Thursday, 24 April 2014

Flaounes - Cyprus Pastry

Flaounes (plural of Flaouna) are Easter and Ramadhan food of Cyprus. Basically it’s a (Hard) Cheese filled pastry garnished with sesame seeds.  – This is what Wiki says.

I never tried this before; this is my first attempt on Flaounes for We Knead To Bake #16. Thanks to Aparna for introducing the new recipe and the recipe source from

The Making process split in to two, the Dough making and Cheese filling Process.

The Ingredients to make dough,   2  1/2 cups of  All-purpose flour    ;    3/4 tsp  - instant yeast    ;    3/4 tsp  - salt   ;  1  1/2 tsp  - sugar   ;   1 – egg   ;   1/4 cup  - milk   ;   60gms of butter (melted and cooled)    ;    1/4 cup  lukewarm water   ;   Oil, for greasing bowl and rolling dough

The Ingredients  For filling,   1  of cup grated cheddar cheese    ;     1/4 cup grated  Mozzarella cheese   ;   1/3 cup - crumbled paneer (Indian Cheese)    ;   2 tsp All-purpose flour    ;   1/4 cup - semolina    ;   1 tbsp  - fresh mint    ;   1/2 tsp  - red chilly flakes (optional)   ;  3/4 tsp  - baking powder    ;   1 to 2 tbsp milk   or   1  - egg (optional)   ;   1 tbsp flour + less than 1/8 cup milk (for sealing paste)  ;  1/3  to  1/2 cup sesame seeds  ;  A little milk for brushing 

Dough Making process, Add the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, into the bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix. Whisk together the egg, milk and melted butter in a small bowl and add it to the flour. Knead, adding just enough water, till you have a soft, smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky. Add water/ flour as necessary to get this consistency of dough. Too much flour will spoil the texture of the pies.

Place the dough in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat it well. Cover with damp cloth and leave it for about 1 to 2 hours or until it is double in volume. Once it has risen, deflate the dough by pressing it. Then place it in a container (the dough will rise so use a large enough container) and cover loosely and refrigerate for about 2 hours or overnight. (the purpose to keep in fridge  is to make the dough easy to handle and shape because it has butter in it).

Cheese filling making process, Mix all the ingredients for the filling, except the milk (or egg if you’re using it) with a fork. Add the milk only when its ready to use the filling. The filling should be somewhat like a stiff paste

To shape the Flaounes, Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces lightly oil your work surface and rolling pin. Then roll each piece into a 5 to 6” round. The round of dough should be thinner rather than thick. If it is too thick you will have a very “bready” pie, but make sure that your round of dough is not too thin to support/carry the weight of the filling.

Spread the sesame seeds on a large plate and place the round of dough on it, in the centre, and press down lightly. This makes for an easy way to coat the Flaounes with sesame seeds. Now place the round on your working surface and put one portion of filling (about a tablespoon) in the middle of the round of dough and spread it lightly, leaving about 1” free at the edge. 

Fold the two opposite edges over the filling leaving the centre exposed. Now fold over the other two edges as well so you have a square pocket with the filling showing at the centre. Press down the sealed points with the tines of a fork.

Use the paste of flour and milk (or beaten egg) to seal the flaps of dough well. Press down the sealed points with the tines of a fork. It is important to seal the pies well or they will open up during the second rise/ baking. 

Place the shaped pies on a parchment lined baking sheet, leaving 2 to 3” between them, and let them rise for about 40 minutes. Just before baking them, brush the sides (dough part) with milk (or beaten egg) and bake the Flaounes at 190C (375F) for 25 to 30 minutes till they’re done, golden and the cheese filling is puffed up.

I not only enjoyed baking(making) these Flaounes, also by eating!

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