Phyllo Pastry with Nuts (Ba’lawa)

Phyllo Pastry with Nuts (Ba’lawa)

Prep. 25 mins
Cooking 45 mins
Serving 5
Middle Eastern

INGREDIENTS Measurements

  Homemade Phyllo Pastry

3 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons salt
1 egg
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 cups cornstarch, for dusting


2 1/2 cups chopped nuts tossed with ½ cup sugar, for filling
Sugar Syrup



  • In large bowl of electric mixer, combine flour, salt, and egg. Gradually add water on medium speed. Beat in oil.
  • Knead with dough hook attachment of mixer for 10 minutes or by hand for 25 minutes, or until smooth and elastic dough is formed. Cover dough with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half. Shape each half into a 13cm (5in) cylinder about 5cm (2in) in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut each cylinder into equal portions about 3cm (1in) thick. Shape each portion into a ball, dust with cornstarch, and stack in a mound on the work surface. Cover with the kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly dust a clean work surface with cornstarch. Working with 1 ball of dough at a time and using a French rolling pin, roll out each ball of dough into sheets about ½cm (1/4in) thick. As each sheet is rolled, stack each one on top of the other, dusting each sheet with cornstarch to prevent sticking. Cover stacked sheets with the kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Roll out the stacked sheets on the cornstarch-dusted work surface, stretching and rotating the dough frequently, until very thin and nearly transparent. To have very thin, transparent stacked sheets with cornstarch in between.
  • Preheat oven to 200˚C (400˚F).
  • Stack 5 sheets of phyllo in a large, shallow baking dish. Spread nut mixture evenly over top. Layer another 5 sheets of phyllo over nuts. Using a sharp knife, trim edges and cut into triangle or diamond shapes. Pour enough clarified butter over top to cover the phyllo. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, until set.
  • Bake for 45 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Pour off excess butter. Pour enough syrup over warm pastries to cover them. Pour off excess syrup.


  • Stack 5 sheets of phyllo on a work surface. Cut into 7.5cm x 34cm (3in x 14in) rectangular strips.
  • Spread nut mixture lengthwise down one half of each stack. Fold uncovered half over the nuts. Using a sharp knife or a small 5cm (2in) round cookie cutter, cut out half circles along length of phyllo strip, using folded edge as the straight side. You should have 7 pastries per stack.
  • Alternatively, spoon nut mixture along one end of a phyllo stack. Beginning at the nut-topped end, roll up the phyllo into a tight cylinder. Using a sharp knife, cut cylinder crosswise into small rounds.
  • Place pastries close together in a shallow baking dish. Bake as directed above.

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