Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Assyrian spinach pies

It’s been 5 years since the Bread Baking Babes started. Every month they bake a recipe and all Buddies can bake along. I've been baking along for about 2 years now and still enjoying it! Babe Tanna found these good looking Assyrian Spinach Pies.

We just bought some spinach and I made a nice quiche with it. Luckily I had some spinach left to put in these pies. They’re easy to make; the dough is smooth and soft and the filling has a good bite. Tanna uses mahlab, made from the pits of sour black cherries. Since I don’t have this I omitted it and have no idea what I missed. I saw Babe Lien used raisins instead of pomegranate seeds and hard cheese instead of feta. This worked great for me too. For the bite I added fresh chili.

We loved them! I baked only 4 pies because I didn’t have enough spinach and we ate them with a nice salad for dinner. But, next time ……….. for sure.


Specifics
Name                                       Assyrian spinach pies
Adapted from                            A baker’s Odyssey” - Greg Patent
Yields                                       12 pies
Dough temp.                             24°C
Mixing                                      by hand 5 – 7 minutes
Fermentation                            60 minutes
Shape                                      pies
Proof at roomtemp.                  none
Bake 180°C                              25 - 30 minutes

This is what I used:
Bakers formula                      %          grams
Flour                                      100       350
Water                                     65        230
Salt                                        1.7       6         

Dough:
active dry yeast                                   1 ¼ tsp
water                                                   210-235
ground mahleb (optional)                     ½ tsp
unbleached all purpose flour                 350
sugar                                                    1TBsp
salt                                                      1 tsp
olive oil                                                40

Filling:
olive oil                                               2 TBsp
medium yellow onion, chopped             1
small clove of garlic, chopped finely      1
walnuts, chopped                                   70
raisins or pomegranate seeds                  4 TBsp
chopped spinach (fresh or frozen)           450
lemon                                                  squeeze
grated cheese or feta cheese                   50
small egg (or ½ large)                              1
fresh chili                                             to taste
salt and pepper                                     to taste

a little olive oil for brushing

This is what I did:
I combined all ingredients for the dough. I had to knead the dough by hand because the amount was not enough for my electric mixer. Once in a while I like to knead by hand and use the pull and throw-method. It took me about 8 minutes before the dough was smooth and soft.

Bulk Fermentation: transfer the dough to a slightly oiled containers, cover and leave for 1  hour. 

Filling:
Fry the chopped onion, chili and garlic in a little olive oil until golden. Add walnuts and raisins, season with salt and pepper and let it bake for a few minutes on medium heat, stirring from time to time. Take it off the heat and let it cool. Stir in the spinach, lemon juice, egg and cheese.

Pre heating: I pre heated the oven to 180º C.

Shaping: divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll out each piece into 15 cm circle. Use flour on the work surface to prevent sticking. Place a heaped TBsp of filling onto the center of the circle, leaving about 2 cm of dough all around.


Imagining the circle to be a clock, lift up the edges of dough at the 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock positions and pinch the edges firmly to seal. Close it up with the 6 o’clock position of dough to meet in the center. 


Place  the pie on parchment paper. Work quickly and place them on the parchment paper with a little space between them.
You probably can place 6 pies on a parchment paper to fit the oven. Place the other 6 pies on parchment paper to bake directly after the first batch.

Proofing: No proofing.

Preparing and Baking: brush each pie with a little olive oil. Place them in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.

Eat them while they’re still warm.

I send this to BBB host Tanna's My Kitchen in Half Cups, Susan’s YeastSpotting and to Bake Your Own Bread

11 comments:

  1. Wonderful! Your filling looks so good and hearty! I really loved this recipe and will definitely make it again with different ingredients in the filling. Great job, Buddy!

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  2. Beautiful! What a great idea to add garlic and fresh chili! And I really like how thin you got your dough to be.

    Many thanks for baking with us!

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    1. Thank you Elizabeth, I thought it should be this thin, and then I saw pies with more crumb. We liked them this way.

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  3. Well, how could I possibly have left out the garlic ... and chili, both those should have been no brainers.

    It's funny to call these pies although they do fit in the hand for a hand held pie and even with the crisp crust you still get that nice little bread edge and that's bread.

    Thanks for baking with us Connie!

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    1. It's always a joy baking with the BBBabes. I probably didn't think about not using garlic and chili in spinach. Every day we eat garlic and almost every day there is chili in our food.

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    2. We're the same, Connie. Only occasionally do we have anything without garlic and chili. And then it's usually a conscious decision. Mmmm, garlic and chillis - they really can't be beat, can they?

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  4. Great little pies...and the flavor of the filling must have be outstanding with the garlic and chili. Excellent thing dough, too. Now I want more of these to eat.

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    1. Thank you Elle, there must be so many delicious fillings for these pies, hmmm what's next

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  5. Your substitutions sound perfect. I was missing garlic!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Karen, what's spinach without garlic? I also like spinach with a boiled egg.

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