Paklavash – Paklava made with whole wheat lavash instead of phyllo dough

When a food dilemma arises, I can count on Ara Kassabian to come to my rescue. 

When I lamented about having to forego some of my favorite recipes which contain white flour and white sugar – such as paklava, I asked
readers if anyone knew if there’s such a thing as whole wheat phyllo dough. I even contacted the Athens company, but unfortunately they don’t make a whole wheat version of it.

Ara responded quickly by sharing a link for a recipe
called baklavash which uses lavash in place of phyllo dough for traditional ‘baklava’
(aka ‘paklava’ to Armenians).

With so many brands of whole wheat lavash on the market, this would be a cinch to make! I purchased the Turlock Bakery lavash locally, and  just learned that our brand new Trader Joe’s carries whole wheat lavash, too. What a discovery!!

Finding a suitable substitute for the white sugar, however, will be quite another story. 
NOTE: The ‘paklavash’ recipe has not yet been tested in The Armenian
, but once that’s done, I’ll share our evaluation and photo.

Adapted from the baklavash recipe from
Yields: 12 pieces

Basic Ingredients:
4 sheets whole wheat lavash
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted

Nut filling Ingredients:
2-1/2 to 3 cups ground walnuts or pecans
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
Simple syrup:
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
Garnish: 2 tablespoons
pistachios, crushed

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, combine the ground nuts and ground cinnamon. Set aside. 
3. Measure the pan you plan to use for baking and cut the
sheets of lavash to fit the inside dimensions of the pan.
 NOTE: Using
a fork, prick each lavash sheet. This will allow the butter and syrup to seep through to prevent the paklavash from
becoming dry.
4. Brush melted butter on the bottom of a 9”x13”pan. Place
one sheet of lavash which has been cut to fit the pan on the bottom of the pan.
Brush generously with melted butter. Sprinkle a layer of the nut mixture.
NOTE: Make sure you generously butter each layer of
5. Brush the next sheet of lavash with butter, placing
the buttered-side down on top of the nut layer. Brush more butter on the top of
that sheet, and sprinkle more of the nut mixture on top. Continue the process
until all of the nut filling and lavash pieces are used. You should end up with a sheet of buttered lavash as the top layer.

6. Using a sharp, serrated knife, carefully cut through the
layers of lavash creating a diamond pattern. (Cut 3 evenly-spaced strips lengthwise,
then 3 diagonal cuts. Or, if you prefer, cut into 12 squares.)
7. Bake the paklavash for 30-35 minutes at 350°F until
lightly golden.

8. Prepare the simple
while the paklavash is in the oven:
In a saucepan, bring 2 cups water and 1 cup granulated
sugar to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.

9. Remove the paklavash from the oven; drizzle with the
cooled syrup. Allow to sit for at least 2 hours before serving.
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  1. Anonymous June 24, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Hmmm, what about agave nectar instead of sugar?

  2. Robyn Kalajian June 25, 2014 at 12:41 am

    Thanks for your suggestion, Chris, but due to its high fructose level, agave nectar (syrup) has the potential to significantly increase triglyceride levels – something I'm already dealing with. 🙁


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