Thursday, April 24, 2014

Eggless Flaounes/Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies

April is a month of Easter and its time to celebrate by baking many Easter special bakes. Most of the European countries have a tradition of baking rich,buttery,eggy sweet bread for Easter and this Easter bread is quite different from the other breads. Yes these Cypriot breads are savouries. Flaounes are savoury cheese pies baked for Greek Orthodox Easter, traditionally made on Good Friday,these cheesy pies are part of fast breaking meal as meat and cheese arent eaten during this time. The cheese traditionally used in these pies is called Flaounes cheese which is produced locally by Cypriot shephers, but this cheese is very difficult to find outside of the country.Flaounes cheese can be substituted with a combination of both hard and softer cheeses, the cheese filling will be very salty, so its better to chose a cheese which is less in salt.

Flaounes cheese can be replaced by Greek cheeses or other cheeses like Halloumi, Cheddar, Italian cheese like Parmesan, Pecorino or either with French cantal cheese. I prepared my eggless Flaounes with a mixture of both cantal and emmental cheese which is easily available here.Couple of ingredients used in Flaounes are Mahleb and Mastic, mahleb is made by powdering the dried pits of wild mediterranean cherry and mastic is the dried resin of a shrub. Both these spices are quite common in Greek and Middle Eastern Cuisine, since there is no substitute for these both ingredients you can skip them in this Flaounes, they doesnt change the taste of this yeasty cheesy pies. These Flaounes are going to be this month's bread for a monthly event called We Knead To Bake by Aparna.

Recipe Source: The Traveler's Lunchbox
2+1/2cups All purpose flour
3/4tsp Instant yeast
3/4tsp Salt
1+1/2tsp Sugar
1/2tsp Mastic (ground in a mortar, optional)
1/4tsp Ground mahleb (optional
1/4cup Milk
1/4cup Yogurt
60grms Butter (melted and cooled)
1/4cup Lukewarm water
Oil for greasing bowl and rolling dough

For Filling:
1cup Cantal cheese
1/4cup Emmental cheese
1/3cup Crumbled paneer
2tsp All purpose flour
1/4cup Semolina
1tbsp Dry mint or 1/2tbsp Fresh chopped mint leaves
3/4tsp Baking powder
1/2tsp Pepper powder
1/8cup Raisins (optional)
3tbsp Milk
1tbsp Flour
1tbsp Milk
1/3cup to 1/2cup Untoasted sesame seeds
Milk for brushing

Put the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, and the flavouring ingredients (if you have them) into the bowl and pulse a couple of times to mix.

 Whisk together the milk,yogurt and melted butter in a small bowl and add it to the flour.

 Knead, adding just enough water to get a soft, smooth and elastic dough which is just short of sticky.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, turning to coat it well. Cover loosely and let the dough rise for about 1 to 2 hours, until it is double in volume.

Once it has risen, deflate the dough by pressing it out and folding it a few times. Then place it in a container (the dough will rise so use a large enough container), cover loosely and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

Mix all the ingredients for the filling, except the milk with a fork. If you are not using the filling immediately, keep it aside. Add the milk if you are going to use the filling.

Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, lightly oil the work surface, roll it each piece as round disc. 

Spread the sesame seeds in a plate, place the dough in it, press down lightly (i didnt used much sesame seeds coz my family is not great fan of sesame seeds in breads).

Drop the filling in the middle,mix the flour and milk to make the paste, brush the edges and fold the opposite edges over the filling leaving the centre exposed.

Now fold the other edges to make a square pocket with the filling showing in the centre, press the sealed edges with a fork.

Place the shaped pies on a baking sheet,let them rise for about an hour. 

Before baking,just brush them with milk, bake the Flaounes at 375F for 25minutes.

Let them cool, enjoy warm or at room temperature.

You can freeze them to eat later.

Flaounes stay prefect for two days at room temperature if they are conserved properly. 


Nammi said... Reply To This Comment

wow, thats a lot of cheeses,

Sunita said... Reply To This Comment

The Flaounes look perfect.

Julie said... Reply To This Comment

new recipe to me,looks delish & crispy!!!

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Looks perfect Priya! would love to grab one.

great-secret-of-life said... Reply To This Comment

looks yum! sure kids pleaser

Angie's Recipes said... Reply To This Comment

These must be very delicious!

Lifewithspices said... Reply To This Comment

aks.. tis looks sooper cool .. but i need a indian version of tis .. paadhi ingredients hv not heard pls indianized version also needed.

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

The choice of cheese i.e. Cantal and Emmental leaves a delicious taste in mouth.Love the use of yogurt to replace the eggs!

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

You have done it so well Priya!! Loved the second click - well done!!

mullaimadavan said... Reply To This Comment

Super Priya, these savoury pies makes me hungry!

Varada's Kitchen said... Reply To This Comment

The Flaounes look great Priya. Lovely soft golden color.

Ivy said... Reply To This Comment

They look wonderful Priya although I don't know how cantal tastes but the other two are a good choice. In case you want to make them again, I would suggest halloumi as the best substitute for the Cypriot Paphitiko cheese also Greek graviera or kefalotyri. Gruyere also can be used as it is similar to graviera.

Sona said... Reply To This Comment

They look wonderful and am sure would have tasted delicious too...

Fullscoops said... Reply To This Comment

This looks so perfect, I simply love this!

Unknown said... Reply To This Comment

Wow! This looks so yummy.... You are really a pro at making bread from scratch.. :)

Shobha said... Reply To This Comment

Yes, I made these too ... isn't it lovely trying out breads and pies from different countries.