Poofy pita and Middle Eastern pancakes were the order of the day (or night as it were) in my Global Breads class.
Pita is a common type of bread used in the Middle East to make sandwiches and to scoop food. Though officially termed a flat bread, when baked it puffs up into a ball. When removed from the oven and cooled, it then deflates. This results in a pocket being formed inside. Split in half and fill with falafel, vegetables or other food of choice.
These pita were made with a starter (which greatly improves the flavour of bread) and our chef made a red pepper hummus and salad for accompaniment.
Atayif bil Ashta is a sort Middle Eastern pancake. It and the pastry cream filling inside were made without eggs but did contain cow’s milk. A non-dairy milk, either grain or nut based, could easily be substituted. They were cooked on one side only, then folded partway to create a cone. The pastry cream was inserted and then dipped into chopped pistachios. Not overly sweet and with a kiss of rosewater, they make for a delightful treat. Supposedly these are traditionally served at Ramadan, the fasting month for Muslims.
Words to describe my first taste
spongy, crepe-like texture yet bland taste
smooth and mildly thick cream-like subdued ice cream
rosewater is barely detectable (probably because we only used one-tenth of the amount called for in the recipe) but gives the cream a certain je ne sais quoi.