Flaounes: Cypriot Easter bread recipe
Flaounes (“φλαούνες”) are Cypriot Easter bread filled with cheese, raisins and topped with sesame seeds.
Flaounes have been made in Cyprus for many years and serve as a celebratory food for the breaking of the fast after lent.
Ingredients for the flaounes dough:
- 750g plain flour
- x1 sachet baking yeast
- x1 teaspoon of salt
- x2 teaspoon of sugar
- x2 tablespoon of vegetable oil
Ingredients for the flaounes cheese filing:
- 250g cheddar cheese
- 100g halloumi cheese
- x1 tablespoon of flour
- x1 teaspoon of baking powder
- x1 tablespoon of dried mint
- x4 eggs
- 160g of sultanas
Ingredients for the finish:
- x1 egg beaten
- a packet of sesame seeds
How to prepare the flaounes bread dough:
1. Sift the flour into a large bowl and stir in the yeast, salt and sugar.
2. Add the oil and enough water (a small amount of water) to make it firm.
3. Kneed the mixture for at least 5 minutes until it is smooth and has an elastic feel.
4. Put the dough into a plastic bag and leave it in a warm place for around an hour to rise.
How to prepare the flaounes cheese filling:
1. Lightly beat the x4 eggs and set this aside.
2. In a separate bowl coarsely grate the cheese, add x1 tablespoon of flour and baking powder.
3. Slowly stir in the eggs until you have a puff like paste. Do not use all the beaten eggs mixture if the mixture becomes runny.
4. Stir in the dried mint and sultanas.
Finalising the flaounes before baking:
1. Divide the dough into egg sized pieces and use rolling pin to roll into 10cm discs.
2. Place a generous tablespoon of cheese filling in the centre of each pastry disc spreading it slightly.
3. Pull the dough up at 3 points to make a triangle (or 4 points to make a square), but in a way so that the filling is till visible in the middle.
4. Press corners together to seal then lay each filled disc on a greased baking tray.
5. This is the most time consuming part so at some stage, pre-heat the oven at 230 degrees celsius.
6. Once all the discs are filled and in a baking tray, brush each lightly with beaten egg then sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
7. Bake the flaounes for around 12-15 minutes at 230 degrees celsius or until the cheese filling takes a golden colour.
Traditionally the flaounes are prepared on the Greek Orthodox Good Friday for consumption on Easter Sunday. They go very well with Greek egg lemon chicken soup, which is also commonly eaten during the Greek Easter to break the fast on the Sunday.