Historically Damascene houses apart from few exceptions didn't have ovens and most of the cooking was done on cookers. Because of that there is very few baked dishes in classical Syrian cooking. These dishes were cooked in communal ovens. There was one of these ovens in every neighborhood. People would prepare dishes such as Kabab Hindi (Indian Kebab, although it has absolutely nothing to do with Indian cooking) or Lehmeh bil Seniyeh (literally "Meat in a Tray") and then they will take these dishes in the roasting tins and bake them in these ovens. Alternatively family butchers would prepare these dishes then bake them and send them ready.
The other dish cooked in these ovens was Sfeehah which is a very thin pizza like flat dough covered with spiced mince meat then baked. There is two variety of Sfeehah. Either mix the meat with Debes Remman (pomegranate molasses) or with tomatoes. Sfeehah was usually eaten in special occasions or when there was big number of guests to feed.
Nowadays with an oven in every house more baked dishes are being introduced to Syrian cuisine. These communal ovens still exists especially in old areas of the Syrian capital but their type of business has changed. They still would bake your home prepared food if you asked but they mainly sell Fatayer to passers by. Fatayer is a general term for all the small Pizza like pies with different toppings and stuffings. Classically there was meat, cheese, spinach and Zaatar ,a tangy herb mix made from dried thyme and other spices with olive oil, toppings. Nowadays you would expect to find anything between ten to fifteen different types of toppings in any self respecting fatayer maker.
Here is a recipe of Ftayer Sabanekh (spinach fatayer):
For the stuffing:
Pomegranate Molasses 1 table spoon
Pomegranate seeds 1 tea spoon (optional)
Lemon to taste
Dry flake chillies
For the dough:
Self rising flour 2 cups
Sugar 1 tea spoon
Salt 1 tea spoon
Vegetable oil 50 mls
Hot water 1 cup
Mix all the dough ingredients but start with half a cup of water and add more as needed till you get fairly soft dough. You can use an electric mixer. Let the dough raise for half an hour then make into small balls and cover with a damp towel.
Drop the spinach in a pot of boiling water and turn of the heat immediately and let the spinach and the water cool down. This will soften the spinach but it will keep shape better than cooking. Drain in a colander and squeeze all the water out.
Roughly chop the onion and fry in olive oil till it become soft but not brown. Fork out the spinach in a bowel and add the onions with the rest of the ingredients. Pomegranate Molasses vary a lot in strength, taste and consistency so start with a small amount then add more if desired. If your molasses is not of the sour variety you can add lemon juice but don't make the mix too wet.
Now flatten the small dough balls into thin discs 3-4 mm and 15 cm in diameter. Spoon the mix in the center then fold the edges to form the triangular shape as in the picture above. lightly oil a baking tray and put you fatayer on. Then bake in a very hot oven (225-250 degrees) till nice and crisp. It shouldn't take more than 15 min.
This recipe is enough for 15 fatayer.