This month's BBB recipe was all about mahlab. Well, maybe not ALL about mahlab. These wonderful pies are stuffed with spinach, goats' cheese, walnuts, dried cranberries and onions. The outer crust is made with yeast, whole wheat and all-purpose flours, ground flax seed, a tiny bit of sugar and spiced with mahlab (the inner core of the cherry pit). The pies are seriously good.
Mahlep (aka mahlep, mahalab, mahleb, mahaleb, mahalep, mahlepi, machlepi or makhlepi) is available in stores that sell Middle Eastern spices. Apparently, once opened, the powdered version deteriorates rather quickly. We put ours in the freezer to preserve it as best we can. (Malhab is also delicious in Armenian-style sweet buns stuffed with dates and pecans)
First shape the dough into 12 balls about the size of golf balls and let them rest for 30 minutes. Then roll each ball out into a thin round (about 5 inches in diameter). Put a spoonful of filling in the center. Brush the outer edges with water. Imagine that the round is a compass and fold NE, NW and S towards the center to form a triangle, pinching the edges shut well. (This shaping method is very similar to the one for making Hamantaschen.)
Pinch the edges shut well. As soon as they are shaped, place them on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake them in a 375 oven til golden. (Brush them with olive oil or butter first, if you remember.)
Mmmmm... spinach pie!
We didn't have quite enough spinach filling for all the dough so made some plum pies with some tart plum jam. When I started shaping them, I imagined that I would be closing up the edges so made them four cornered. But the jam was so loose that it kept wanting to spill out. These plum tarts were fantastic with plain yoghurt.
If you know where your mittens are, then you shall have some pie!
1st Year: Challah . Coccodrillo . Croissants and Pains au Chocolat . Five-Grain Bread with Walnuts . Mary's Dark Onion Rye . Royal Crown Tortano . Whole-Wheat Pita
2nd Year: Chinese Steamed Flower Rolls . Italian Knots . Naan
3rd Year: Broa . Brunkans Långa . Cornucopia . Ensaimadas . St. Hildegard's Spelt Bread . Sweet Portuguese Bread . Taralli Pugliesi . Yeasted Sprouted Wheat Bread
4th Year: Biscotti Picanti . Cuban Bread . Dan's Garlic Bread . Fougasse . Hamburger Buns . Herbed Soda Bread . Kaiser Rolls . Rewena paraoa . Soft Pretzels . Stollen . Streusel Potato Coffee Cake . Stromboli
5th Year: Assyrian Spinach Pies . Easy Little Bread . Fantans . Holiday Apple Kuchen . Julia Child's French Bread . Molasses Fennel Rye . Oatmeal Twists . Pocketbook Rolls . Russian Rose . Swedish Rye
6th Year: Aloo Paratha . Brioche and Gateau a la Creme . carrot bread . Chocolate Prune Rolls . Crackers . Filled Pane Bianco . Modern 'Lardy' Cake . Nut Roll Coffee Cake . Rgaif . Rheinbrot . Whipped Spelt Bread
7th Year: Beaujolais Bread . Brioche Flower . caramelized onion bread . Chapatis . Dhakai Bakharkhani . Kouign Amann . Panmarino . Polenta Bread . Pretzel Croissants . Robert May's French Bread . Water-Proofed Bread (challah) . Wild Rice and Onion Bread
8th Year: caramelized onion rye . Anadama Bread . Chrysanthemum Bread . Conchas (Mexican pan dulce) . Cozonac (Romanian Festive Braid) . Flaxseed Soaker Bread with Prunes . Granary-style Bread . Khachapuri . Muesli Rolls . L'Otto di Merano . Power Bread . Tangzhong Bread
9th Year: Asiago Bagels . Auberge Walnut Bread . Beet Bread . Beignets . Bialys . Bran Bread . Coconut Rolls . Fouace Nantaise . Jachnun . NOT Cinnamon Rolls . Porridge Bread . Spring Focaccia
10th Year: Champagne Baba . Cinnamon Raisin Struan Bread . English Muffins . Kaak . Kare Pan . Pumpkin Cornmeal Rolls . Royal Crown Tortano - Revisited . Shubbak el-Habayeb . Swiss Rye Ring . Tartine Polenta Bread . Tootmanik . Velvety Bean Bread
11th Year: Lariano-style Bread . Nazook . Red Pepper Coques . Pain au Levain