This is a dish that definitely requires patience, but once I got into the groove of it I actually found it rather therapeutic and calming to make. How can you not relax and just enjoy life when painting with butter. I also made sure I didn't rush when working with the Phyllo dough. I allowed the dough to completely defrost before working with it and kept it covered with a damp cloth while working with it. This helped ensure it didn't rip into tiny pieces while working with it, which has been the source of much frustration in the past.
While there aren't a lot of ingredients in Baklava - phyllo, nuts and simple syrup - the flavor can vary greatly depending on what nuts you choose to put in the filling and what type of honey you use in the syrup.
In order to love Baklava you have to be a nut lover. There are some recipes that add chocolate pieces or dried fruit, but most of the recipes I came across contained just nuts. Most recipes used a combination of different types, but some recipes use just one type. I used a combination of walnuts, pecans and almonds with a few pistachios thrown in, but you can use any combination and it will be delicious.
The syrup which binds everything together is very simple - honey, sugar, water - but the flavor can vary greatly based on the type of honey used. I get my honey from a small health food store that sells local honey. It is a wonderfully delicious honey, but for me the real joy of this honey is watching the golden honey come out of a huge vat as they refill your container. If you don't have access to local honey a lavender honey is a good option or you can use a regular honey and add some orange zest to the syrup. Again you really can't make a bad choice when making the syrup. And if you have to make numerous batches to decide on you favorite combination of nuts and syrup flavoring, that is a sacrifice worth making.