Great British Baking - Week Six
It's Pastry Week on Great British Bake Off, which is synonymous with the famous "Soggy Bottom" saying on the show. We only got a few mentions of that, but back in the day it was a very popular thing for the bakers to worry about and mention a lot. Luckily, it seemed like most of them did pretty well this week (minus a few collapsed pies at the end). I definitely want to try to make a chouxnut like the bakers made for the Signature- they looked so fun and delicious!
The Technical Challenge is a Baklava, which is something I've tried many times in the past but have never even wanted to try to make. It seemed very daunting and time consuming, even if you use a pre-made filo pastry dough. But of course, since this is Great British Bake Off, we had to make our own!
The process to make the filo was actually pretty simple and a bit therapeutic. Lots of kneading the dough, followed by dividing into 6 equal pieces, and folding it into a smaller and smaller square to get those signature flaky layers. This was a very messy process, but was surprisingly easier than I expected it to be.
After that, I made the syrup that goes over the top that's comprised of honey, sugar, lemon slices, and rose water. That all infused while I also made the nut filling. Then it was all about layering- 3 pieces of filo got rolled out and layered, then topped with the nuts, and 3 more pieces on top! I added some melted butter all over and cut a (badly done) star design and baked it all for about an hour.
It looked pretty good once it came out, but the final step was pouring over the honey syrup to give it that distinct sticky, sweet coating.
- The taste was really great, and the texture of the filo turned out well.
- I managed to make it in a pretty short amount of time, so I think I would have hit the time limit the bakers had for the first time!
- I surprisingly loved the syrup! I decided to get the rose water the recipe called for even though it's not my favorite flavor, and it was just the perfect amount. Not overpowering at all and was the perfect finishing touch.
The "Needs Improving"
- I used a much smaller tin than the bakers (I used a 26 cm cake tin instead of a 30 cm sandwich tin) so everything was just a little too thick- the filo could have been rolled a lot thinner to get better layers and the nuts were a little aggressive! It also made it a bit more messy when all the nuts would spill out after cutting-