You can’t have an Easter in Cyprus without tasting the traditional Easter food, Flaouna! You can find it in all ovens and patisseries or you can make it on your own by following the recipe below!
-Ingredients for the Flaouna Dough
6 teaspoons dry yeast
1½ cup water (slightly warm)
1 cup milk (slightly warm)
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons Mahlab ground to a fine powder
2 teaspoons Mastic ground to a fine powder
7 teaspoons sugar
2 Kg of wheat flour
1 1/3 cup corn oil or sunflower oil
10 eggs (lightly beaten)
-Ingredients for the Flaouna Filling (foukos)
2kg Flaounas cheese
2-3 (800gr.) haloumi
10gr. mastic ground
5 teaspoons sugar
7½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon chopped fresh mint
5 cups raisins
20-25 eggs (lightly beaten)
5 teaspoons flour
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
500gr. sesame seeds
-In order to have the best texture for flaouna, it is best to prepare the filling from the night before or at least 4-5 hours before baking.
-Start off by grating the cheese as fine as you possibly can. Add the beaten eggs, the raisins, the mint, the mastic, mahlab and the semolina and mix thoroughly. Cover it with a cloth and place in the fridge overnight or for at least 4-5 hours before baking.
-Next, start preparing the dough. In a large bowl sift the flour, add the salt, baking powder, the mahlab, mastic and mix thoroughly.
-Add the liquid ingredients to your flaouna recipe mixture which are the butter and eggs and gently mix the flaouna dough with your fingers. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water with the sugar, pour into the dough and then add the warm milk.
-Continue rubbing the dough for a few minutes until the texture is firm but not bread-like. If the dough is too wet add a little more flour. Cover the dough mix with some cling film and let it rise for 1-2 hours or until it has almost doubled in size.
-Get the filling mixture out of the fridge and add the remaining mixture ingredients. Mix thoroughly and set it aside. Pour the flaouna dough out of the bowl and roll out in thin sheets. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a small plate with approximately the same size as the flaouna dough rectangles
-Glaze the outer side of the flaouna dough with the whisked eggs and press it down on the sesame seeds. Grab a handful of the cheese filling and form a ball. Place in the centre of the dough, glaze the edges with a little more whisked egg and fold, pinching the corners together to form the shape.
Once all the flaouna are shaped, place them on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper, let them rise for about 30-45 minutes and then bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown.