Saragli is a type of Greek Baklava that is rolled instead of layered. Phyllo sheets are brushed with butter, covered in a seasoned walnut mixture, and rolled up. The cooked Saragli are soaked in a lemon (and occasionally cinnamon) infused syrup. I have seen two ways to prepare Saragli: rolled in a cigar shape or rolled cinnamon roll-style, then placed cut-side up in the pan. I personally preferred the look of the cinnamon roll style, but the cigar shape was easier to eat.
To make the Saragli cinnamon roll-style, place a sheet of phyllo on the work surface with the short side facing you. Brush with butter and cover with another sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter again and a third sheet of phyllo. Keep the remaining sheets of phyllo covered with a lightly damp towel to keep them from drying out. Cover the three sheets of phyllo with a layer of the seasoned walnut mixture. Roll up the phyllo short end to short end. Cut the phyllo roll into pinwheels about 1 inch wide. Arrange in greased baking dish cut side up and repeat with remaining phyllo.
To make the Saragli into individual rolls, place a sheet of phyllo on work surface with the short side facing you. Brush with butter and cover with another sheet of phyllo. Brush with butter again and cover with a third sheet of phyllo. Keep the remaining sheets of phyllo covered with a lightly dampened towel to keep them from drying out. Place about a 1 inch thick rope of the filling along the short end closest to you. Carefully, but tightly, roll up the phyllo. Place the rolls in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish, gently pushing the roll inward to create creases and allow it to fit in the pan. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
Make sure everything is prepared before removing the phyllo from the package. It dries out quickly. Cover any phyllo you aren’t currently using with a lightly damp towel. Work carefully, but a small tear here or there isn’t a big issue with these.
When chopping the walnuts, you want them small but not too fine. I lightly pulsed them in a food processor. Do not grind them until they become powdery.
I found conflicting information on whether the syrup should be cold/hot and the saragli should be cold/hot. I poured cool syrup over the hot saragli, because that is what I am used to doing with baklava. Other recipes used hot or cold syrup. Some recipes also poured hot syrup over cooled saragli.
3 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/3 pounds walnuts
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 pound phyllo sheets
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
In a small saucepan, combine sugar, water, and lemon juice over high heat. Boil for about 8 minutes. Allow to cool.
Chop the walnuts or lightly pulse in a food processor until finely chopped, but not yet powdery.
In a medium bowl, combine chopped walnuts, cinnamon, and cloves.
Preheat oven to 390 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Place one sheet of phyllo on work surface with short end facing you. Brush with the melted butter. Cover with another sheet of phyllo and brush with butter. Cover with a third sheet and brush with more butter.
To make the pinwheel shaped saragli, cover the top sheet of phyllo with a thin layer of the walnut mixture. Gently, roll up the phyllo short end to short end. Cut the roll into 1 inch thick slices. Place the phyllo slices, cut side up, side by side in prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
To make the individual rolls, place about a 1 inch thick rope of filling along the short end closest to you. Gently, roll up the phyllo starting with the end with the filling. Place the roll in the prepared baking sheet, gently pushing the roll inward to create creases and allow it to fit in the pan. Repeat with remaining phyllo and filling.
Brush the tops of the saragli with remaining melted butter. Bake in preheated oven until the tops are golden brown, about 30 minutes.
As soon as the saragli come out of the oven, cover evenly with the syrup. Allow to cool completely and absorb the syrup before serving. If you created the cigar shaped rolls, cut into individual sizes before serving.