcome to my blog. I will surely look at your baklava recipe as I am big baklava fan:)

  34. I tried these last weekend and they came out really well. I made one change, I added rose water to the filling. Friends and family enjoyed. Thanks for the recipe.

  35. KRITHIKA: Glad you enjoyed this baklava. Rose water is a great adittion. I love its flavor.

  36. Salam Farida!

    My husband and I just got back from living in Mingechevir for a year. This recipe looks just like the baklava at the bakery on Heydar Aliyev Prospecti. Thanks for posting this! I’m excited to try it for our Novuz Bayram party on Friday!

    -Carolyn

  37. Farida – what temperature should the oven be at? I’m going to be attempting the recipe this week! Thanks! Stephanie

  38. CAROLYN: Welcome to my blog. I hope your baklava turns out just like the one in the Baku bakery. Enjoy!:)

    STEPHANIE: 350F (180C).

  39. Salam Feride.Azerbaycan metbexini gozel temsil etdiyin ucun seni tebrik edirem.Azerbaycanli olarag senin reseptlerinin coxunu bilirem, ancag isterdim Gogali nece bisirmeyi mene oyredesen.Eger mumkunse

  40. Salam Kamile,

    Cox sahg ol gozel sozlerine gore. Sozun duzunu desem qoghal bisirmemisem indiyene kimi:) cunki bilirem ki, bisirsem menden b asqa hec kim yemeyecek ailemizde. Amma kitabim ucun bir qun bisirib sekillerini cekeceyecem. Web sayt ucun deyil, printed kitabim ucun. Onda resepti sene de vererem. Indi ise tanishim Gullunun saytina baxa bilersen, onda qoghal resepti var:

    http://azerifood.com/az/7/75.html

    Helelik,
    Feride

  41. Farida – I made it! And it came out wonderful, so tasty, and easy to make! It was demolished in one day. Thanks! Stephanie :-)

  42. Farida janim,
    what oven temperature do you bake the paxlava?
    Happy Novruz
    Vusala

  43. STEPHANIE: Glad you enjoyed it!

    VUSALA: 350F (180C) as the recipe says. Happy Novruz to you too!

  44. Perfect! this is exactly what I was looking for! thanks!
    Sarah

  45. What beautiful baklava. I especially love easy shortcut recipes for classic cookies. They make sense for the busy lives we lead today.

  46. Hello Farida!
    We make our baklava dough also here in Algeria.But it usually comes out hard … nothing like phyllo. I have tried using strudel dough which I make by hand (grandmother’s method) but I have not been to get it down yet. I will try your recipe … sour cream I am sure moistens the dough nicely.
    BTW love your blog and pix!

  47. shum te mira jon kto rceta ehde pse jam shqiptare shum mka interesu kuzhina juve

  48. Quote–
    It tasted great (we had guests and they loved it) and it had all the flavors you would find in real Azerbaijani baklava, but I was still not satisfied. And since I do not post a recipe if I haven’t tested it a hundred times and if I didn’t like it, I decided to postpone the Azerbaijani baklava until later time.
    End quote–

    Such a meticulous cook you’re sis, I must say… Anyways I don’t cook much except a very simple stuff due to the busyness and time constrained and perhaps some laziness encroach on me too, but I do keep bookmarks many great web site, that deal with cooking that look and sound fantastic. And some of your’s pages already in my a bit long list, waiting to be execute.. someday… ;)

  49. Çox sa? olun.
    Salam.

  50. sag*

  51. Thank you all for your comments!

  52. waaaaaaaaw gorgiousss
    we make baqlawa in morocco too, but it’s diferent, i’ll try yours,

    kisssssss

  53. wow!! They look so delicious..i have never eaten this but i will defenitley try to make this! thanks a lot!!

  54. Fraida… I am happy that you are not nearby because i will gain weight … I am sooooooooo weak when it comes to sweets…

    Sea Wave from Saudi Arabia

  55. Merhaba Farida
    Baklava is in the oven…it was easy to follow the recipe, so far looks very good, thank you so much for sharing your recipe
    Nihada

  56. THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR COMMENTS.

    NIHADA: Hope it turned out great. Enjoy!

  57. Nice Baklava .. brings back so many memories.. this is the way my aunt , on my father’s side taught me to make it….but they were from Syria….one wonders how the food recipes travelled…
    Nice recipes and so easy…..again it just brings back so many childhood memories. But I do make some of the things especially those which I like…

  58. I wont to be your frends

  59. Salam Farida khanim, I’m visiting your site at least once a day to drool over the pictures lol. I was wondering if you had the recipe of SHEKER CHOREK? I’m dying for these biscuits and can’t find the real recipe :(

    Keep up the good work!!!!!!

  60. SABINA: Thank you:) Sheker chorek will be in my cookbook (printed one). In the meantime, visit my friend Gullu’s site for the recipe.

    http://www.azerifood.com/ru/7/77.html

  61. ohhhhhhh!! Thanks a lot!

    Can’t wait for your book!!!!!!!!!

  62. Baklava from Turkey. ?n turkey make delicious baklava. And everybody love baklava there.

  63. Is not it called Sochinskiy pirog? although i usually also introduce it to my guests as “easy version of our pakhlava”. One of my favorite recipes . DELICIOUS!!!

  64. actually it is mentioned as Sochinskiy as well…sorry, my mistake :-)

  65. do u think i can bake it in glass pan?

  66. MAHSAT?: ? have never baked it in a glass pan. Not sure. but I am thinking a regular pan would yield a nicer crust and top.

  67. I will be trying this – but here’s the thing – have you considered making a print-friendly version available to the readers of your blog? It’s hard to print out recipes nestled between pictures. I recently decided to do a step-by-step picture cooking blog as well (how original of me), but I felt like I had to stick a words-only version of each recipe at the end of each picture post for people to print.

  68. Dear Farida, thanks soooo much for sharing this recipe, I just baked it yesterday evening as well as shekerbura from your recipe all alone by myslef :( and it turned out really great ! It looks amazing and tastes even better !
    I love your blog, you really make it sooo easy to want to try something new.
    Thanks again !
    Keep up the excellent work !

    Adila

  69. Thank for recipe, just made it today, and it turned out great!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the house smells delicious, have to wait until it cools down to taste!!!!

  70. Hi,

    I have been visiting your blog often. You have a wonderful collection. I followed your Baklava recipe and it turned out awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  71. This is my favorite!!!!!
    May God bless you hands and your house!!

    Cook more ….. I like your recipes and your dishes …… I wish I would have the same passion to cook… :-))))
    Vika

  72. Hi Farida,

    I love baklava and its my favourite Arabic sweet. i have been looking for a baklava recipe for so long. All the baklava recipes that I’ve read uses store-bought phyllo dough. And unfortunately, I couldnt find phyllo dough where I live. So when I read this recipe I was soo happy.

    I’m planning to try this out. But my son is allergic to walnuts. Do you think I can use almonds or cashew nuts instead? And do the nuts have to be roasted in advance?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

  73. SARAH: I think almonds should work fine. Not sure about cashews, we don’t use it in any kind of baklava in Azerbaijan as we don’t have that nut there:) You don’t have to roast the almonds.

  74. You have a very nice site. We have friends that we make and serve “International Dinner.” We have chosen Azerbaijan this month. Easy Baklava will be dessert (an easy choice!) Also, Yogurt Soup, Stuffed Cabbage, Stuffed Eggplant and Tandoori bread. I’m sure it will be delicious with your easy to follow recipes and photos.

  75. Farida i’m very happy to know about your wonderful website!
    i have my own cookery and confectionery weblog (but in persian language!) and your website is added in my weblog.
    your weblog has many things to learn from! it’s really useful!
    Specially i like the feeling it gives me while surfing your website! it is full of energy! Thanks for your delicious and fabulous recipes! :)

  76. Dear Farida,
    is it as delicious as Baklawa made of phylo dough?

  77. TARLAN: It is delicious in its own special way:) I like both.

  78. Farida and Emily… could the fudgy sweet with sesame be “Pastelli”? This sweet is popular in Cyprus and made plain, with sesame or with chopped nuts or both. It is made with carob.

  79. Chris Gonzales: Could be. Although I am not familiar with pastelli. Thanks for letting us know, Chris.

  80. Hi Farida,
    Today i prepared Baklava and just now i tried one. It tastes too good and im satisfied. But it doesnt have flaky layers as the original baklava. Ya i know i know this is lazy baklava so bit compromise. I have one doubt- what is the texture of the filling. In the photo i looks powdery and mine was very hard. It was tough for me to spread it evenly. The filling should be hard??? Anyway i liked. Thank u once again.

  81. BHAVANI: The dough for this baklava is not supposed to be very flaky. It is flakey it in its own way but not as flaky as say Turkish baklava. The filling is a bit crunchy, not powdery at all. You should feel the walnuts a little:) they should not be very hard, but should have a nice crunch to them. Enjoy!:)

  82. This was easy and FANTASTIC. I brushed a bunch of maple syrup on top to soak/moisten it a little more. I loved maple syrup in this context. But yes, you have effectively made it easy and accessible. I only made it once before (not with your recipe), and this is so much easier, really doable. I bet that will be a hit at parties.

  83. Hi Farida

    Thanks for such a nice baklava recipe. :) I would like to ask if I can use baking powder instead of bicarbonate soda?

    Thanks in advance,

    Tahira

  84. TAHIRA: Yes, you can use baking powder. Double the amount.

  85. I baked this baklava today.
    I usually bake Baku baklava, my two daughters don’t eat it very much. But this one didn’t last long. It was so delicious.
    I really appreciate your sharing the recipe. It’s easy and fast to prepare and everybody in my family and my guests also just loved eat. I’m going to bake again tomorrow.
    Thank you.

  86. And also I forget to say that I love this site. I like the design, and everything on this site. I sent the url to my friends too.
    It’s easy to navigate from page to page. And I like your using visuals for each recipe.

  87. Farida I made this baklava and it is really so delicious. I am grateful to you for making us and our family happy ;) my husband liked it too much. I would like to ask if I can add inside “kishmish” too. I just imagined the taste with it and thought may be it will be also good. Another question is if you have such function in your site where we can send the photos of something we prepared from your recipes. It would be so interesting too.

    Thank you and Happy New Year. :)

  88. TAHIRA: So glad! Yes, you can add kishmish too:) Some people do. You can add your photos on AZ Cookbook’s facebook page. In the future, hopefully soon I will have a FORUM on my Azeri page as well, you can post anything you want there:) Happy New Year to you too!

  89. Feride, dont you add melted butter between layers? Thanks

  90. MAHSATI – No melted butter. Just follow the recipe:) It is a different kind of paxlava.

  91. Dear Farida,
    I love this recipe and have made it already several times! I’ve added some dried fruit (kishmish :)))to the filling also. My friends and co-workers loved it! This is definitely a keeper! I would like to thank you for the delicious recipe! :)

  92. I made it for coming New Year (Norooz) and it is perfect.. Thank you very much. It reminds me on my grandmother’s (Persian-Azari) Bughlava.

  93. Thanks so much Farida it turns out, I became a good cook with your recipes, I love Baklava

  94. this is perfect food so can they write this in uzbek because my mum is don’t understand english please :)

  95. your Baklawa looks very yummy :)

    We have also baklawa in my country but we pour sirup on top of it after it’s baked.

    I’ll try your recipe ! Thanks for sharing :)

  96. I like this recipe for a competition in my university… but I have no idea how to raise it or combine it with that sauce.

  97. can I use kitchen aid to mix the dough?

  98. Is – Should be fine.

  99. Leyla, in Azerbaijan we also pour syrup over a ready baklava, which should have at least 7layers of rolled dough and filling when you bake it according traditional recipe. This one is “easy” or “lazy” baklava :) Love it. Thanks, Farida

  100. Hello Farida. I made this two days ago. My family loves it. Its simple to make and so good. Takaya vkysnatina, prosto oboldet mozno. THANK YOU.

  101. DIANA – So glad! Enjoy!

  102. Thank you for your blog and food recipes from Azerbaijan that you explain step by step. I like to add cardamon to the filling of my lazy pahlava.

  103. Aswk

    I am looking for a Spice Importer in Azerbaijan can any one tell me how I can find some references or any web site that can give me this info
    Our company is based in India

    Tnx

    Javed

  104. Can i use baking powder instead of baking soda?
    If so, how much more or less do i need to add
    Thanks

    FERIDE at AZCOOKBOOK – Yes, you can use baking powder. Use two times more baking powder than baking soda.

  105. Farida, I tried this recipe and it came out delicious! Thanks again for another great recipe and easy instructions!:)

  106. Thanks for this brilliant recipe – easy to make and delicious to eat. Loved at our Novruz celebration in London, and now the recipe is spreading around facebook – everyone wants to make it.

  107. Farida!! You are amazing! so proud of you showing this!! Keep up your amazing work!

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