These triangular pasties are based on a Lebanese speciality called fatayer, and use soft bread dough, rather than pastry, to enclose the filling. I like frozen spinach for this recipe – it’s very easy to use and actually produces a less watery mixture.
- 250 g strong white bread flour
- 1 tsp fine salt
- 1 tsp instant yeast
- 30 ml (1½ tbsp.) olive oil, plus extra for kneading
- 125–150 ml water
- 15 ml (3 tsp) olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 500 g frozen, whole-leaf (not chopped) spinach
- 125 g feta, crumbled
- 1½-2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
- 2 tbsp + 1 tsp chopped mint
- Salt and black pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Rising time: 1 hour
1. To make the dough, put the flour into a large bowl and add the salt to one side and the yeast to the other. Pour in the oil and 125 ml of the water. Start to mix with the fingers of one hand, adding a little more water as you go, gradually incorporating all the flour from the side of the bowl until you have a rough dough. It should be soft and slightly sticky. You may not need to add all the water or you may need a bit more (depending on the absorbency of the flour).
2. Trickle a little olive oil onto your work surface and knead the dough on it for a good 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and is no longer sticky. Return to the bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size and puffy.
3. Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat the oil in a wide frying pan over a low heat, add the garlic and cook gently for a minute or until it just starts to colour. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the frozen spinach to the pan and increase the heat to high. Cook, stirring often, until the spinach is soft and all the liquid released has evaporated. Add to the bowl with the garlic and season with black pepper and a pinch of salt (remember that the cheese will be very salty). Leave to cool then add the cheese, pine nuts and mint. Mix thoroughly.
4. When you’re ready to assemble the parcels, heat your oven to 220°C/gas 7 and line a baking sheet with baking parchment.
5. Tip the risen dough on to a floured surface and gently deflate it. Divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll out each piece to a circle 18 cm in diameter and about 5 mm thick.
6. Divide the filling between the circles, forming it into a triangular shape in the centre. Dampen the edges of the circles with water. Bring the dough up over each side of the triangle of filling, forming a pyramid shape. Squeeze the edges of the dough together with your fingers to seal. Trim off any excess and press together again.
7. Put the spinach parcels on the prepared baking tray and bake for 12–15 minutes until golden. Eat hot, warm or cold.