Saragli (accent on last syllable) or rolled baklava is a style of baklava that come from the Greeks of Constantinople. This recipe calls for the traditional Greek walnut filling but feel free to use the chopped nuts of your choice. You will go NUTS over these 🙂 🙂
Super simple to roll – a half inch diameter wooden or metal dowel is perfect for rolling your saragli. Just be careful not to roll too tightly as a light touch works best here. And try scoring your rolls on a diagonal, that way the cut pieces have a little more visual interest when plated as above. If you cut each roll approx 4 times you’ll get 4 perfect pieces and 2 end pieces. Growing up, the end pieces always went to us kids because they’re not quite as pretty but no worries – they’re every bit as tasty!
Want to get really fancy? Twist or coil the rolls into a spiral shape – they’re called ‘strifti’ saragli and are so pretty. Just use a round pan and line your pan end to end with the filled/bunched rolls. I got a little creative with this strifti baklava below and made it into a heart shape for my niece <3
Straight rolls or spiral, your baklava will be wonderful for the next 3-4 days and really I think is often even better the day after baking than the day of!
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons tahini (mix well before measuring)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 teaspoons lemon zest
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 box of Fillo Factory fillo sheets (thawed)
1⁄2 inch wooden dowel
Toast and finely chop walnuts. Set aside. Warm tahni, lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon over VERY LOW heat. Stir until mixture becomes a thick, dark brown paste. Add sugar/tahini paste to chopped walnuts, incorporate completely and stir in lemon zest. Filling can be made up to 2 weeks ahead.
Open filo sheet package and lay stack vertically on top of slightly damp kitchen towel with sheet of plastic wrap on top. Using sunflower oil or a light olive oil, very lightly brush filo sheet and evenly scatter nut filling across oiled sheet. Use approx 1/4 -1/3 cup of nut filling per roll.
From the bottom end, fold over about an inch of the filo dough and lay dowel across the folded pieces then gently roll up over the nut mixture to the top of the filo sheet. Set rolled sheet aside at top of stack of filo sheets and lightly brush new filo sheet with sunflower oil. Roll the new sheet right on top of the roll containing the nut filling.
Firmly grasp the dowel at each end of the rolled filo sheets and gently push each end toward the center in order to bunch up the filo roll. Go slowly so you’re folds are evenly distributed. Hold dowel over the parchment lined pan and carefully push/nudge bunched roll off dowel and into pan.
Your finished 12-13 filled/bunched rolls should be just about 8-9 inches long and fit perfectly into 2, 9×13 inch baking pan.
Lightly brush the tops and sides of each roll with sunflower or light olive oil and score. Scoring simply means to cut just through the first layers of fillo dough with a very sharp knife or razor blade. Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees until golden.
Combine syrup ingredients in small pot and boil for 5 minutes. Pour syrup directly over top of your still warm saragli, give them 15-30 to soak up syrup and serve.
And again, if you want to get really fancy, just twist or coil the rolls into a spiral shape, they’re called ‘strifti’ (accent on last syllable) saragli. Very easy to do, just use a round pan and line your pan end to end with the filled/bunched rolls. Here’s a pick to give you the idea 🙂
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