The AlphaBakes baking challenge has reached one of the more difficult letters of the alphabet this month - the letter Z! I could have gone the easy route, with a zebra cake, or used a zucchini, but I wanted something a bit more unusual. I often get inspiration from my spice cupboard, when looking for unusual flavour combinations, so was happy to come across a jar of Za'atar spice mix hiding at the back.
Za'ater is a variable mix of herbs, spices and sesame seeds (mine contains wild majoram, sumac and sesame seeds - some varieties use thyme and/or oregano) and is quite bitter, so isn't really suitable for sweet baking. After some experimentation, which is best forgotten, I finally decided on the savoury option of cheese scones filled with a swirl of the za'atar mix.
The bitter flavour of za'atar means it needs to be used with caution - I think these scones might have been better with a bit less za'atar mix, as the flavour quite overwhelmed that of the cheese and other spices used. I also think a scone might not be the best vehicle for the za'atar - small cocktail biscuits or puff pastry whirls which could be eaten in just a mouthful might have been more suitable. However it was an interesting way of getting to use the za'atar, which had been lingering unused in my cupboard for far too long.
(rules here) is a challenge based on a randomly chosen letter of the alphabet. The dish made must feature something beginning with that letter as one of the main ingredients or part of the name. It is hosted jointly by Ros at The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline at Caroline Makes. Caroline is this month's host, with the letter Z, and will feature a round-up of entries at the end of the month.