Makes one 9x13 pan or three 4.5x9 loaf pans. If making loaf pans it's not hard to make one of them vegan by using vegan butter. You can also make a 1/2 or 2/3 recipe and put the rest of the phyllo back in the fridge.
Ahead of time, move phyllo dough from freezer to refrigerator. An hour ahead, move it to the counter.
Prepare pastry ingredients: melt the butter, chop the nuts. Preheat oven to 325F.
Butter the pan. With a sharp knife, cut the phyllo to a multiple of the pan size: for 9x13 cut in half, for 4.5x9 cut in thirds and then unroll to cut in half.
Alternate layers of phyllo dough and butter. If using #7 (thick/all purpose) dough get a lot of butter on each layer. Put nuts every few layers. Since with #7 cut this way you have 28 layers, a good pattern is 8-3-3-3-3-8. Use 1/5 of the nuts each time.
If any phyllo is going to sit for a while, make sure it's covered with plastic or a damp cloth.
Cut into small bits. Something like 1" square is good: this is dense food and it's better to have a few pieces than one that's too much.
Bake ~1:10 at 325F until top is golden brown.
As soon as it goes into the oven, prepare the syrup and put it in the fridge to chill. Instead of honey+water+lemon you can also use 1.75C apple cider syrup.
As soon as it comes out of the oven, pour syrup over. It should sizzle
and crack. Really use all the syrup, even though it feels like a
lot. Ideally you leave it about 4 hours before you eat any.