Saturday, February 16, 2013

Bread Baking Babes are baking together for 5 years!

Five years ago Karen and Tanna started the Bread Baking Babes and were kind enough to invite me along. I can't believe it's been five years already. 

And we can count on Tanna to pick a wonderful recipe to start the celebrations: "Assyrian Spinach Pies". They're handheld pies, small filled rolls with a savory filling of spinach and other flavours. We had them for dinner and we loved them. Great flavours with the sweet raisins and irony spinach, the mahleb didn't do anything for me though. I've aways loved spinach a lot, so much that when I was little and we ate endive (which I didn't like) my father tried to make me believe that it was 'spindive', so I would eat it...but I'm afraid that didn't help one bit. Now I have a kid that refuses to eat spinach... Some things just don't change, like kids and eating greens.  

If you like your greens, this is the one for you. A delicious treat for lunch, dinner... I've even heard a Babe eating them for breakfast! Become our Bread Baking Buddy,; you know how right? Bake, taste, post and tell us what you think of this wonderful recipe. Send it all to the lovely Tanna, so she can send you the Buddy Badge and enclude you in the round up.

Don't forget to check out the other Babes (links in the side bar), you'll see more variations on the filling. The recipe here below, is the way I made these rolls. For the recipe that was our starting point, check out Tanna's blog.

Assyrian spinach pies
(makes 12)
(PRINT recipe)
1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
210-235 ml water
½ tsp ground mahleb (optional)
350 g bread flour
1TBsp sugar
1 tsp salt
40 ml olive oil

2 TBsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 small clove of garlic, chopped finely
70 g walnuts, chopped
4 TBsp raisins
450 g frozen chopped spinach (no additives)
squeeze of lemon
50 g grated cheese (Parmigiano will do very well)
1 small egg (or ½ large)
salt and pepper to taste
a little olive oil for brushing

First make the dough by kneading all dough ingredients together in a stand mixer until the dough is smooth, elastic, soft and slightly sticky.
Place the dough ball in a lightly greased container, cover with plastic and let rise until doubled.

Defrost the spinach and squeeze it out.
Fry the chopped onion in a little olive oil, add the garlic a little later and fry them golden.
Add the 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. Once cooled stir in the spinach, lemon juice, egg and cheese.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Line two large baking sheets with cooking parchment (each can hold 6 pies).

To shape the pies, roll a ball of dough into a thin 15 cm circle, flouring the dough and work surface lightly as necessary to prevent sticking. Pile a heaped TBsp of the filling, onto the center of the circle, leaving about 1 inch of dough exposed 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 to cover the top part of the filling and pinch firmly to seal, going all the way to 12 o’clock. Lift the 6 o’clock position of dough to meet in the center and pinch the two edges firmly to seal. The seams will look like an inverted Y. Set the pie on one of the prepared sheets. Working quickly, form 5 more pies, placing them on the cookie sheet with a little space between them. The other 6 pies are placed on the second baking sheet.

To bake the pies, brush a little olive oil on the dough and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown (180ºC). If you have a fan oven, put both baking sheets in the oven at the same time, reduce the heat to 170ºC and bake until golden brown. Eat them while they’re still warm.

(Adapted from “A baker’s Odyssey” - Greg Patent)


Karen Baking Soda said...

Oh Lien, that's how my mom tried to "sell" postelein to us, ofcourse her first answer to what's for dinner always was: something good.

How did you get your pies so nice and thinand in shape? Wow, beautiful!!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

The only time I thought I "caught" the mahleb was after the first rise I got a lovely floral aroma, still I was very happy with these.
Love your Dad's "spindive". Greenland kids are a toughie. One of my favorite stories with my boys is in my desperation to get them to eat green things was the Thanksgiving I put spinach in the turkey dressing ... now nobody in our family would dream of dressing without spinach.
Loverly little pies you baked. So good to have you a Babe for the full five.

Elizabeth said...

Ha! My mother didn't try to sell vegetables to us. When we said we didn't like/want them, she simply said, "Don't be silly. Eat up." (That worked pretty much as well as your father's "spindive" ploy.)

Your spinach pies look wonderful. And I really like that you used raisins. If we don't have dried cranberries next time, I'll definitely substitute raisins..

NKP said...

Yours look perfect! Such a great recipe. I like that you added garlic. I loves me some garlic. :-)

Elle said...

Thats what was needed...garlic! Love how your pies look with just enough crust and yummy filling.

Katie Zeller said...

I like my greens.... and my feta, and my nuts.... Very pretty pies!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I've lost it. I've tried I think 3 times to leave a comments and none are there.

I'm sure there is a gene that makes kids refuse greens.

And garlic, I can't believe I didn't add it in, I always do and then usually double it.

I love how your pies have a beautiful bready corner, once crumb.

Anonymous said...

garlic and raisins sounds like a deluxe addition. Next time...
Best, Sandie