Sweet Yeast Bread (Chureck)
Chureck is slightly sweetened yeast pastry traditionally shaped like a wheel, about 12 in./30.5 cm across, with a cross-like axes. Smaller flattish oval-shaped ones with no holes in them are stuffed with dates or cheese and parsley. Chureck is usually bought from specialized bakeries and enjoyed year-round. But you can also bake them at home if you follow my recipe in Delights from the Garden of Eden, pp. 107-9, and read about its fascinating history.
Brick-Oven Bread (Sammoun)
Sammoun is usually bought from the neighborhood commercial bakeries in the cities. It is white bread similar in texture and taste to ciabatta bread. Traditionally it is shaped into diamonds, a little bit bigger than the palm of the hand, puffy and wide in the middle, and tapered into two rounded crisp ends. Some brick-oven breads take other shapes but it is all sammoun to us. When making sandwiches, the inside is usually scraped out. Flat bread by contrast is rolled around the filling, nothing is wasted.
Recipe in Delights from the Garden of Eden, pp. 93-96.
Sourdough Twisted Sesame Rings
Simeat rings are generously encrusted with sesame seeds. Iraqi simeat is closely related to bagels, in that they are poached in hot water before baking them. In fact, the name of these pastries was originally coined thus due to this practice because the root verb samata سمط means ‘dip briefly in hot water.’
Recipe in Delights from the Garden of Eden, pp. 104-06.