Wednesday 30 April 2014

Flaounes (Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies)

This months bread for the group We Knead to bake was  Flaounes (Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies) which Aparna introduced us to.
Ok I do have to admit the bread was really new to me and I am always delighted when it is some new bread the group is making which I don't know about.

Even though I was delighted about making a new bread, I didn't had time to make them, as it was two weeks of Easter holidays and we went for a holiday to London which was really fun, as there was Hans , Shyama and myself and a uncle and aunt from Hans ( they had planned to go to Indian for 18 days in February but uncle need a knee operation in february so they had to cancel their trip)

So as there is such a huge Indian community in London we thougth we all will go to London and they were delighted when we took a trip to Brick Lane, South Hall and Toothing.
Especially South Hall and Brick Lane was a delight for them.

I did meet up Nisha one evening sadly no pictures as Hans took the pics while we were having dinner and the two pics he took were not good :-).
Then we went to Germany just Hans and I so al toegther we were busy enjoying the Easter holidays.

Now to the bread Aparna had given the recipe using lesser eggs but I used the original recipe which she took the recipe and made like in The Traveler's Luncbox blog.
I do have to say the bread is tasting good, I always say if i say that i will make a dish, dessert or some bake again after I make them fir first time then it is a hit.
But what I will say is this bread I wo'nt make anymore . Could be also I thought it was a bit bland and not exciting enough to make them again.

Yield: about 18 palm-sized pastries Recipe Courtsey The Traveler's Lunch box)

For the dough

1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon mastic, ground in a mortar (optional; also called mastica)
1/2 teaspoon ground mahleb, (optional; also called mechlepi)
1 tablespoon sugar

3 large eggs
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
1/2 cup (125g) butter, melted and cooled
1/4-1/2 cup (60-125ml) lukewarm water, or as needed
vegetable oil, for greasing bowl and work surface

For the filling
1 lb 2 oz (500g) Cypriot halloumi or a mixture of cheeses (e.g. kefalotyri, kashkavali, parmesan, pecorino, manchego; see note above), grated

1 tablespoon flour
5 large eggs

2 tablespoons dry mint

1/3 cup (50g) raisins or currants (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder 

For the decoration:
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup (100g) sesame seeds

In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast, salt, mastic, mahleb, and sugar. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and butter and add this to the flour. Add as much water as needed to get a soft but kneadable dough. If it's too sticky to knead, add additional flour by the spoonful until you can knead it with clean hands without it sticking to your fingers. Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead until the dough is smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. Form the dough into a ball. Wash out the bowl, pour about a teaspoon of oil into the bottom, and put the dough in, rolling it around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth and leave for about an hour, or until doubled in size. Fold the dough over itself a couple of times to deflate, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 24.
Meanwhile, mix all the filling ingredients except the baking powder and set aside. If refrigerating the dough overnight, cover and refrigerate the filling too. Spread the sesame seeds on a plate.
The dough is easiest to handle when it's cold, so divide it in half and keep the half you're not working with covered in the fridge. On a lightly oiled work surface, and using a lightly oiled rolling pin, roll the other half to a thickness of 1/4-inch. Using a bowl as a guide, cut as many 6-inch circles from the dough as you can. Combine the scraps, re-roll and cut out more circles. Repeat until you've used all the dough. Gently pick up the circles and press one side into the sesame seeds. Brush off any loose seeds. Place the circles back on your worktop, sesame-side down.
Stir the baking powder into the cheese mixture. Heap 2-3 tablespoons in the center of each dough circle, spreading it slightly but leaving at least an inch (2.5cm) border all around. Brush some beaten egg around the edge of the dough and fold three of the sides to form a triangle shape (see pictures below). Using a fork, press the corners together to join.
Place the flaounes on parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing them widely so they have room to expand. Let them rise while you prepare the second batch of flaounes, about 30-40 minutes. About 20 minutes before you begin baking, preheat the oven to 375F/190C. Just before baking, brush the outside of the flaounes with beaten egg. Bake them in batches for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a rack and enjoy warm or at room temperature. Freeze what you won't be able to eat within 3 days.


Gloria Baker said...

I love these cheese pies Finla and your pics are amazing!!

Mandira said...

These look so delicious Finla!

Rafeeda AR said...

such a cheesy beautiful looking bread...

sra said...

Feel envious reading about your holidays, continue having fun!

Angie's Recipes said...

500 grams of cheese!! wow..this must be amazing!