Flaounes

Pound (or pass through a blender) the mastic, sugar and mahlepi (if you haven’t found it already pounded). Sift the flour with the salt in a bowl and stir in the yeast, mastic, zest and mahlepi.
Make a well in centre of the flour and pour the oil in. Rub the mixture with your hands, so as to absorb all the oil until the mixture is uniform. Add the milk and ½ cup of water. Knead the mixture to form a smooth and elastic dough (if necessary add a little more water or flour).
Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and put aside in a warm place until it doubles in volume – for about 1 ½ hour. Check if it is ready by gently pushing your finger into it. Your finger must leave an imprint (make a small pit). Mix all filling ingredients together in a bowl. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Take half the dough and spread out sheets of about 1/4 of a centimetre thick (keeping the rest covered to prevent it from drying). Using a tea cup saucer, cut round shapes into the sheets. In each circle put a tablespoon of the filling mixture and press down to spread it.
Fold the sides inwards and make triangular or square flaounes. Brush them with the beaten egg, sprinkle them with sesame seeds and put them on a baking sheet. Cover them with a kitchen towel and let them settle for 1 hour, until they rise. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes.

* Mahlepi is an aromatic spice made from the seeds of a Southern Europe wild cherry (Prunus mahaleb).

Ingredients:

½ kg flour + more to spread on working bench
1 small packet of yeast
½ cup milk, room temperature
½tbsp sugar
½ cup water (approx.)
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup oil
½ tbsp pounded mahlepi*
2-3 pieces of mastic
1 tsp lemon zest
100g sesame seeds (approx.)
1 egg (beaten with
a little milk)

Filling:

500g cheese for the flaounes, or 1 halloumi (250g) + 250g cheese
for the flaounes, grated
2-3 eggs, slightly beaten
1/4 cup milk, or sour cream
1/3 cup semolina
1 tbsp baking powder
1-2 pieces of mastic, pounded with ½ tsp salt
Finely chopped mint
(fresh or grated dry mint)
1/3 cup dried raisins (optional)

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