When I saw this recipe at Choosy Beggars, I knew I would like it, since halloumi is a cheese indigenous to Cyprus, where I come from and which I adore and anything with halloumi in it would definitely be great.
Halloumi is made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep milk, and it has a high melting point, and so it can easily be fried or grilled. Although Wikipedia says that halloumi resembles to mozarella, I totally disagree, as the two cheeses cannot compare.
When I saw Tina’s recipe it reminded me of a similar recipe we make in Cyprus, called halloumopita but which however, does not have any garlic in it and we do not add the olive oil on the dough but we add either shortening or margarine in the dough. We make these as big or small individual breads especially during Easter when we make flaounes. When grating the cheeses there are always some leftover bits and pieces of cheese which we mix into the dough. I still have a lot of recipes from Easter which I have not posted and hope to do this soon, so for the time being here is a glimpse of halloumopita.
Back to Tina’s recipe. I did not follow Tina’s recipe exactly so instead of adding halloumi and mozarella, I preferred another Greek cheese, called graviera of Crete. Graviera of Crete is a traditional Greek cheese which is exclusively manufactured in Crete from ewe’s milk or mixtures with small quantities of goat’s milk. It is ripened for at least for 5 months and it has a slightly sweet taste and is harder than Graviera of Naxos.
Also, instead of adding parsley, I preferred to pair it with mint, as halloumi and mint pair perfectly together and did not use too much garlic. I did not have any nigella seeds so I sprinkled some fennel seeds and sesame seeds on top.
Although I was reluctant to use the garlic, they turned out really good and we loved them.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Resting time: about 60 minutes
Baking time: 30 minutes
- 3 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 8 grams (0.28 oz) active dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cups lukewarm water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 600 grams (1.30 lbs) halloumi, grated
- 2 tbsp dried mint or ½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- For topping:
- 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- Olive oil
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and add water and knead until the dough does not stick on your hands or the bowl.
- When the dough is ready, cover it with the ¼ cup of olive oil and make sure it goes everywhere. Cover with cling film and a towel and allow to rise for about half an hour.
- In the meantime grate the cheese and add the mint and garlic and mix. Remove the dough from the bowl, knead and divide it into 20 – 25 equal parts, depending on how big you want them to be. There will be some oil left in the bowl, which do not discard.
- Using your fingers flatten each piece into a round disc about 10 cm (4 inches).
- Add a generous spoonful of cheese mixture.
- Gather up the sides of your dough circle, and pinch the top together to enclose the filling.
- Brush a baking tin with the leftover olive oil and invert the filled dough in the pan, closely next to each other.
- Brush with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle some fennel and sesame seeds on top.
- Cover with cling film and a clean towel and allow to rise again (about half an hour).
Preheat oven to 180o C / 350o F and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown on top.
I am sending this recipe to Cinzia of Cindystar, who is hosting this months Bread Baking Day #19, Spring Country Breads.
You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,