There use to be a local shop not 5 min from my house called Droubi’s. It was sort of a Middle Eastern shop that sold shwarmas, pita breads, feta cheese, and different spices. It ran pretty well and I was in utter shock when it closed down. There are other locations in the city but theyre out of my way.
Well one of my favorite things I use to buy from there were Spinach Fatayer or Spinach Pies. They were these cute little triangle breads that had spinach filled inside. One was never enough. Since the place closed down, I haven’t had them…that is until I came across a pretty simple recipe and decided to make them on my own. I used fresh spinach but next time I’ll opt to use baby spinach that comes precleaned so I don’t have to spend time de-stemming and washing the dirt filled spinach.
Spinach Fatayer (from here)
3 cups of AP flour
3/4 cup warm milk or water
1/2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup olive or canola oil
500 g spinach, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2-3 lemons, juiced
2 tbs sumac
salt and pepper to taste
Bloom the yeast by mixing the yeast, sugar (or honey), and water (or milk) in a small bowl and cover for about 10 min. It should result in a foamy mixture. If not, your yeast isn’t alive and you should buy some more before continuing.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour and oil. Slowly mix in the yeast mixture with some salt to taste. Knead the dough for 10-15 min until the dough is soft and elastic. Divide the dough into small balls (large golf ball size) and cover it with a damp towel while you prepare the filling.
Combine the onion, bell pepper, sumac, and salt in a bowl to soften. In another bowl, combine salt and the spinach by rubbing it together with your hands till the spinach wilts. Squeeze out all the water out of the spinach and mix in the onion-bell pepper mixture. Add in lemon juice and mix. Drain out any remaining liquid.
Preheat oven to 450 F. Flatten out the balls into little circles. Take about a 1 to 1.5 tbs of filling and place in the center of the circles. Pinch the dough together to make a triangle. Place the triangles on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If you want a nice golden sheen, brush it with milk or egg white. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 min until golden brown. Can be served warm out of the oven or at room temperature.
I’ve got some guests coming in for a few days next week and I can’t wait to cook/bake for them. Going to start brainstorming and shopping so I can be prepared.