These are highly traditional Cypriot cheese breads which are always made around Easter time. Most people love them, some make them with lots of raisins, some with none. Some like them sweet, some don’t. Do as you see fit.
You can make them with a mixture of cheeses, I chose Edam, cheddar and haloumi. In Cyprus they use a cheese which is specially made for flaounes, but that’s really hard to come by in the UK, unless you are lucky enough to live by a Cypriot grocer and talk very nicely to them 😉
Makes approximately 10.
(For the pastry)
250g strong bread flour
110g plain flour
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
25g fine semolina
1tsp. Baking powder
5 stoned mehlepi & 4 mastic tears ground to a powder with a little sugar (put two thirds of the ground mixture into the dough and a third into the filling)
1tsp ground cinnamon
4tbsp vegetable oil
150ml warm milk (approximately)
(For the cheese filling:)
450g mixed cheeses, grated
1tbsp dried mint
1tsp baking powder
1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
4tbsp sugar (or, to taste)
1tsp. Ground cinnamon
2tsp vanilla extract
50g fine semolina
60-100g raisins (or to taste)
2 large eggs
(For the glaze:)
1 egg beaten
50g sesame seeds.
Place all the ingredients for the filling into a bowl and mix well. The filling should be firm, not wet. Cover and set to one side.
Place the pastry ingredients into the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook attachment, knead for 7 minutes. You should be left with a non sticky, firm dough. If not, add a little more milk or flour. Place to one side to prove, ideally in a nice, warm spot in your kitchen, until doubled in size. This should take 1-2 hours.
Punch down the dough, divide into an equal 10 pieces.
Roll into very thin, almost see through circles, about 12 centimetres in diameter. Save any scraps of leftover dough for later (cook’s treat 😉)
Place a gold ball sized amount of filling into the centre and fold the sides of the pastry in, leaving the centre exposed. You can shape them into triangles or squares. Don’t flatten the filling down, you want it high and raised.
Crimp the sides where they join each other with a fork.
Brush the pastries with beaten egg and sprinkle liberally with the sesame seeds, patting them in.
Place them on a non stick baking tray and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Bake at 180 deg C for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
* The flaounes freeze very well. Place them individually into sandwich bags and freeze. Use within one month.
* Make koulouria (breadsticks) with any left over dough. Cook alongside the flaounes
Flaounes are definitely a labour of love 💕But try making them and see how smug and satisfied you feel afterwards.