Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Braided Sweet Tahini Bread

In general, I am a big fan of traditional pastry fillings. Almondy frangipane, rich and smooth pastry cream, tangy cheese mixtures. But recently I made a braided loaf filled with a swipe of sweetened tahini. And it was just lovely (especially paired with a cup of black tea). I love the brioche-like richness paired with the nutty filling, though I'm also now eying some variations that match the tahini filling with a leaner, pita-type dough. Because once you go down this tahini path, evidently it's hard to stop.

We tend to think of tahini, if we think of it at all, as a topping for falafel. Or for some ill-conceived hippie sauce. But it can be so much more. In the Middle East, it is used much as we use butter or margarine, to add richness and body (along with its own nutty nature) to a variety of preparations, both sweet and savory. You can read about this recipe, and other lovely tahini treatments, over at NPR's Kitchen Window.


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