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1650s, from Turkish.
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.