Five years and Assyrian Pies (my way)
Five Years but contrary to Bowie’s song, these five years are not a limit but just the beginning. Five years ago Tanna and Karen asked me if I wanted to join them in a group they were creating, it was about baking bread, it was going to be a small group of bread baking friends and it was going to be fun. I had been baking before with Tanna and Karen, first as Daring Baker where I met them and later we baked live on skype. We still do. Of course I said yes, even though I am not much of a group person, it was too good to resist. I had enjoyed the monthly challenges of the Daring Bakers but backed out when it got too big because there was no way I could know all of the people who baked and I had particularly liked that part of the whole thing, the fact that we knew each other, some I knew better, some I knew less but I knew them. We are 12 Bread Baking Babes or at least I think we are, the numbers fluctuate a bit but we should be 12 active Babes right now, it is a good number, not too many but still enough people to make a party.
I am eternally grateful to my friends Tanna and Karen for thinking of me because my baking has improved so much in these five years as has my number of bread books but that was easily improved because I don’t think I owned even one when we started despite the fact I have been baking since I was a teenager. I used to be exclusively a freehand baker but through BBB I have learnt to follow recipes and above all, try out breads I never would have thought about baking. Challenges are good, I may be a coward in many things but I never could resist a challenge, something that has lead me to do many things that I initially hated or was knee-knockingly scared of but that have enriched my life and made me stronger, not to speak about all the things I have learnt, both about myself and of the world. And our monthly challenges have taught me so much about bread baking, the intricacies of different flours and rising methods and made me discover the joys of discussing these with likeminded.
This celebratory month, Tanna has chosen the bread to bake, Assyrian Spinach Pies (Syrian Sabanrhiyat), follow the link and you will find the recipe. Something I didn’t do much. There is only one rule in the BBB group and that is that there are no rules, very useful but this time I wonder if I have stretched that rule a little bit too much because my pies don’t have much more than the shape in common with what they are supposed to be. First of all I made them sweet, I chopped figs and walnuts and added a dash of Marsala wine, I think this version would benefit by the addition of a little honey but it is good without as well. Secondly I substituted a third of the flour with wholewheat flour and thirdly I used about half of the dough to make croissant shaped cinnamon buns. The reason to why I Did It My Way (like the drummer) is that no one in my family is very enthusiastic about bread with savoury fillings, if they want it savoury, they want the filling on top of the bread. So for a while I thought I wouldn’t bake at all but it bugged me as I have promised myself to do more BBB challenges, hopefully all of them this year, and when Elizabeth, who must have read my mind, posted about other kinds of fillings used around the Middle and Far East on our blog, I decided to go sweet. But I can tell you that all the Babes who has baked the original version are raving about how good they are, the pies I mean, we are all suitably modest Babes, so now I would like to try that one too, maybe when we have guests… If you feel like baking with us as a Bread Baking Buddy, click over to Tanna and check out what to do and get the recipe! If you just want to bake it, do the same! Please take a look at what my fellow Babes have filled their Assyrian Pies with (remember that we live in different time zones so they might not have posted yet):
Bake My Day – Karen
Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire – Katie
blog from OUR kitchen – Elizabeth
Feeding my enthusiasms – Elle
girlichef – Heather
Life’s A Feast – Jamie
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies – Natashya
My Kitchen In Half Cups – Tanna
Notitie Van Lien – Lien
Paulchens Foodblog – Astrid
Provecho Peru – Gretchen