Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Assyrian Spinach Pies

Once again the month has flown by too quickly.  At the beginning of 2013 I was sure my workload wouldn't be as heavy as 2012, but I was wrong.  Hence the reason this poor blog is underpopulated for February.

The other day I just had to bake bread.  It's one of the activities that grounds and centers me.   I decided to choose the interesting bread presented by the Bread Baking Babes.  This month, Tanna was the hostess, and she chose Assyrian Spinach Pies in celebration of the Babes' fifth year anniversary.

One key ingredient for the dough, aside from ground flax seeds (always in my freezer), was mahleb, a Middle Eastern spice made from ground cherry pits.   As luck would have it, I actually had a small container in my pantry.  I only had to grind the seeds and I was good to go.

For the filling, I substituted Swiss chard and dried cherries for the spinach and pomegranate seeds.  All other ingredients were the same as the recipe.

The dough was absolutely lovely to work with.   Because of the mahleb, there was a slight fragrance of cherry (or so I was convinced).   True confession here:  I made the dough in my bread machine.  I tossed in all the ingredients and let the machine work its magic while I prepared the filling and slipped in a bit work.

The filling went together nicely, although I found that I only needed a scant 1/4 cup for each pie.  Otherwise, I would have run out of filling.

 Ready to bake:

I did manage to freeze most of the pies -- they make a tasty lunch on the spur of the moment with just a quick reheating. 

So, if you want to try the recipe, head over to Tanna's blog for the ingredients and the instructions.