Though I was hopeful for this recipe, I was equally surprised at how well it all came together. I have wanted to make or at least have spinach and feta pies for many weeks now. It has been a pregnancy craving that is not easily resolved where we live. Especially because we do not have an oven. That meant we could not just make the pies. On top of that the stores around here rarely have feta and when they do it is a little pricey. After some research and thinking carefully about it I devised a recipe I was sure would work well, or the very least be good enough to put a pin in the craving. It turned out to be a recipe that both of us love and would make again. My husband helped me with the cooking while I got the pies prepared. Team effort that goes a long way. So without any more chatting, here is the recipe for the spinach and feta pan fried pies.
Flour – 400 g (soft white flour or bread flour – I used Tipo ‘0’)
Hot water – 220 g
Neutral oil – 25 g (I used sunflower oil)
Butter – 25 g that has been melted
Spinach (fresh or frozen) – 210 g once the water has been drained.
Feta – 200 g
Place your flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Mix them well. Now add the hot water, start with half the water and stir it in with a wooden spoon or spatula to make a shaggy dough. Then add in the rest of the water and stir again with the wooden spoon or spatula. Once it is well incorporated, mix the dough with your hands until you have a smooth or mostly smooth dough ball. Be careful as it will be hot/warm. Let that rest covered for 2 hours.
Now it is time to prepare the filing. If you are using fresh spinach you will want to blanch the spinach and then let the water drain out while it cools before making the filling. Be sure to squeeze any extra liquid. When using frozen spinach, you will want to defrost the spinach and also squeeze out as much liquid as possible. With the spinach ready you can begin with the filling. Take the spinach and chop it up so that you have thin strands of spinach. Now take your feta and cut it into small blocks. Mix the spinach and feta together. Add the salt and pepper to taste and mix again. Place the mixture in a bowl and cover. Put the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
The dough will have rested for about 2 hours. Grab the bowl with the dough and uncover the dough but leave it in the bowl for now. Add the butter and oil to the dough and begin to mix it. It will be the easiest by hand. when the dough has taken up most of the oil and butter, turn it out onto a flat surface to knead in the oil and butter some more. It should take just a few minutes.
Assembly time. Take the filling out the fridge. Place the dough ball to one side and grab a rolling pin or something similar. Take a small dough ball from your dough and roll it into a circle or a rectangle if you prefer. Make sure to roll rather thing but also be careful not to tear the dough. with the dough rolled out you can add the filling. add some filling on one half of the circle or rectangle while leaving a border on the edge for closing. Try not to overfill it with filling. Close the pie by bringing the other half over the filling and seal the pie on the edge you left. Use a fork to ensure that it stays shut. continue this until you run out if filling or dough. I was left with one small dough ball that we just fried as a flat bread.
To cook the pies, heat up a pan to a medium heat. Add a tiny bit of oil to the pan to get started. Fry the pies on each side until they are golden brown. You may want to the folded seam of the pie as well. As soon as they come out the pan give them a quick dusting of salt. Continue this until you have cooked the pies.
Serve with your dipping sauce of choice. My husband made us a favourite with mayonnaise and oil from our fermented chilli oil. It gave it just the right kick. Enjoy!
You can watch the whole process on our YouTube channel linked down below.