Greek Baklava Rolls (Saragli) – Refined Sugar Free

This is an all-time Greek favorite. Saragli is similar to baklava, but it’s rolled rather than layered. This Saragli is refined sugar free, buttery, flaky, crunchy, and just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth!

Greek baklava rolls saragli


So, what is Saragli, anyway?

Saragli (​pronounced sa-ra-GLI) ​is a popular dessert in Greece which is similar to baklava. The main difference is that it is rolled with three different kinds of nuts. Each region in Greece has its own variation, though. There are even some places that make Saragli ​without ​any filling whatsoever, just rolled phyllo dough in syrup!

Is it complicated to make?

Most people I know feel intimidated by the thought of making Saragli because it ​looks​ complicated. Well, have no fear! THIS Saragli recipe is ​simple​ and it is the best Saragli recipe you’ll ever make! If you want to impress your guests at your next dinner party, this recipe is worth the extra effort!

What kind of sweetener is used instead of refined sugar?

I made a honey syrup for this recipe. Most traditional Greek recipes call for a lot of sugar in the syrup. I decided to make this syrup refined sugar free because I believe it tastes A LOT BETTER with just honey. Keep in mind that the quality of honey you use will determine the overall taste, so choose a honey you like.

I highly recommend Greek honey 

Good quality Greek honey, preferably organic, will make an enormous​ difference in this recipe. Greece has one of the richest flora in the Mediterranean, that’s why Greek honey is so rich, aromatic and considered to be one of the finest in the world. It’s also much denser than honey produced in other countries, which makes it perfect for this recipe. If you can get organic Greek honey, please do! You won’t regret it! You will definitely notice the difference.

Greek Baklava

What you’ll need:

Phyllo dough: ​I use 1 package (14-15 sheets).

Butter: ​I always use unsalted butter.

Nuts: ​Walnuts, almonds, and pistachios.

Spices: ​Ground cinnamon, freshly grated nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and whole cloves.   

Greek honey, lemon peel and lemon juice: ​I used Greek wildflower honey, some lemon peel and lemon juice for the syrup.       

Baking pan: ​I used a 35 cm X 23.5 cm (about 14 in X 9 in) glass baking pan.

Stick(s): ​You’ll need a stick or a thin rod that’s a bit longer than the width of your phyllo sheet. I used 2 chopsticks, but you could use a meat skewer, wooden souvlaki sticks or even a thin cake dowel.

How to make Greek Baklava Rolls (Saragli) in 9 easy steps:

STEP 1: PREPARE THE FILLING

In a large bowl, mix the nuts, cinnamon and a tiny pinch of ground nutmeg. Set aside.

STEP 2: MELT THE BUTTER

Melt the butter and set it aside.

STEP 3: BUTTER THE DOUGH

Take a sheet of phyllo dough and place it on your work surface with the short edge facing you (the width). Drizzle the sheet with butter and then place another sheet of phyllo dough on top, drizzling that as well.

Greek Baklava

STEP 4: FOLD THE DOUGH

Starting from the bottom, fold the sheets over, about 10 cm/4 inches.

Greek Baklava

STEP 5: ADD THE NUT MIXTURE & ALIGN THE STICK(S)

Sprinkle about 2 1⁄2 – 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture, leaving a space of about 2 inches/5 cm from the top of your dough so as to seal the sheets when you roll them. Place the stick(s) a little bit above the folded sheets.

Greek Baklava

STEP 6: ROLL THE DOUGH

Gently roll the dough with the stick(s). Start rolling from the folded bottom, slowly moving upwards, but not too tightly.

Greek Baklava

STEP 7: SQUISH THE DOUGH

When you’re done rolling, carefully move both hands towards the middle, while gently squishing the dough.

Greek Baklava

STEP 8: PLACE IN PAN, CUT AND BAKE

Remove the stick(s) and place the roll in a baking pan. Butter immediately​ so it doesn’t dry out. Repeat with the remaining sheets and filling. Cut into rolls, about 5 cm/2 inches each and bake.

Greek Baklava

STEP 9: PREPARE & ADD THE HONEY SYRUP

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the spices and the lemon peel. When the Saragli is done and still piping hot, slowly add the syrup, but NOT all at once. Add the syrup a little bit at a time. When some of the syrup is absorbed, add some more syrup. Repeat until all the syrup is used. Add grated pistachio nuts. Allow to cool completely (about 2-3 hours) before serving.

Note: ​Traditionally, most Greek recipes with syrup suggest having the dessert at room temperature and then adding the hot syrup or vice versa. Opinions are mixed among Greek chefs regarding this. I have tried both ways, but I found that in this recipe, pouring the hot​ syrup over the piping ​hot​ Saragli, allowed the dough to stay crunchier and flakier much longer. Also, adding the syrup a little bit at a time helps the Baklava Rolls stay crunchy, too.

Please let me know how these Greek Baklava Rolls turned out for you in the comments!               

 I would love to hear from you!

GREEK BAKLAVA ROLLS (Saragli) - REFINED SUGAR FREE

This is an all-time Greek favorite. Saragli is similar to baklava, but it’s rolled rather than layered. This Saragli is refined sugar free, buttery, flaky, crunchy, and just sweet enough to satisfy your sweet tooth!
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Greek
Servings: 30

Ingredients

  • 1 package phyllo dough, thawed (450 gr / about 16 oz)
  • 300 g (10.5 oz) unsalted butter, melted
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) walnuts, chopped
  • 125 g (4.4 oz) almonds, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

For the Honey Syrup

  • 450 g (16 oz) good quality Greek honey
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml / 4 oz) water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 6 whole cloves

For the Topping

  • 100 g (3.5 oz) unsalted pistachios, finely grated

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 160​°​ C / 320​°​ F.

Prepare the filling

  • In a large bowl, mix the nuts, cinnamon and a tiny pinch of ground nutmeg. Set aside.

Make the Baklava Rolls

  • Take a sheet of phyllo dough and place it on your work surface with the short edge facing you (the width). Drizzle the sheet with butter and then place another sheet of phyllo dough on top, drizzling that as well.
  • Starting from the bottom, fold the sheets over, about 10 cm/4 inches.
  • Sprinkle about 2 1⁄2 - 3 tablespoons of the nut mixture, leaving a space of about 2 inches/5 cm from the top of your dough so as to seal the sheets when you roll them. Place the stick(s) a little bit above the folded sheets. Gently start rolling from the folded bottom together with the stick(s). Slowly move upwards, but don’t roll too tightly.
  • Carefully move both hands towards the middle, while gently squishing the dough.
  • Remove the stick(s) and place the roll in a baking pan. Butter immediately​ so it doesn’t dry out. Repeat with the remaining sheets and filling. Cut into bite-sized cubes, about 5 cm/2 inches and bake for about 1 – 1 1⁄2 hours on the lowest rack, until it’s golden brown.

Prepare the honey syrup

  • Put all the ingredients for the honey syrup in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Allow it to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the spices and the lemon peel using a slotted spoon.

Add the honey syrup

  • When the Saragli is done and still piping hot, slowly add the syrup, but NOT all at once. Add the syrup a little bit at a time. When some of the syrup is absorbed, add some more syrup. Repeat until all the syrup is used.

Add the topping

  • Top with grated pistachio nuts.
  • Allow to cool completely (about 2-3 hours) before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Always thaw the phyllo dough in the refrigerator overnight in the package. Otherwise, if you defrost it too quickly, it may collect excess moisture from the condensation and become sticky and you won’t be able to work with it.
Phyllo dough dries out very quickly. Work one sheet at a time and always cover the remaining sheets with a damp kitchen towel or cloth so that they don’t dry out.
Use a very sharp knife to cut the Saragli before baking. If your knife is dull, the phyllo dough might drag and pull apart.
Baklava Rolls are best the next day. They will keep at room temperature for up to five days. They can also be refrigerated, however, each day that passes, the pastry will soften a bit because it absorbs moisture from the syrup.
©Pastry Wishes
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