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baklava-msg - 1/21/08

 

Period Baklava-like layered pastries.

 

NOTE: See also the files: pastries-msg, leavening-msg, flour-msg, desserts-msg, pies-msg, honey-msg, sugar-msg, pancakes-msg.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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Date: Sun, 7 Dec 1997 00:55:21 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - desserts  (was re: key lime pie and re: ladies and gentles)

 

>I will be happy to post my version of Countess Talitha's Individual

>Hand-Rolled Baklava on two conditions:  One, if someone can affirm that

>baklava is period; and Two, if Talitha doesn't mind...   ;-)

 

I have never been able to find any evidence of baklava in period Islamic

cookbooks. There are many layered things sort of like filo, there are nuts,

there are pastries with melted butter, but so far as I can tell nothing

that really corresponds to the modern baklava.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Tue, 17 Feb 1998 00:06:04 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - filo pastry

 

At 3:48 PM +0000 2/17/98, RMcGrath at dca.gov.au wrote:

>Is filo pastry period?

 

Not so far as I know. There is a 13th c. Andalusian recipe that gives a

pastry with lots of thin layers, however: Here is the recipe:

 

- --

Preparation of Musammana [Buttered] Which Is Muwarraqa [Leafy]

Andalusian p. A-60 - A-61

 

Take pure semolina or wheat flour and knead a stiff dough without yeast.

Moisten it little by little and don't stop kneading it until it relaxes and

is ready and is softened so that you can stretch a piece without severing

it. Then put it in a new frying pan on a moderate fire. When the pan has

heated, take a piece of the dough and roll it out thin on marble or a

board. Smear it with melted clarified butter or fresh butter liquified over

water. Then roll it up like a cloth until it becomes like a reed. Then

twist it and beat it with your palm until it becomes like a round thin

bread, and if you want, fold it over also. Then roll it out and beat it

with your palm a second time until it becomes round and thin. Then put it

in a heated frying pan after you have greased the frying pan with clarified

butter, and whenever the clarified butter dries out, moisten [with butter]

little by little, and turn it around until it binds, and then take it away

and make more until you finish the amount you need. Then pound them between

your palms and toss on butter and boiling honey. When it has cooled, dust

it with ground sugar and serve it.

 

2 c semolina flour      1/4 c clarified butter for frying       1/4 c

butter at the end

aprox 5/8 c water       1 T+ sugar      1/4 c honey at the end (or more)

1/4 c = 1/8 lb butter, melted

 

Stir the water into the flour, knead together, then gradually knead in the

rest of the water. Knead for about 5-10 minutes until you have a smooth,

elastic and slightly sticky dough that stretches instead of breaking when

you pull it a little. Divide in four equal parts. Roll out on a floured

board, or better floured marble, to at least 13"x15". Smear it with about 4

t melted butter. Roll it up. Twist it. Squeeze it together, flatten with

your hands to about a 5-6" diameter circle. If you wish, fold that in

quarters and flatten again to about a 5-6" circle. Melt about 1 T of

clarified butter in a frying pan and fry the dough about 8 minutes, turning

about every 1 1/2 to 2 minutes (shorter times towards the end). Repeat with

the other three, adding more clarified butter as needed. Melt 1/4 c butter,

heat 1/4 c honey. Beat the cooked circles between your hands to loosen the

layers, put in a bowl, pour the honey and butter over them, dust with

sugar, and serve.  If you are going to give it time to really soak, you

might use more butter and honey.

 

For regular flour, everything is the same except that you may need slightly

more water. You can substitute cooking oil for the clarified butter (which

withstands heat better than plain butter)  if necessary.

 

- ---

>I've heard conflicting answers, and wondered if filo pastry were only from

>the Middle East in period.

 

So far as I know, not even from the Middle East--the recipe above is the

closest I have come across, and not very close.

 

>And do I still get to play with baklava?

 

You get to do whatever you like--but you don't get to truthfully say that

you have good reason to believe it is period unless someone else has found

better evidence than we have.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 16:46:11 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: SC - Khushkananaj (was: Ideal vs. practical)

 

At 1:27 AM -0600 3/24/99, Stefan li Rous wrote:

>I too, would be interested in finding out what khushkananaj is.

 

Period Islamic pastry with almonds, rosewater, and sugar. From the Miscellany:

 

Khushkananaj

al-Baghdadi p. 212/14

 

Take fine white flour, and with every ratl mix three uqiya of

sesame-oil[one part oil to four of flour], kneading into a firm paste.

Leave to rise; then make into long loaves. Put into the middle of each loaf

a suitable quantity of ground almonds and scented sugar mixed with rose

water, using half as much almonds as sugar. Press together as usual, bake

in the oven, remove.

 

2 c white +1 c whole wheat flour        12 oz = 1 1/2 c sugar

1/2 c sesame oil        1 T rose water

6 oz almonds =1 c before chopping       3/4 to 7/8 c cold water or

additional flour for rolling out dough  1/2 c water, 1/2 c sourdough starter

 

"Leave to rise" is a puzzle, since the recipe includes neither yeast nor

water. The recipe does not seem to work without water; perhaps the author

took it for granted that making a paste implied adding water. We originally

developed the recipe without leavening, but currently use sourdough, which

is our best guess at what the original intended (and also seems to work a

little better). The two versions are:

 

Without leavening: Mix the flour, stir in the oil. Sprinkle the water onto

the dough, stir in. Knead briefly together.

 

Sourdough: Mix the flour, stir in the oil. Mix the water and the sour dough

starter together. Add gradually to the flour/oil mixture, and knead briefly

together. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise about 8 hours in a warm

place, then knead a little more.

 

We also have two interpretations of how the loaves are made; they are:

 

Almost Baklava: Divide in four parts. Roll each one out to about 8"x16" on

a floured board. Grind almonds, combine with sugar and rose water. Spread

the mixture over the rolled out dough and roll up like a jelly roll,

sealing the ends and edges (use a wet finger if necessary). You may want to

roll out the dough in one place and roll it up in another, so as not to

have bits of nuts on the board you are trying to roll it out on. You can

vary how thin you roll the dough and how much filling you use over a

considerable range, to your own taste.

 

Long thin loaves: Divide the dough into six or eight parts, roll each out

to a long loaf (about 16"), flatten down the middle so that you can fill it

with the sugar and almond mixture, then seal it together over the filling.

You end up with a tube of dough with filling in the middle.

 

Bake at 350 degrees about 45-50 minutes.

 

Notes: At least some of the almonds should be only coarsely ground, for

texture. The sesame oil is the Middle Eastern version, which is almost

flavorless; you can get something similar at health food stores. Chinese

sesame oil, made from toasted sesame seeds, is very strongly flavored and

results in a nearly inedible pastry. We do not know what scented sugar

contained.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 13:28:20 -0500

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Khushkananaj (was: Ideal vs. practical)

 

>Khushkananaj

>al-Baghdadi p. 212/14

>

>Take fine white flour, and with every ratl mix three uqiya of

>sesame-oil[one part oil to four of flour], kneading into a firm paste.

>Leave to rise; then make into long loaves. Put into the middle of each loaf

>a suitable quantity of ground almonds and scented sugar mixed with rose

>water, using half as much almonds as sugar. Press together as usual, bake

>in the oven, remove.

>

>2 c white +1 c whole wheat flour       12 oz = 1 1/2 c sugar

>1/2 c sesame oil       1 T rose water

>6 oz almonds =1 c before chopping      3/4 to 7/8 c cold water or

>additional flour for rolling out dough 1/2 c water, 1/2 c sourdough starter

>

>"Leave to rise" is a puzzle, since the recipe includes neither yeast nor

>water. The recipe does not seem to work without water; perhaps the author

>took it for granted that making a paste implied adding water. We originally

>developed the recipe without leavening, but currently use sourdough, which

>is our best guess at what the original intended (and also seems to work a

>little better). The two versions are:

><snip>

 

There is a footnote in A Baghdad Cookery Book for this recipe:

"Khushknanaj, From Persian khushk = dry, nan = bread."

 

Might this recipe also be interpreted to be making a long, *flat*,

cracker-like bread, filled with the almonds & scented sugar?

 

The bread recipes that follow this in the MS also do not call for water, soyour assumption seems valid. If you use *hot* water instead of cold water,this becomes a type of hot-water crust pastry.  I'm looking at the recipefor this in Mrs Beeton.  Her recipe requires a *rest* once the flour, fat,& liquid have been kneaded together.  The rest makes the dough stretchy &easier to work with. Could this be what your recipe wants us to do?The  recipes that follow this call for the bread to be made "into shapes,using an appropriate mould".  Any idea what these looked like?

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 23:11:46 -0500

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Khushkananaj (was: Ideal vs. practical)

 

David Waines in his book "In a Caliph's Kitchen" presents on page 68 his

redaction of Khushknanaj from al-Baghdadi's manual.  his translation on page

69 is identical to that in His Grace's Miscellany.  His ingredient list is a

follows:

 

175g./6 oz. strong white flour

15g./1/2 oz yeast

50g/2 oz. ground almonds

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon olive oil

2-3 tablespoons rosewater

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon granulated sugar

40g/ 1 and 1/2 oz. granulated sugar

15g/ 1/2 oz chopped almonds

pinch of salt

 

His directions are as follows:

 

Sieve the flour in a bowl with the salt

 

Cream the yeast with the one teaspoon of sugar and a little water and add to

flour. Add the tablespoon of olive oil.  Add sufficient tepid water so as

to mix dough to a firm consistency and knead on a floured board for 10

minutes. Cover bowl and proof for 1.5 hours.

 

For stuffing mix together ground almonds, castor sugar, coriander and the

cinnamon. When mixed bind mixture into a stiff paste by gradually adding

rosewater.

 

When dough has risen turn it out onto a floured board and knead for a couple

of minutes.  Cut dough into 10 equal portions and roll each into flat thin

ovals. Take a tenth of the stuffing shape it into a pencil thick roll 1

inch shorter than the length of the dough ovals.  Place stuffing on dough,

wet edges with water and seal the stuffing in and shape into cylinder rolls.

 

Place rolls on greased sheet and bake in hot oven 230C/450F until browned.

 

While the rolls bake make glaze by melting  the granulated sugar into the

milk in a pot over low heat.  When mixed take off heat and add 1 tablespoon

of rose water.  When rolls are done brush with glaze and sprinkle each with

a little chopped almond.

 

All in all a nice book but now out of print.  I picked up my copy at Pennsic

about 10 years back.

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 1999 23:12:26 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Khushkananaj (was: Ideal vs. practical)

 

At 11:11 PM -0500 3/26/99, Daniel Phelps wrote:

>David Waines in his book "In a Caliph's Kitchen" presents on page 68 his

>redaction of Khushknanaj from al-Baghdadi's manual.  his translation on page

>69 is identical to that in His Grace's Miscellany.  His ingredient list is a

>follows:

 

>175g./6 oz. strong white flour

>15g./1/2 oz yeast

>50g/2 oz. ground almonds

>1 teaspoon ground coriander

>1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

>1 tablespoon olive oil

 

The original starts:

 

Take fine white flour, and with every ratl mix three uqiya of sesame-oil,

kneading into a firm paste.

 

The original recipe gives an explicit ratio, by weight, for flour to oil--4

to one (a ratl has 12 uqiya) and specifies what kind of oil to use. The

recipe you quote from Waines has a ratio of more than  12 to one, and

specifies a different kind of oil. So it looks as though the book is not to

be trusted--something I didn't know, not having noticed that he had that

recipe.

 

His glaze of melted sugar and milk correspond to nothing in the original.

It rather looks as though he is using a modern middle eastern recipe that

is vaguely similar to the medieval one, but that's only a guess.

 

David/Cariadoc

http://www.best.com/~ddfr/

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 08:17:23 -0500

From: "Daniel Phelps" <phelpsd at gate.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Khushkananaj (was: Ideal vs. practical)

 

His Grace wrote:

>The original recipe gives an explicit ratio, by weight, for flour to oil--4

>to one (a ratl has 12 uqiya) and specifies what kind of oil to use. The

>recipe you quote from Waines has a ratio of more than  12 to one, and

>specifies a different kind of oil. So it looks as though the book is not to

>be trusted--something I didn't know, not having noticed that he had that

>recipe.

>

>His glaze of melted sugar and milk correspond to nothing in the original.

>It rather looks as though he is using a modern middle eastern recipe that

>is vaguely similar to the medieval one, but that's only a guess.

 

When last I made khushknanaj  I used sesame oil but did not notice the

ratio difference.   I will correct the ratio in the future.  I did not glaze

it as Waines suggests but I did brush it with a egg glaze during the baking

process. I made the dough in a brace of bread machines set on dough mode,

if I remember correctly it was a production run of tasties for some small event.

 

 

Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 11:49:09 +1000

From: "Gwynydd of Culloden" <gwynydd_of_culloden at yahoo.com.au>

Subject: baklava recipe (was Re: SC - Help with Cooking period Italian food.)

 

From: Elisabetta

> I am invited to a feast at the Potrero war

> in May and was requested to bring baklava - is baklava period does anyone

> know?  Or is there something similar to baklava that *is* period?

 

Hi, I am sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you with this, but I

was waiting on a reply from Hrolf Hrolfsen about his baklava.   Here is his

response to my request for a recipe for it and also for documentation.  This

should help, although you will see that he is not saying that this recipe is

definitely period - simply that he believes there to be a good chance that

it does not stray far from the original (at least, that is how I read this

message. I will get onto the people he mentioned and see if they can help.

 

"The recipe is easy.   As for documentation - someone else seems to have my

recipe books.  Try Min or Lorix as the most likely culprits.  In fact you

can easily document the existence of baklava by finding early collections of

Mullah Nasrudin stories (which date from the 13th century).  There are

several which involve baklava by name as it was his favourite dessert.  As

for the recipe, until I get my books back, I honestly cannot remember.   I

can say that this is one of the areas of the world where methods do not

change (with the exception of the tomato / tamarind swap and the ready

adoption of chilli - which was done in period) over the centuries.

 

Baklawa

 

500g fillo pastry (note 22 sheets) 1 1/2 cup melted sameh or unsalted butter

Nut filling

2 egg whites

1/2 cup castor sugar

2 cups coarsely ground walnuts

2 cups medium ground almonds

1 teaspoon rosewater

 

note that the nuts should be a bit under a level "scoop" when buying.  Be a

little generous with all your quantities when in doubt.

 

Atar Syrup

2 cups granulated sugar

1 1/2 cups water

1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 teaspoon rose water

 

Stack 7-8 sheets fillo pastry on a flat surface, keeping remainder covered

with a damp tea towel.  Brush top sheet of stack with butter, lift sheet and

replace on stack, butter side down.  Brush top with butter, lift two sheets

and turn over on stack.  Repeat until all 7-8 sheets are buttered, lifting

an extra sheet each time.  Top and bottom of finished stack should remain

unbuttered. With kitchen scissors cut the buttered stack of fillo into

squares (we get 24 to a sheet).  Prepare remainder of fillo, folding or

cutting to achieve 10 layers.  Beat egg whites until stiff and beat sugar in

gradually. Fold in nuts and rose water.  Butter top of fillo square and

place a spoonful of nut mix in the centre.  Gently raise the corners and

fold into a lily shape.  Place close together in a buttered 25 x 33 cm

baking dish.  Place into the centre of a preheated 1808C (3508F) oven for 30

minutes, reducing this to 1408C (2858F) and cooking for a further 15

minutes.

 

Meanwhile, dissolve the sugar in water over heat, add lemon juice and bring

to the boil.  Boil for 15 minutes, stir in rose water and cool.  Spoon syrup

over hot pastries and leave to cool - preferably overnight.

 

This cooling, btw, is the centre of at least one of the Nasruddin stories.

 

Hrolf"

 

I hope this was of use to you,

 

Lady Gwynydd of Culloden

Barony of Ynys Fawr in the Principality of Lochac part of the Kingdom of the

West

 

 

Date: Sun, 01 Apr 2001 05:26:15 +0200

From: tgl at mailer.uni-marburg.de

Subject: SC - baklava

 

Here are two small observations; I am sure others will come up with

other and earlier references:

 

- -- Hedda Reindl-Kiel in an article about turkish cuisine in the "Archiv

für Kulturgeschichte" (77/1995) says that baklava is mentioned in the

account-books of a diplomatic banquet in 1650 (p. 70 note 45).

 

- -- Rodinson in his article "Recherches sur les documents arabes ..."

mentions an arabic dish called "Kul wa-skur" from the 'Wusla' (13th

century) which seems to have been similar to baklava (p. 140, note 7):

"Le _Kul wa-skur_ est encore connu au Liban et a Damas. Mlle Victoria

Huzami me le definit comme une sorte de baqlawa compose de deux couches

de pate entre lesquelles on met du sucre, des amandes, etc." (all

accents left out).

 

Th.

 

 

Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 23:26:35 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: baklava recipe (was Re: SC - Help with Cooking period Italian food.)

 

Hrolf Hrolfsen apparently wrote, about Baklava:

>"The recipe is easy.   As for documentation - someone else seems to have my

>recipe books.  Try Min or Lorix as the most likely culprits.  In fact you

>can easily document the existence of baklava by finding early collections of

>Mullah Nasrudin stories (which date from the 13th century).  There are

>several which involve baklava by name as it was his favourite dessert.

 

1. Do we know whether "baklava" (in the modern arabic form)  is in

the 13th c. original? If not,  "baklava" might be simply the

translator's guess at the nearest modern equivalent. Indeed, are

there any surviving 13th c. Nasrudin stories (i.e. ones we have in

the form they were written down then), or is that merely a conjecture

about when the stories we now have originated?

 

2. Even if the original said "baklava," without a recipe we can't

tell if it is what we now call "baklava." "Harisa" is a very common

medieval Islamic dish--and has almost nothing in common with two

modern middle eastern dishes that have the same name. Or compare

medieval gingerbrede with modern gingerbread. Or compare modern

halvah with hulwa in period.

 

3. I am reasonably sure that none of the three medieval Islamic

cookbooks that I know reasonably well has a recipe for what we call

baklava. There are recipes that produce lots of thin layers of dough

(I'm thinking of Musamanna, which I made yesterday), but it isn't

made the way filo is made. There are lots of recipes with pastry and

nuts and sugar and butter, but that doesn't add up to baklava.

 

4. On the other hand,  I think I saw something somewhere by Charles

Perry referring to a medieval baklava--and he knows lots about

medieval Islamic cooking.

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 18:27:37 +1000

From: Mark Calderwood <mark-c at acay.com.au>

Subject: SC - Re: baklava

 

>Hrolf Hrolfsen apparently wrote, about Baklava:

>>"The recipe is easy.

 

The recipe quoted by Hrolf is from p218, The Complete Middle Eastern

Cookbook, by Tess Mallos (Landsdowne 1979), and called baklawa be'aj. No

date or references are given.

 

Claudia Roden, in A New Book of Middle Eastern Food, (Penguin 1970) states

that "the pastries (baklava and kadayif) are not mentioned in medieval

Persian or Arabic works, and seem to have made their appearance in the

region during the time of the Ottoman empire" and lists as references

al-Baghdadi, the Kitab al-Tabikh (1239), the Kitab al-Wusla tec (before

1261). Roden also recounts the tale "The Poisoned dish of Baklawa" from the

Tales of Nasr-ed Din Khoja (translated from the Turkish by Henry D Barnham

1923), which again gives no specific recipe, and would seem to be used as

an equivalent term by the translator.

 

Andrew Daly notes in Siren Feasts: A History of Food and Gastronomy in

Greece (Routledge 1996) that although all the ingredients are common

throughout Greece and the Middle East, there does not seem to have been a

dish by this name known in Greece before the modern era.

 

Two websites on the history of baklava:

 

http://www.baklavachef.com/history.html

The traditional history, which indicates it is period, and not just Turkish.

I just don't know. Note the last paragraph about what is and isn't baklava.

 

http://www.atamanhotel.com/kitchen/baklava.html

Another traditional history, with some interesting info.

 

I don't know how accurate they are, but make interesting reading

nontheless. I'm inclined to think there was something referred to as

baklava, but that is not what we would know by the same name.

 

Giles de Laval

Lochac

 

 

Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 11:04:30 -0400

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler at chesapeake.net>

Subject: Re: baklava recipe (was Re: SC - Help with Cooking period Italianfood.)

 

We made the version Perry refers to for an event last fall.  It is, I suppose, a

sort of baklava, but uses a pancake-like layer rather than phyllo, which I

understand is not period.  However, the filling is a syrup with nuts mixed into

it. The dish was called Gullach, and came from the "Chu-chia pi-yung shih lei"

and was one of the Muslim recipes in an article Charles Perry and Paul Buell

wrote (can't find it at the moment, but will send the reference as soon as I find it).  My redaction of the recipe follows:

 

Gullach

 

Mix evenly egg white, bean paste and cream [to make a dough].  Spread out [dough] and fry into thin pancakes.  Use one layer of white powdered sugar, [ground] pine nuts and [ground] walnuts for each layer of pancake.  Make three-four layers like this.  Pour honey dissolved in ghee [“Muslim oil”] over the top. Eat.

 

2 Egg whites

1/2 cup soy flour

1/2 cup table cream

1/16 cup water

3 tbsp. Powdered sugar

1/2 cup Pine nuts, ground

1/2 cup Walnuts, ground

1/2 cup Honey

3 tbsp. Ghee

 

1. Mix egg whites, flour and cream to make a dough

2. Fry into thin pancakes

3. Mix sugar and nuts together.

4. Heat ghee and mix in honey

5. Build 3 layers, alternating pancakes and sugar/nut mixture, finishing with

sugar/nut mixture.

6. Drizzle ghee/honey mixture over pancakes.

7. Serve as warm as possible.

 

As you can see, it does greatly resemble baklava, and Perry and others believe

that it is a "proto-baklava".

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 15:24:11 -0000

From: "Nanna Rognvaldardottir" <nanna at idunn.is>

Subject: Re: baklava recipe (was Re: SC - Help with Cooking period Italianfood.)

 

David/Cariadoc wrote:

>4. On the other hand,  I think I saw something somewhere by Charles

>Perry referring to a medieval baklava--and he knows lots about

>medieval Islamic cooking.

 

Charles Perry wrote the entry on filo (and baklava) in the Oxford Companion

to Food and he says there, among other things:

"The idea of making the sheets paper thin is a later development. The

Azerbaijanis make the usual sort of baklava with 50 or so layers of filo,

but they also make a strange, archaic pastry called Bakï pakhlavasï

(Baku-style baklava) using ordinary noodle paste instead of filo. It

consists of eight layers of dough separated by seven layers of sweetened

ground nuts. This may represent the earliest form of baklava, resulting from

the Turkish nomads adapting their concept of layered bread - developed in

the absence of ovens - to the use of the oven and combining it with the

usual Persian pastry filling of nuts.

 

If this is so, baklava actually pre-dated filo, and the paper-thin pastry we

know today was probably an innovation of the Ottoman sultan's kitchen at

Topkapi palace in Istanbul. There is an established connection between the

Topkapi kitchens and baklava; on the 15th of Ramadan every year, the

Janissary troops stationed in Istanbul used to march to the palace, where

every regiment was presented with two trays of baklava. They would sling the

trays in sheets of cloth from a pole and march back to their barracks

carrying the baklava in what was known as the Baklava Procession (baklava

alayi)."

 

Nanna

 

 

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2001 21:49:55 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: Re: baklava recipe (was Re: SC - Help with Cooking period Italianfood.)

 

Nanna writes:

>If this is so, baklava actually pre-dated filo, and the paper-thin pastry we

>know today was probably an innovation of the Ottoman sultan's kitchen at

>Topkapi palace in Istanbul. There is an established connection between the

>Topkapi kitchens and baklava; on the 15th of Ramadan every year, the

>Janissary troops stationed in Istanbul used to march to the palace, where

>every regiment was presented with two trays of baklava. They would sling the

>trays in sheets of cloth from a pole and march back to their barracks

>carrying the baklava in what was known as the Baklava Procession (baklava

>alayi)."

 

The account webbed at:

http://mideastfood.about.com/food/mideastfood/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.atamanhotel.com%2Fkitchen%2Fbaklava.html

 

dates this custom to the late 17th century--a useful reminder that

"centuries ago" doesn't necessarily imply "SCA period." Of course,

they don't give their source.

- --

David Friedman

ddfr at best.com

 

 

Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 09:58:02 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at best.com>

Subject: SC - Baklava: A Summary of the evidence

 

The baklava thread seems to have degenerated into casual chitchat

unrelated to either baklava or period cooking, so I thought it might

be time to sum up what we know.

 

1. There appear to be no period recipes for baklava, at least none

that anyone here knows about. There also appear to be no period

references to filo, although there is a 13th century recipe for a

fried pastry (Musammana) that gives a somewhat similar effect by a

different technique.

 

2. There is a modern version of baklava, using something like a

pancake instead of the layers of filo, which Charles Perry has

conjectured may be the ancestor of baklava, and might be period.

 

3. There was an Ottoman ceremony associated with baklava, but the

only date anyone has given for it is late 17th century, so it

provides no evidence that baklava is period.

 

4. We have an assertion by Hrolf Hrolfsen that "you can easily

document" baklava by looking at the Mullah Nasrudin stories, but no

actual evidence, and he has so far not showed up on the list to

defend his views--on that subject or on the unchanging nature of

Islamic culture.

 

Hence it appears that, so far, no evidence has been offered that what

we call baklava is period.

- --

David/Cariadoc

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/

 

 

Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 07:19:30 -0400

From: "Kathleen Hogan" <kitchenwytch at home.com>

Subject: Re: SC - baklava

 

> Post it for me, please? I may never make it, but the thought (drool) is

> wonderful.

 

Okay...I repeat...this recipe is NOT documented...it is a recipe I got from

a Greek student I went to school with (we worked on converting the

measurements, etc. back in 1980...so I don't have the original measurements

anymore).

 

Helena's Family Baklava recipe

 

1 lb phyllo pastry

1 lb unsalted butter (do NOT substitute...it doesn't work!)

1 lb coarsely chopped nuts

1 1/2 lbs honey

1 TB ground cinnamon

1 ts ground nutmeg

1 cinnamon stick

2 strips dried orange peel

 

Melt the butter.  Combine the nuts and ground spices in a bowl.  In a 13 x 9

pan, lay in 1 sheet of pastry, letting the excess hang over the side.  Brush

with butter and fold the remaining pastry in to form a double layer.  Brush

with butter.  Repeat 14 more times.  Spread 1/2 the nut mixture over the

pastry. Top with 5 double layers of buttered pastry.  Spread remaining nuts

over the pastry.  Top with remaining pastry in buttered double layers.  Cut

into squares cutting no more than halfway through the pastry.  Cut the

squares in half diagonally to form triangles.  Bake at 325 F about 1 hour or

until golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.  Combine honey,

cinnamon stick, and orange peel in a saucepan and heat slowly for 1 hour.

Strain. Pour the spiced honey over the baklava evenly and place in a cool

place (I put it in the fridge) to cool for 6 hours or overnight.  Cut the

rest of the way through and serve.

 

Caitlin nicFhionghuin

 

 

Date: Thu, 12 Jul 2001 16:25:41 +0200

From: Volker Bach <bachv at paganet.de>

To: SCA Cooks List <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Baking Khushknanaj was: RE: [SCA Cooks] period sweets

 

With thanks to the most gracious Anahita, I hope

this humble report may be useful to someone

onlist. Fired by enthusiasm I proceeded to

immediately bake Khushknanaj and can report from

recent experience the following:

 

I used His Grace Cariadoc's dough mixture, but

instead of sour dough, which I do not have handy,

employed yeast, which worked very well. THe sesame

oil is tasted clearly, but is quite agreeable (I

used North African). I probably overbaked it

slightly, but it is still firm but crumbly and not

hard at all, as I had feared. I also coated two of

the rolls with saffron milk, which looks very

attractive.

 

I made both loaves and the 'almost baklava'

rolled-up version and found the latter to hold the

stuffing better. My loaves ballooned up, one even

burst, and the sugar mixture inside candied more

strongly than in the rolled-up version.

 

The filling is very good with unblanched almonds

(no time :-)) and can well stand cutting back on

the sugar a little. I chopped the almonds rather

coarsely, which gave a granular consistency that

goes well with brown sugar, cinnamon or (very

little) cloves (it is a bit bland by itself). I

suspect, however, that the original idea was a

fine, marzipan-like paste, which I will try next.

 

As an aside, the recipe for the fillings in both

redactions are very close to traditional Lubeck

marzipan.

 

Giano

 

 

Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2002 00:50:02 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Around the Mediterranean in four easy courses...

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

--- lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> He also requested baklava, which he knows isn't exactly "period". I

> can make something close by altering a "period" recipe or i can use a

> recipe from my Eastern Mediterranean modern pastry book (some of

> which are pretty close to the pastries in "the Book of the

> Description of Familiar Foods").

 

According to the Oxford Companion to Food, baklava has

roots going back to 14th century Azerbaijan, if I

recall correctly.  However, what baklava was then and

what it is now is very different, since filo/phylo

dough was developed in the late 17th century.  I

believe the original is said to have used thin

pancakes or very thinly slice bread.  You could give

him baklava, but in its original form.  Nuts in a

rosewater syrup between multiple layers of thin

pancakes/bread.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 19:35:01 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Around the Mediterranean in four easy courses...

 

Speaking of baklava and phyllo... there's

a neat article with photos at Slow Food at

http://www.slowfood.com/Slowfood_UpLoad/Riviste/SLOW/EN/23/phylo.html

"Charles Perry, in his entry on filo in The Oxford Companion to Food,

states that the origin of thin pastry

          layers can be traced back to the Tartars and the nomadic

Turks of Central Asia. "

 

Check it out--

Johnnae llyn Lewis  Johnna Holloway

 

 

Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2002 15:14:38 -0700 (PDT)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Around the Mediterranean in four easy courses...

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

--- johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu> wrote:

> Speaking of baklava and phyllo... there's

> a neat article with photos at Slow Food at

> http://www.slowfood.com/Slowfood_UpLoad/Riviste/SLOW/EN/23/phylo.html

> "Charles Perry, in his entry on filo in The Oxford Companion to Food,

> states that the origin of thin pastry layers can be traced back to the Tartars

> and the nomadic Turks of Central Asia. "

 

Interesting. Because Charles Perry in his entry on

filo doesn't exactly say that.  He traces filo back to

the kitchens of the Topkopi in Istambul [late 16th

century], but states that baklava predates filo.  He

traces baklava back to Azerbaijan, but states that

they used thin pancakes or thinly sliced bread.

 

This is why you should be very very careful of web

sites. This website in this case is giving

mis-information.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2002 10:04:54 -0400

From: johnna holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

To: "sca-cooks at ansteorra.org" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Reply on Filo/baklava was Around the Mediterranean...

 

Greetings from Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

On Sun, 21 Apr 2002 I posted a note

saying that there was a neat article

at Slow Food on the subject of filo dough at

http://www.slowfood.com/Slowfood_UpLoad/Riviste/SLOW/EN/23/phylo.html.

The reason I thought this was a neat article

was that it showed photos and described the traditional process

of making phylo dough by hand which is becoming a lost art.

(My great grandmother could roll noodles thin enough to read

a newspaper through. I don't have that touch. Few do these days.)

It also mentioned the work of Charles Perry.

 

Huette von Ahrens then posted on Mon, 22 Apr 2002 :>

> > Interesting.  Because Charles Perry in his entry on

> > filo doesn't exactly say that.  He traces filo back to

> > the kitchens of the Topkopi in Istambul [late 16th

> > century], but states that baklava predates filo.  He

> > traces baklava back to Azerbaijan, but states that

> > they used thin pancakes or thinly sliced bread.

> >

> > This is why you should be very very careful of web

> > sites.  This website in this case is giving

> > mis-information.> >

> > Huette

 

------------

Quite frankly I didn't see the problem with article that

Huette did and I did not ever remember reading that "thin

pancakes or thinly slicely breads" were used. I clearly

remembered that his earlier papers were connected with how

the doughs for Persian pasta and noodles were transformed

over time, so I started a scholarly investigation.

I reread Huette's post, I reread The Slow Food article

carefully and then I read the Oxford Companion to Food entries

on "filo" and "baklava" which Charles Perry wrote for that work.

Having followed his work beginning with its first appearance in

PPC back in 1980,  I then reread all the various PPC issues

that contained his various articles on this subject to date;

also I reread his Oxford Conference papers on the subject that

he has written through the years. I also reread his paper "The

Taste for Layered Bread among the Nomadic Turks and the Central

Asian Origins of Baklava" which was originally given at a 1992

conference and then rewritten for publication in the volume

edited by Zubaida and Tapper as Culinary Cultures of the Middle East.

 

Having reread all this material, I then wrote to Charles Perry and

asked him the following two questions:

 

>"Does the Slow Food article misrepresent your work and do

>you really feel that they used "thin pancakes or thinly

>sliced bread" to make the archaic form of baklava that

>was made in Azerbaijan?"

>

>He wrote back yesterday and said:

>

>"Dear Johanna,

>        I don't think that Aglaia misrepresents my position,

though she's reluctant, like most Greeks, to give the Turks any credit

for inventing filo. "

 

As for the question regarding whether or not

as Huette wrote "the primitive Azerbaijani baklava is made from "thin

pancakes or thinly sliced bread,"

he replied that this was a mistake in that

" It is made from thin sheets of

stiffly kneaded dough; as you say, much like noodle paste."

 

I didn't ask for permission to quote the rest of his letter

including the more detailed discussion and I won't do so here. Most

of his points are clearly laid out in the Culinary Cultures paper.

There he states that there were thin doughs (although not paper thin)

being used prior to the development of filo in the Topkapi Palace

kitchens. The archaic form of baklava called  Baki pakhlavasi

that was made by the Azabayjanis was a layered pastry of 15 layers,

consisting of 8  noodle thick dough layers with 7 of nut filling.

The Ottoman kitchens combined their skills with this archaic dish

and came up with the paper thin dough now known as filo

and this has led in turn to modern baklava.

 

Johnna Holloway  Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 00:07:48 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Khushkananaj (was: Around the Mediterranean...)

 

>I suggested:

>  > Or you could make khushkananaj. It isn't baklava, but I have had

>>  someone asking me for the recipe describe it to me as "a kind of dry

>>  baklava". It might be close enough to make him happy.

 

and Stefan responded:

>Is this the "proto-baklava", we've talked about here before? If not,

>recipe please? What do you mean by "dry"? Do you mean no honey or

>sugar syrup?

 

No. Recipe in the Miscellany, also below. It is a pastry with a

sugar/chopped almond/rosewater filling. One way we make it ends up

with the pastry and filling rolled up together, producing thin

layers.  (The original just says "make into long loaves".) Since it

is made with a sugar/nut filling and almost no liquid in the filling,

it comes out dry rather than sticky with honey like baklava. It is

one of the standard things we make and bring to events; our kids, who

Do Not Like nuts, are none the less happy to eat this.

 

Khushkananaj

al-Baghdadi p. 212/14 (13th c. Islamic)

 

Take fine white flour, and with every ratl mix three uqiya of

sesame-oil [one part oil to four of flour], kneading into a firm

paste. Leave to rise; then make into long loaves. Put into the middle

of each loaf a suitable quantity of ground almonds and scented sugar

mixed with rose water, using half as much almonds as sugar. Press

together as usual, bake in the oven, remove. [end of original]

 

2 c white +1 c whole wheat flour

1/2 c sesame oil

6 oz almonds ==1 c before chopping

additional flour for rolling out dough

12 oz == 1 1/2 c sugar

1 T rose water

3/4 to 7/8 c cold water or

1/2 c water, 1/2 c sourdough starter

 

"Leave to rise" is a puzzle, since the recipe includes neither yeast

nor water. The recipe does not seem to work without water; perhaps

the author took it for granted that making a paste implied adding

water. We originally developed the recipe without leavening, but

currently use sourdough, which is our best guess at what the original

intended (and also seems to work a little better). The two versions

are:

 

Without leavening: Mix the flour, stir in the oil. Sprinkle the water

onto the dough, stir in. Knead briefly together.

 

Sourdough: Mix the flour, stir in the oil. Mix the water and the sour

dough starter together. Add gradually to the flour/oil mixture, and

knead briefly together. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise about 8

hours in a warm place, then knead a little more.

 

We also have two interpretations of how the loaves are made; they are:

 

Almost Baklava: Divide in four parts. Roll each one out to about

8"x16" on a floured board. Grind almonds, combine with sugar and rose

water. Spread the mixture over the rolled out dough and roll up like

a jelly roll, sealing the ends and edges (use a wet finger if

necessary). You may want to roll out the dough in one place and roll

it up in another, so as not to have bits of nuts on the board you are

trying to roll it out on. You can vary how thin you roll the dough

and how much filling you use over a considerable range, to your own

taste.

 

Long thin loaves: Divide the dough into six or eight parts, roll each

out to a long loaf (about 16"), flatten down the middle so that you

can fill it with the sugar and almond mixture, then seal it together

over the filling. You end up with a tube of dough with filling in the

middle.

 

Bake at 350 degrees about 45-50 minutes.

 

Notes: At least some of the almonds should be only coarsely ground,

for texture. The sesame oil is the Middle Eastern version, which is

almost flavorless; you can get something similar at health food

stores. Chinese sesame oil, made from toasted sesame seeds, is very

strongly flavored and results in a nearly inedible pastry. We do not

know what scented sugar contained.

 

Elizabeth/Betty Cook

 

 

Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2002 09:26:59 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Khushkananaj (was: Around the Mediterranean...)

 

> >  > Or you could make khushkananaj. It isn't baklava, but I have had

>>>   someone asking me for the recipe describe it to me as "a kind of dry

>>>   baklava". It might be close enough to make him happy.

>

>How long will the khushkananaj keep? How best to store it so it does keep?

>Avraham

 

It's best fresh, but we've kept it for a couple of weeks and had it

still pretty good. It's probably best not to cut it if you plan to

keep it for a while, and to keep it in a reasonably well sealed

container--but I've never actually done experiments to compare how

long it keeps under various circumstances.

 

You can also freeze it, if you are keeping it at home rather than at an event.

--

David/Cariadoc

 

 

Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2002 16:50:32 -0700

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: [Sca-cooks] OOP Baklava with nuts and sesame seeds

 

Here's the Baklava recipe we cooked at the Mists Bardic Feast. I

thought it was really delicious.

 

I used less syrup than would have been called for, because i don't

like stuff too sweet. A number of folks remarked, completely

unbidden, on how much better they liked this less sweet baklava than

the usual far too sickly sweet stuff.

 

Also, it was a lot easier to make than the directions look - this is

the second time i've used phyllo and while describing the process

takes a lot of words, actually doing it is not difficult and goes

along pretty smoothly and quickly.

 

Anahita

 

-------=======-------=======-------

 

Baqlawa min Semsem wa Fistuk

Baklava with Sesame Seeds and Pistachios

 

about 100 small pieces

 

Modern Syrian-Lebanese, adapted from:

page 16

Patisserie of the Eastern Mediterranean

by Arto Der Haroutunian

McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1989

ISBN 0-07-026665-4

 

SYRUP:

3-1/2 cups sugar

3 cups water

juice of 3 lemons

2 Tb. rose water

2 Tb. orange flower water

 

BAQLAWA:

a little butter (to grease pans)

2 lb. frozen phyllo sheets (at room temperature)

3 Tb. butter

2/3 cup sesame seeds

1/3 cup raisins, soaked about 15 minutes in warm water

3 cups coarsely chopped nuts (about 1/2 lb. each almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts)

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

2 cups melted butter

2 cups shelled pistachio nutmeats, chopped

 

SYRUP:

1. Put sugar in water with lemon juice on medium fire. Raise heat and

bring to boil, stirring.

2. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes, until it coats the spoon.

3. Remove from heat, stir in flower waters, and let cool.

 

BAQLAWA:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Grease two 12 X 8 X 2 pans with a little butter.

3. Place phyllo sheets on a large plate, open them out halfway, cover

top with waxed paper, then a damp towel.

4. In 3 Tb. butter, fry sesame seeds until golden, stirring constantly.

5. Remove sesame seeds from heat and stir in raisins, chopped mixed

nuts, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

6. Put one sheet of phyllo in pan, cut in half.

7. With a wide pastry brush, spread with about 1 tsp. butter.

Continue adding half sheets, buttering every second sheet, until

there are 6 to 8 half sheets stacked in the pan.

8. Scatter half of nut-raisin mixture evenly over the pastry.

9. Repeat with another 6-8 sheets of phyllo and butter, then sprinkle

with the remaining nuts-and-raisins.

10. Top with another 6-8 sheets of phyllo, buttering every second

sheet. Butter top. Pour any remaining butter over all.

11. Carefully cut into pieces (about 1-3/4") without crushing. Be

sure to cut through to the bottom of the pan.

12. Sprinkle all over with chopped pistachios

13. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 min.

14. Lower heat to 300 and bake an additional hour - check

occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn.

15. Remove from oven and let cool about 15 min.

16. Pour cold syrup evenly over all.

17. Let cool completely.

18. Loosen all pieces with a sharp knife, and transfer very carefully

on serving dishes.

This was amazingly delicious. There was actually some left over - it

was good for several days.

 

 

From: DeeWolff at aol.com

Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 09:32:39 EST

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Comments please?

 

I came upon this statement when I was studying a use of phyllo  for a

catering job (Elizabethan/Christmas) I  will be doing soon. I am trying to

properly document the use of phyllo. Please, comments please? Andrea

 

"The Greek seamen and merchants traveling east to Mesopotamia soon discovered

the delights of Baklava. It mesmerized their taste buds. They brought the

recipe to Athens. The Greeks' major contribution to the development of this

pastry is the creation of a dough technique that made it possible to roll it

as thin as a leaf, compared to the rough, bread-like texture of the Assyrian

dough. In fact, the name "Phyllo" was coined by Greeks, which means "leaf" in

the Greek language. In a relatively short time, in every kitchen of wealthy

households in the region, trays of baklava were being baked for all kinds of

special occasions from the 3rd Century B.C. onwards."

 

 

From: "Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

To: "SCA-Cooks" <Sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Fw: [Sca-cooks] Comments please?

Date: Wed, 4 Dec 2002 14:26:01 -0500

 

>I came upon this statement when I was studying a use of phyllo  for a

>catering job (Elizabethan/Christmas) I  will be doing soon. I am trying to

>properly document the use of phyllo. Please, comments please? Andrea

 

I asked Paul Buell about the quote you provided, and he responded with some

asperity:

 

> (Expletive deleted)....Thin doughs used for this purpose, to my knowledge, are

> Central Asian as is baklava, which is from a Turkicized Mongolian word. The

> Greeks certainly did not have it in 300 BC. This statement is based upon a

> misunderstanding of Athenaeus, probably an intentional one. Circa 1600 is

> way too early for baklava in the West, the Turkish variety that we know

> today was only in the process of development. It was the Osmanli who

> popularized and its rise as a popular food is to be connected with the rise

> of the coffee house. Buell

 

Phlip

 

 

Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2003 19:24:30 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at daviddfriedman.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Questions in prep for a spanish feast

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

> Third, I know people refer to a certain period islamic recipe as being

> a sort of ancestor of baklava. Can anyone point me to this recipe?

 

Two recipes occur to me that might be described that way. One is

Khuskhananaj. But although the way I most often makes it results in

lots of thin layers of pastry alternating with nuts and sugar, the

original recipe doesn't specify that. The other is Musamanna--the

leafy dish. It does end up with lots of thin layers and soaked in

honey and butter.

 

You can find recipes for both in the Miscellany, webbed on my site.

--  

David/Cariadoc

 

 

Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 21:36:22 -0700

From: lilinah at earthlink.net

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Questions in prep for a spanish feast

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

> Third, I know people refer to a certain period islamic recipe as being

> a sort of ancestor of baklava. Can anyone point me to this recipe?

 

There's also Lauzinaj, almonds ground with sugar wrapped in a light

pastry in the Book of the Description of Familiar Foods, al-Kitab

Wasf al-At'ima al-Mu'tada, dated 1373, complete text translated and

introduced by Charles Perry in "Medieval Arab Cookery".

 

I have his English translation and my recipe on my website:

http://witch.drak.net/lilinah/persianchef.html

 

My version was simplified, as i was Iron Chef Persian at a time when

i was homeless. Since i didn't have a kitchen to experiment with

dough wrappers, i made it with marzipan and phyllo. Perhaps it would

be more historical with a less finely ground almond mixture. While i

think that the dough was not phyllo, i am encouraged by the

description of the dough as being as gossamer as grasshoppers' wings

to use it as an acceptable substitute until i can make further

experiments.

 

Anahita

 

 

Date: Tue, 25 Jan 2005 20:55:09 -0500

From: Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Help please...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

lilinah at earthlink.net wrote:

> From: Susan Fox-Davis <selene at earthlink.net>

>> I dunno guys, my take on it is that with careful selection of strong

>> sweet spices, this could be the "period baklava" we've been looking

>> for.

>

> Why look to an Italian recipe where there are plenty of proto-baklava

> recipes in the Arab cookbooks?

>

> Anahita

 

Actually, I think we found the proto-baklava in* *the "*Chu-chia pi-yung

shih lei "*, a late 14^th c. household encyclopedia. These recipes were

part of an article written by Dr. Paul Buell, which dealt with Muslim

influences on the Mongol culure.

 

Gullach

 

Mix evenly egg white, bean paste and cream [to make a dough]. Spread out

[dough] and fry into thin pancakes. Use one layer of white powdered

sugar, [ground] pine nuts and [ground] walnuts for each layer of

pancake. Make three-four layers lie this. Pour honey dissolved in ghee

[ÒMuslim oilÓ] over the top. Eat.

 

2 Egg whites

1/2 cup soy flour

1/2cup table cream

1/16 cup water

3 tbsp. Powdered sugar

1/2 cup Pine nuts, ground

1/2 cup Walnuts, ground

1/2 cup Honey

3 tbsp. Ghee

 

Mix egg white, ben paste and cream together to form a batter. Spread

out the batter onto a griddle and fry into thin pancakes. Place one

pancake on a dish, covering it with a layer of white powdered sugar,

ground pine nuts and walnuts. Place a second pancake on top and reeat

layering until there are three or four layers. Melt honey with ghee and

pour over stack of pancakes.

 

According to Paul, this is, in all likelihood, the precursor of baklava,

that wonderful dessert so common throughout the Middle East. This view

is also supported by Cariadoc.

 

And, best of all...it's yummy!

 

Kiri

 

 

Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2005 02:30:17 -0800 (PST)

From: Huette von Ahrens <ahrenshav at yahoo.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Help please...

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

--- Elaine Koogler <ekoogler1 at comcast.net> wrote:

> Actually, I think we found the proto-baklava in* *the "*Chu-chia pi-yung

> shih lei "*, a late 14^th c. household encyclopedia. These recipes were

> part of an article written by Dr. Paul Buell, which dealt with Muslim

> influences on the Mongol culture.

 

> Gullach

 

> According to Paul, this is, in all likelihood,

> the precursor of baklava,

> that wonderul dessert so common throughout the

> Middle East. This view

> is also supported by Cariadoc.

>

> And, best of all...it's yummy!

>

> Kiri

 

Really?  Because it isn't supported by Charles

Perry or the late Alan Davidson.  They have

found evidence of an 11th Century proto-baklava

amongst the Turkish Nomads.  Of course, it

is using layered, thinly cut bread, rather than

the pancake, but still an earlier precursor.

 

Of course, filo [or phylo] waan't developed

until the late 17th century Ottomans.

 

Huette

 

 

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 23:08:15 -0500

From: "otsisto" <otsisto at socket.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period baklava-like pastry was: Period Greek

      Recipes

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

You can make and bake the "baklava" ahead of time and it is less likely to

go bad like the cheesecake. Baklava is rarely served warm to hot, at least

the Greek style. I'm not sure of the serving temp. for the Turkish  

baklava.

 

-----Original Message-----

Thank you for your suggestion. I actually considered baklava in the

beginning, but decided against it because it would be nearly impossible

to prepare it in the kitchen (if you can call it that) where I will prepare

feast. I have NO stove top, I have NO ovens, I have one sink with only two

wells. It's really tough to do much. What I do have is a

lot of outlets for roasters, and a 2 foot by 12 foot cinder block fire pit

that I can use. Too bad, I really like baklava, just won't happen  

with this feast kitchen. :(

 

 

Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2007 22:41:42 -0700

From: "Anne-Marie Rousseau" <dailleurs at liripipe.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] period baklava-like pastry was: Period Greek

      Recipes

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Hey all from Anne-Marie

 

Once I had an oh-so greek roommate who taught me how to make baklava. It

MUST be made at least a day before, and given time to cool, because that's

when it absorbs all that yummy syrup. The yayas (grammas) would be mortified

if it was served warm!

 

She also explained to me the heresies of the Turkish styles and how "that's

not really bakalava" ;)

 

So if you have your heart set on serving modern baklava, you'll need to do

it at home ahead of time anyway, so I wouldn't let kitchen space be a

limiting factor.

 

If what you want is a period pastry that involves honey and nuts, the

isifunj (sp) from the middle eastern sources (cant remember the exact

citation, sorry!) is lovely :)

 

Good luck!

--Anne-Marie, who has been roped into making baklava for a feast before.

Oof! That was a big chore!

 

 

Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 22:38:18 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius" <adamantius1 at verizon.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Baklava

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

On Apr 4, 2007, at 10:10 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

 

> Yes, that is why I refer to that Florilegium file as "Period *baklava-

> like* layered pastries". Hmmm. Okay, what is the difference between

> "phyllo" and "puff pastry"? I thought they were basically the same,

> multiple, thin layers of pastry. And both post-1600.

 

Puff pastry has antecedents that may come from before 1600 CE. While

phyllo also has period antecedents, phyllo qua phyllo is pretty much

an industrial product, which probably makes it, in its current,

recognizable form, somewhat newer than puff pastry. Which, while

often factory-made, can still be made in a home kitchen without

changing the basic method.

 

The difference is in the manufacture and assembly of the layers. Puff

pastry is laminated with butter, folded, rolled, folded and rolled

again, repeatedly until it's a fairly thin sheet composed of

thousands of alternating layers of flour-and-water-dough, and butter.

Think of Damascus steel done in dough and butter. When you bake it,

the water in the pastry turns to steam, causing the pastry to inflate

and become rigid as it bakes. Phyllo is cooked in individual layers

without the butter, and only attains the multiple layers (usually

painted with melted butter or oil) when you stack them in as many

layers as you want. Then it's generally filled and/or formed, and

baked again until crisp. It puffs slightly, but nowhere near as

dramatically as properly made puff paste, which, under the right

circumstances, can grow in thickness/height by a factor of 8-12 or more.

 

Adamantius

 

 

Date: Thu, 05 Apr 2007 10:34:59 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Back to baklava.

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

Think Ottoman, not Greek and turn to those sources.

from my notes--

As regards pre-1600 baklava, there is of course an original late 16th

century early 17th century recipe included in Mary Isin?s commentary in

the book A King?s Confectioner in the Orient. The recipe?s titled ?Royal

Baklava.?

This book is properly

Unger, Friedrich. A King's Confectioner in the Orient. Edited with a

Commentary by Priscilla Mary Isin. Translated from the German by Maret

Cakmak & Reneate Omerogullari. London: Kegan Paul, 2003. The Court

Confectioner to King Otto I of Greece in the 1830?s, the author spent

five years collecting recipes and researching traditional methods of

sweet production in Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

 

The chapter in question is Chapter 17 pages 176-178 and it appears in

the commentary section of the book.

Mary Isin notes that baklava appears in the imperial kitchen register in

1473. The baklava-i-sultani

Royal Baklava is the recipe that she gives as being dated late 16th

-early 17th century. It's from

a manuscript. It's long and I won't copy it out here. It is a layered

pastry with butter, sugar and nuts that

is folded over. It's not the modern recipe. It's not filo pastry. That

idea is straight out, ok?

 

****

Later I did come across this 1653 printed reference in EEBO Early

English Books Online

 

And as for sugar,

there is spent an unspeakable deal of it, in the making of

Sherbets and Boclavas, which not only the Seraglio useth: but are also

ordinary presents from one Bashawe to another, and from one friend to another:

insomuch that it is a thing to be admired, that so great a quantity

should so suddenly be consumed.

 

boclavas ? Note that searching in this case on baklavas would not have

turned up this reference. I actually found this while looking for references on  

sherbets.

 

The book is

A description of the grand signour's seraglio or Turkish emperours court

[edited] by John Greaves. Bon, Ottaviano, 1552-1623., Withers, Robert.,

Greaves, John, 1602-1652. London: Printed 1653. There's also apparently

a 1650 edition.

 

Ottaviano Bon died in 1623 so the work dates from before his death.

An article in 1961's Modern Language Notes describes him as follows:

*"Ottaviano Bon* was ambassador from Venice to Spain, the Porte, and

France successively.

He was resident as Bailo in Constantinople from 1604-1608."

****

 

This work in 2006 was done prior to the Midrealm Spring Coronation

Banquet (April 2006).

 

I did research again at that time work on baklava, sugar works,

sherberts, ices, desserts etc.

That feast eventually included a baklava of sorts.

It was described as Gullac- sweetened nut filled pastry (like baklava)

The menu is up at the wayback machine

http://web.archive.org/web/20060421193739/http://www.midrealm.org/

rimsholt/coronation/feast.html

 

I went over and helped make the actual dish that was served. Under

Mistress Kay's direction

we made a crepe that was then layered

with ground walnuts and honey. Each pie pan contained 7-9 crepes with

nut layers in between. The dish

was rewarmed onsite prior to being served. I gather it was quite a hit.

 

Johnnae llyn Lewis

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 22:50:56 -0400

From: ranvaig at columbus.rr.com

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Period Baklava

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> I suppose when we look at the antecedents for phyllo, it's easy to

> suppose that the Turks are a likely bridge between Middle Eastern

> varak and Greek phyllo. Do we have any reason to believe the Greeks

> were eating a phyllo-like pastry before, roughly, 1453? Is it an

> early example of a marketing campaign altering a national cuisine?

>

> Adamantius, too early in the morning and not enough caffeine...

 

Well, Rumpolt has "Ungarische Turten" Hungarian Tarts, make with 20

or 30 leaves rolled out separately.  I imagine the Hungarians got it

from somewhere in the Middle east. The machine made stuff is fairly

new, but home made phyllo is still made like that.

 

Ranvaig

 

 

Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 22:52:24 -0500

From: "Pat Griffin" <ldyannedubosc at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Phyllo definition

To: "'Cooks within the SCA'" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> From Wikipedia:

Phyllo, filo or fillo dough (Greek ????? 'leaf') consists of paper-

thin sheets of raw, unleavened flour dough. The Turkish name for  

phyllo is yufka, though there is also a Turkish flatbread named  

yufka. Yufka sheets are slightly thicker than phyllo. Kadaif, also  

known as shredded phyllo, is used in many of the same dishes as  

phyllo, but is made by a different process.

 

Phyllo and yufka are used in many of the cuisines of the former  

Ottoman Empire. The individual sheets are layered with butter and  

other ingredients, then baked to make flaky pies and pastries,  

including baklava, spanakopita, tiropita, bstilla, and b?rek.

 

In Turkish cuisine these pastries are called b?rek, in Egyptian  

cuisine they are called Gollash, in Albanian cuisine they are called  

byrek, in Austrian-German-Hungarian cuisine the dough is called bl?

tterteig and pastries made from phyllo are called strudel. In Bosnia,  

the word burek is only used for the pastries with meat and other  

kinds are called pita. In Serbian language phyllo is called kore  

(plural) while the pastries have various names, depending on mode of  

preparation. In Bulgaria the dough is called kori za banitsa (pl.)  

and the generic name for the pastries is banitsa, although there are  

special names for some specific kinds.

 

Yufka appears to be of ancient origin. Apicius records dishes  

constructed from sheets of unleavened bread, separated by layers of  

ingredients such as chicken, pine nuts and goats-cheese.[citation  

needed] As early as the 11th century, a dictionary of Turkish  

dialects (Diwan Lughat al-Turk) recorded pleated/folded bread as one  

meaning of the word yuvgha, which is related to the word (yufka). The  

idea of stretching raw dough into paper-thin sheets is a later  

development, probably developed in the kitchens of the Topkapi palace.

[1]

 

Homemade phyllo takes time and skill. It requires progressive rolling  

and stretching of the dough to a single, thin and very big sheet,  

with continual flouring of its surface, which tends to break apart. A  

very big table and a long roller are used. Once finished, the phyllo  

is floured, folded, then used as desired. Most phyllo is made with  

wheat flour and water, but some dessert recipes call for egg yolks in  

addition.

 

Machines for producing filo pastry were perfected in the mid-

twentieth century.[2] Nowadays most phyllo is produced by machine.  

Phyllo for domestic use is widely available from supermarkets, fresh  

or frozen.

 

Phyllo can be used in many ways: layered, folded, rolled, or ruffled,  

with various fillings (or none). Some common varieties are:

 

with apples: apfelstrudel

with cheese: called Peynirli b?rek in Turkey, burekas in Israel,  

Tiropita in Greece, Gibanica in Serbia, standard Banitsa in Bulgaria

with cherries

with chicken: called Tavuklu b?rek in Turkish cuisine, kotopita in  

Greek cuisine

with greens: called hortopita in Greek cuisine (prasopita when filled  

with leeks)

with meat: called k?ymal? b?rek or Talas b?regi in Turkish cuisine,  

Kreatopita in Greek cuisine, burek in Bosnia, Croatia, Serbia and  

elsewhere

with nuts and syrup: baklava

with potatoes: called patatopita in Greek cuisine

with powdered sugar on top: called Sekerli b?rek in Turkish cuisine

with spinach and feta cheese: called ispanakli b?rek in Turkish  

cuisine, Spanakopita in Greek cuisine

with boiled dough: su b?regi

with a custard or cheese filling: Greek bougatsa, Turkish bo?a?a.

Some recipes also use an egg yolk glaze on top when baked, to enhance  

color and crispness.

 

See also

Kadaif, sometimes known as shredded phyllo

 

Lady Anne du Bosc

Known as Mordonna The Cook

 

 

Date: Fri, 06 Apr 2007 00:22:59 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Phyllo definition

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

I am sorry but this article even carries the warning that it is  

unsourced.

And since it says "Categories

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Categories>;: Articles with

unsourced statements since April 2007

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Category:Articles_with_unsourced_statements_since_April_2007>

| All articles with unsourced statements

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

Category:All_articles_with_unsourced_statements>

| Food ingredients

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Food_ingredients>; | Pastry

<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Pastry>;"

 

It's been rewritten recently.

 

The only sources it lists are

 

   1. *^ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllo#_ref-0>* See the baklava

      <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baklava>; article.

   2. *^ <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllo#_ref-1>* Athens Foods,

      Cleveland, OH <http://www.athens.com/news/article-

feelforphyllo.html>

 

Athens Foods is a manufacturer. One might as well see this as an

endorsement of their brand.

I would suggest that starting with copies of the Oxford Companion to

Food, back issues of PPC, and a good basic

library of historical sources would be better. One can obtain a

definition from a number of sources, most of which

are better than the Wiki. Try "define phyllo" instead.

 

Johnnae

 

> From Wikipedia:

> Phyllo, filo or fillo dough (Greek ????? 'leaf') snipped

 

 

Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2007 10:34:36 -0400

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Corn Flakes (Was: Period Baklava)

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>

 

> I recall reading a pretty detailed description someplace; I thought

> it was in Harold McGee's On Food And Cooking, but I now can't find

> the passage. I'll look for it again; there's a limited number of

> places it would be if it's anywhere.

 

Again, all the descriptions I'm finding suggest that phyllo pastry is

made from dough that is stretched. Also, I find that most sources

suggest that machinery for commercially making phyllo dough was invented

around 1970.

 

Well, here's the description of phyllo (which is, by the way,

differentiated from puff pastry) in the _Encyclopedia of Food and

Culture_:

"In Central Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa, strudel and

phyllo pastries are made from a dough of flour, a little butter or oil,

and water, which is worked to form an elastic mass that is stretched

into a paper-thin sheet. When the pastry is ready for use in baking, the

surface is brushed with melted butter. Strudel pastry is rolled around

fillings such as apples or poppy seeds, while phyllo is often cut into

sheets and stacked in layers with nuts to make sweet dishes, or with

spinach and cheese for savory ones."

 

The Encyclopedia Britannica, on baklava:

 

" rich Turkish, Greek, and Middle Eastern pastry of phyllo (filo) dough

and nuts. Phyllo is a simple flour-and-water dough that is stretched to

paper thinness and cut into sheets, a process so exacting that it is

frequently left to commercial manufacturers. For baklava, 30 or 40

sheets of phyllo, each brushed liberally with melted butter, are layered

in a baking pan with finely chopped walnuts, pistachios, or almonds.

After the pastry is baked it is drenched with a syrup of honey and lemon

juice. Cinnamon, ground cloves, cardamom, or rosewater may flavour

either the filling or the syrup."

--

-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, Knowledge Pika jenne at fiedlerfamily.net

 

<the end>



Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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