It’s been more than a month since we’ve returned from our longer trip to Macedonia and I hate to admit it, but up until now, I haven’t made any of the recipes I’ve learned to make when I was there. So last week, out of nowhere, I decided it was time to make the “zelnik”, bought a bunch of leeks and planned on making it once in the next few days. Well, that “once” happened to be the same day at 10 p.m. because (as I mentioned in my previous post) I get really impatient when it comes to cooking and want to make everything right away if not sooner. It may not have turned out as perfectly as the one I made in Macedonia under the watchful eye of my boyfriend’s mother, but it tasted really good.
For those of you who don’t know, zelnik is a traditional pastry from the Balkans composed of thin layers of phyllo pastry filled with different ingredients, usually combinations of white cheese, eggs, sorrel, browned meat and leeks, sometimes also brined cabbage and spinach, from which the dish derives its name: “zelje”means spinach. Zelnik is served with yoghurt and is best eaten warm. Continue reading
I find it really hard to find some real good bread in stores these days. Since I don’t eat wheat or buckwheat or corn, that eliminates quite a lot of options, most options to be exact. What I can choose from is mostly spelt and oat bread. But the problem is that the stores that claim to be selling spelt or oat bread are actually selling spelt-wheat or oat-wheat blend breads. There are a few bright exceptions, but not many. So making my own bread really is the best option if I want to get some diversity. That’s, in my opinion, the best option for anyone, since (a) you get to choose the perfect flavor combination and (b) you know exactly what ingredients are in your bread.
There are so many bread recipes out there that I could probably make a different bread every day just by replacing the all purpose flour with spelt flour. Most of them require yeast, though. Not that I have anything against it, I love it, actually, but I usually don’t have fresh yeast just lying around my fridge. And in situations like that, using baking soda is the perfect alternative. Not to mention that it takes a lot less time to make the bread without all the waiting for the dough to rise at least once if not twice. So for those of you who either don’t have fresh yeast in the fridge right now or don’t have much time, this is the perfect recipe. Continue reading