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Flaounes

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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)

Method

Step 1:

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.

Step 2:

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.

Step 3:

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).

Step 4:

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.

Step 5:

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.

Step 6:

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).