A Cypriot pastry enjoyed by the Greek Orthodox on Easter Sunday to mark the end of the Lenten fast, flaounes are traditionally made with a special flaouna cheese made locally on the island.
- 700 g (4⅔ cups) plain flour
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- ½ x 7g yeast sachet
- 1 tsp ground mastic (see Note)
- ½ tsp ground mahlepi (see Note)
- 4 eggs, 1 lightly beaten
- 125 ml (½ cup) milk
- 150 g butter, melted, cooled
- 100 g (⅔ cup) sesame seeds
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
Haloumi and mint filling
- 300 g haloumi, grated
- 200 g firm sheep’s milk cheese, such as manchego or pecorino, grated
- 1 tbsp semolina
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 tbsp dried mint
- 55 g (⅓ cup) currants
- 1 lemon, zested, plus extra lemon wedges, to serve
- 1½ cups mint leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp baking powder
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Resting time 2 hours
Cooling time 10 minutes
To make dough, combine flour, sugar, yeast, mastic, mahlepi and 2 tsp salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk and butter until combined. Add to flour mixture with 60 ml lukewarm water and knead for 7 minutes or until smooth and sticky; add a little extra flour, if necessary.
Turn dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface and knead for 5 minutes or until very smooth. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
To make filling, combine all ingredients except baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread sesame seeds over a plate and set aside. Divide dough in half and roll out on a lightly floured work surface to 3 mm thick. Using a small, sharp knife and a 10 cm round plate as a guide, cut out 18 rounds. Press each round into seeds, shaking off excess, then place, seed-side down, on work surface.
Stir baking powder into cheese mixture. Place 2 tbps filling in centre of each round, shaping filling into a triangle and leaving a 1.5 cm border. Brush edges with eggwash and fold up to form a triangle, leaving a little of the filling showing in the centre. Pinch edges to seal. Brush dough with eggwash and transfer to oven trays lined with baking paper. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature with lemon wedges.
• Mastic is the resinous sap from the mastic tree, which is native to Greece. It is available from select delis and specialist spice shops.
• Mahlepi is an aromatic fruity spice made from the ground stones of the St Lucie cherry, available from select delis and specialist spice shops. Substitute mastic or cardamom.
Photography Derek Swalwell
As seen in Feast magazine, May 2014, Issue 31.