Soft, fluffy and tangy Middle Eastern spinach and feta pies
2 cups/300g bread flour
2 cups/300g white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (or 1 package) yeast
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cups/355ml warm water
1lb/455g spinach, fresh or frozen
4 green onions, chopped fine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt, to taste
½ cup Feta cheese
In the bowl of a stand mixer mix the flours, salt, sugar and the yeast.
Add the olive oil and the warm water, a little at time until a dough forms.
You may need more or less water depending on the flour.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Place the ball of dough in a greased bowl, cover and place in a warm area.
Allow the dough to double in size, about 90 minutes (45 minutes if high altitude)
While the dough is resting and rising, make the filling.
If using fresh spinach, place the spinach in a microwaveable bowl and microwave for about 5 minutes until soft and wilted.
Or, place in a pan with a drop of water and allow to steam and wilt.
Drain the spinach and squeeze out all the water.
You may need to wrap the spinach in a towel to get out all the excess water.
Once the spinach is dry, chop it into small pieces.
If using frozen, defrost and squeeze out all the water.
Place the dry spinach in a bowl, add the green onions, feta cheese and lemon juice.
Check to taste for salt and lemon juice.
Don't make the filling too wet, it will be hard to seal the pies.
Preheat the oven to 350F/180C
Once the dough has doubled in size. slowly punch down the dough.
Place on a clean counter and knead gently.
Cut the dough into 16 pieces.
Roll out one piece of dough into a 5 inch/13 cm circle.
Drop a rounded tablespoon of filling onto the centre of the dough.
Pull up one side of the dough and seal.
Pull up the other side and make a tri tip seal.
I didn't need any water to seal but if you're having a problem getting the edges to seal, use a bit of water or flour paste to seal.
Keep the pie aside.
Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough.
Place on a couple of cookie sheets and place in he oven
Bake until golden brown and puffy, about 20 minutes.
See warm or room temperature.
They store really well in the fridge for a quick snack or packed lunches.
You can use all purpose flour for all or part of the flours. White whole wheat is great to use because it is soft but is still a while wheat flour. This dough makes great pita bread if you decide to make only a few fatayer and a few homemade pita bread. Just bake the pita bread on a hot pizza stone or a heated cookie sheet. It has perfect pita pockets!
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at http://www.coffeeandcrumpets.com/spinach-fatayer/