Cookbooks from famous bakeries are generally good, not only as an inspiration for readers to prepare dishes they have eaten, but also to let travelers know that a great bakery exists in a city they want to visit. Soframiz is no exception. While I’m waiting for an excuse to travel to Cambridge to visit Sofra, I’ve been testing recipes from the cookbook, and must admit that I’m impressed. While Middle Eastern food is all the rage right now, this book takes it to a higher level and makes it possible to prepare dozens of baked goods that aren’t baklava.

For those who are new at using phyllo dough, there are excellent instructions and hints. This is very helpful since there are dozens of mouthwatering recipes using phyllo. Pistachio Bird’s Nests are not only very attractive, they are delicious and were a big hit with family and friends. The Milk Pie is a new favorite, and it is definitely easy to make. Spanakopita is always popular, and the filling in this book is absolutely the best. Rather than just layering it inside phyllo, the Spanakopita Serpentine was quite impressive to look at, and made an irresistible main dish.

There are yeast breads included in the book; the Flower Pagaca Rolls are delicious and pair perfectly with soups and salads. Any recipe that includes shaping a little different includes step-by-step pictures, so there is no guesswork.

Some of the recipes call for ingredients that aren’t in regular grocery stores, such as pomegranate molasses and grape molasses. If there isn’t a Middle Eastern grocery nearby, those and other unique ingredients can be ordered online. It is definitely worth it. The Turkish Simit called for grape molasses and were wonderful.

While most of the recipes are for baked goods, there is a great recipe for the famous Turkish egg dish, Shakshuka. There are recipes for crisp crackers, stuffed breads, and even a Green Apple Fattoush (salad).

Both of the authors make comments before each recipe, which are interesting and helpful. The book is well-organized, and has enough recipes to keep every baker busy baking.

All told, this is a cookbook that will be oft-used and is highly recommended for those who love to bake. The recipes are easy-to-follow, as well as unique. Many are even healthy, which is certainly a bonus.

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